|Bloodroot seeking life in grass|
I’ve recently learned a new phrase: “I’m just saying.” For the longest time I didn’t know what that meant. My good wife was kind enough the other day to “splain” it to me. I guess it’s a way of gently disagreeing with someone while bringing up a contrary point of view. I think that’s what my yard has been saying to me for a good long time. And now it has decided I’m not getting it and need to be slapped up the side of the head. More like “Listen up bub, I’m telling you you haven’t been listening, haven’t been paying attention.” We live in a “lawn infested” neighborhood and for the past year since I’ve converted to native plants, I’ve longed for a prairie /meadow. I’ve come to understand that the nice green lawn isn’t helping the environment, the native wildlife, my health, or my pocketbook. Last summer I thought as long as I have to have a lawn, I’ll at least make it organic. And I embarked on making it so. But nonetheless, I really wanted a prairie, a meadow to largely replace the lawn and nurture the birds, butterflies, and pollinators that are so essential to a healthy and productive ecosystem.
|Trout Lily leaves trying to survive in |
|Solomon Seal seedlings|
|1964 aerial photo of neighborhood|
But I wanted a prairie. Finally accepting the fact a prairie would not be well received in this suburban neighborhood, I listened to the yard and the plants that were trying to grow here. Driving around the older wooded section of the development with my wife we saw that some other properties were wooded in their front as well as their back yards. Our front yard should really be a woodland. We could abandon my prairie yearnings and embrace what was once here. Let's plant native trees and make it a wooded front yard. (I wonder how many little tiny Oak seedlings I've run the mower over in these past twelve years?) Slowly but surely we'll expand the trees and native beds in the front. (Can I train the squirrels to plant those acorns where I want the new trees?) Eventually the lawn will be tiny and the front yard a productive part of a healthy ecosystem. No more will my mower attempt to eradicate the Bloodroot, Trout Lily, and Solomon's Seal. Sometime in the near future, the Trout Lilies that were so stunning in producing their spring blossoms in other parts of the yard this year, will once again claim their rightful place in the front.