The American Meadow Garden: Creating a Natural Alternative to the Traditional Lawn
If there's one lesson every homeowner must learn, it's this: The traditional lawn is a huge, time consuming, synthetic-chemical sucking mistake. The time has come to look for new ways to create friendly, livable spaces around our homes.
In The American Meadow Garden, ornamental grass expert John Greenlee creates a new model for homeowners and gardeners. For Greenlee, a meadow isn't a random assortment of messy, anonymous grasses. Rather, it is a shimmering mini-ecosystem, in which regionally appropriate grasses combine with colorful perennials to form a rich tapestry that is friendly to all life — with minimal input of water, time, and other scarce resources. Kids and pets can play in complete safety, and birds and butterflies flock there. A prairie style planting is a place you want to be.
With decades of experience as a nurseryman and designer, John Greenlee is the perfect guide. He details all the practicalities of site preparation, plant selection, and maintenance; particularly valuable are his explanations of how ornamental grasses perform in different climates and areas. Gorgeous photography by Saxon Holt visually illustrates the message with stunning examples of meadow gardens from across the country.
We've reached a stage where we can no longer follow past practices unthinkingly, particularly when those practices are wasteful and harmful to the environment. It's time to get rid of the old-fashioned lawn and embrace a sane and healthy future: the American meadow garden.
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18 inches Acorus gramineus background grass base grasses Best in full blue Buchloe dactyloides bulbs California coastal cool-season grasses Cortaderia selloana creeping Deschampsia cespitosa drought tolerant dune evergreen Evergreen in mild fall color feet high feet on center fern fescue Festuca fine-textured flowering accents flowering grasses foliage grows fountain grass full sun grasslands green foliage groundcover high and wide inches on center Juncus polyanthemos Leymus Leymus triticoides light shade little bluestem love grass mail order meadow garden meadow grasses meadow plantings Miscanthus Miscanthus sinensis moist moisture mowing Muhlenbergia mulch native natural lawn nursery P.O. Box pathways Pennisetum Penstemon perennials pink Plant from plugs Plant from pots plugs or pots pots 12 prairie purple Retail rhizomes season sedge seedheads Sesleria showy flowers silver slender species Sporobolus heterolepis spring summer flowers sun to light tall taller thrive tropical variegated variety of soils Vetiveria zizanioides warm-season grass weeds wide variety winter yellow