It's the Plants, Darling

Bloom Day in Maryland

Lawnjuly2400

For Gardenblogger Bloom Day I have some simple coneflowers to show you, off in the distance.  But DO notice what’s in the foreground – the lawn replacement almost totally filled out.  It’s another hodgepodge, but a much larger one with a more limited palette than the hodgepodge that replaced the lawn in the front. 

And they’re almost all weeds, plants that were IN THE AIR that I’ve either encouraged (the sedum acre) or just allowed to grow where they fell (the smartweed and purslane).  So it’s all FREE, except for maybe a buck’s worth of clover that I planted here, both white and the gorgeous taller purple-blooming type, now allowed to strut its stuff because all mowing here has ceased.  Other weeds appear – mainly crabgrass and plaintain – and are quickly ripped out by the gardener because they’re simply butt-ugly.  Anyway, what makes this a garden to my eyes and NOT a patch of weeds is that limited palette.  Design by selective removal.

There’s a couple more photos over on my blog.

Posted by on July 15, 2008 at 3:26 am, in the category It's the Plants, Darling.
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8 Responses to “Bloom Day in Maryland”

  1. Donna says:

    Hey, it’s green.
    Our lawn in pretty sparse in the back because of shade, We plant winter rye in the fall and it is green all winter when all the trees are bare….and we don’t have to mow it.

  2. DJ Monet says:

    You approach has a couple of advantages: 1) it’s good for the minimal maintenance (not, zero- gotta get those planatins out!; 2) I like the though of a bit of “randomness” in the garden; and 3) You are utilizing plants based on their color pallette and not an idea of what belongs or not. Maybe you’ll ‘discover’ a plant, formally a weed, that actually thrives and looks good.

    That sedum can go nuts, but it’s easy to pull up.

  3. Lori says:

    I really like how this looks now that it’s filled in, but I have to wonder at how well the sedum and the other groundcovers take foot traffic. Your stone path doesn’t seem very wide, so I assume that they can take some being stepped on, but I’m curious.

  4. susan harris says:

    Good question, Lori. I’ll have to post a wider-angle shot to demonstrate how traffic works through the area. There’s a wood-chip path not through but around this lawn-like area, and that’s what I usually use coz it’s faster and easier than these stepping stones. But everything here CAN survive being stepped on and having the garden hose dragged across it, those being two functional requirements for plants here, in addition to needing no supplemental watering (after the plants are established) or anything else, and looking good. I expect the need to weed to lessen as plants fill in.

  5. commonweeder says:

    This is so encouraging about lawn elimination. I’ve started planting barrenberren as I’ve been able to rip out grass. This native groundcover won’t take foot traffic and is planted where there isn’t much traffic – but it might give me a Bloom Day post earlier in the year.

  6. “Design by selective removal.” I like that idea, a lot!

  7. Frances says:

    Well done, Susan. You have accomplished the difficult but not impossible goal of lawn free but looking lawn like, short and greenish. Did you think about adding some creeping thymes? They can take some foot traffic and release a wonderful fragrance. My sedum acre goes semi dormant in the winter here in TN, do you have something evergreen in there? If not, think thyme!

  8. susan harris says:

    Frances, excellent idea and I DO have some thymes, samples from Stepables. Some of them are doing very poorly and some – the taller types – are looking great. Even the ones doing well are creeping awfully slowly, too slowly to have any impact in this large space. I moved them all to the much smaller front yard and will continue to monitor their (slow) progress.

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