A Courtyard Garden Promotes Pondering

My understanding of a place dawns slowly. Occasionally I design a garden, and it is a ponderous and effortful activity because it doesn’t come easily to me. This has been brought home to me over and over as I struggle to set out the bones of my new garden. What is now my courtyard garden […]

Read more in: Lawn Reform, Real Gardens
Posted by on March 5, 2014 at 3:45 am   This post has 27 responses.

My Favorite Turfgrass? Sheep Fescue!

Guest post by Thomas Christopher Enhancing biodiversity is fundamental to transforming lawns from the polluted green deserts that they now are into the sustainable, environmentally constructive landscape features we desire.  For that reason, in my plantings I’ve avoided becoming too reliant on any one grass.  Instead, I try to...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Lawn Reform
Posted by Thomas Christopher on February 13, 2014 at 7:42 am   This post has 11 responses.

Coming soon – Roundup-Ready Turfgrass

Photo via Shutterstock News from the garden-product company we love to hate – Scotts-MiracleGro, of course.  As reported here (via a Rant tipster) CEO Jim Hagedorn announced at the company’s annual meeting that it’s testing genetically modified grass seed (Kentucky bluegrass) that will withstand the large-scale spraying of the...

Read more in: Lawn Reform
Posted by on February 7, 2014 at 11:35 am   This post has 9 responses.

The Public Food Forest: Clever Solution or Future Flop?

Public food forests are a shiny new trend in the United States. Focused on perennial crops such as fruit- and nut-bearing trees and shrubs, they embody the values of permaculture (which I’ve touted elsewhere) : generosity, abundance, good health and nutrition, and food security. If they are developed and...

Read more in: Feed Me, Lawn Reform, What's Happening
Posted by on February 5, 2014 at 3:49 am   This post has 26 responses.

We Only Bond with Complex Landscapes

Here’s one of my beefs with lawns: where is the mystery? We live within this awe-inspiring natural world, teeming with diverse creatures and plants. We have a built-in fascination for other living things (1). Why would we construct our daily environments in such a way that we avoid being...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Lawn Reform
Posted by on December 4, 2013 at 2:04 am   This post has 40 responses.

Help make the Arboretum Lawn Education Program a Good One!

Readers may remember this post announcing a forthcoming lawn education program at the National Arboretum financed entirely by the turf industry. (Scroll down here to see the funders).  Well, it’s now a reality, with the official ground-breaking event last week, and I’m more concerned than ever.  Though I’m a...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Lawn Reform
Posted by on November 22, 2013 at 9:47 am   This post has 2 responses.

Video shows the Gardens of Greenbelt, Maryland in ’39 and ’13

Put something online; you never know where it’ll lead.  In this case, a reader of this very blog discovered the “Less Lawn, More Life” garden tour I organized in Greenbelt, Maryland, where our reader once lived.  So she attended and created this fabulous video of the tour!  It includes...

Read more in: Lawn Reform
Posted by on September 25, 2013 at 10:18 am   This post has Comments Off.

“Less Lawn, More Life” Garden Tour this Sunday

I’ve noted earlier that organizing a local garden tour is a great way to meet your neighbors, and as I’m making final preparations for the tour this Sunday, it does feel like I have a new posse of local gardening pals who have my back in this venture and...

Read more in: Lawn Reform, What's Happening
Posted by on September 10, 2013 at 8:05 am   This post has 10 responses.

Want your kids to play outside? Rip out the lawn!

Guest Rant by Pam Penick Lawns are for kids, right? After all, they need that big, green carpet to enjoy the outdoors. Would it be an exaggeration to say it borders on neglect not to keep a lawn for your children or grandchildren to play on? Some people think...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Lawn Reform
Posted by on August 15, 2013 at 7:50 am   This post has 164 responses.

Plant Ideas Needed for Biodiverse Lawn

by Lawn  Reform Coalition Member Tom Christopher Like other members of the Lawn Reform Coalition, I believe that the contemporary model of lawn has got to go. It does have its virtues, though we critics tend to overlook them. For example, traditional lawn provides a relatively inexpensive and easy...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Lawn Reform
Posted by on May 13, 2013 at 12:09 pm   This post has 34 responses.

How to Teach a Town to Garden – Ideas, Please!

The Mission To turn my mostly-lawn community of 1,600 townhouses, some with incredibly large yards, into a place with gardens that benefit the environment and humans, too.   We do have large trees and lots of geometrically shaped hedges, but that’s about it, except for the houses on the perimeter...

Read more in: Lawn Reform, Real Gardens
Posted by on February 22, 2013 at 9:13 am   This post has 39 responses.

The American Lawn Predates the Civil War

Susan asked in a post whether we should blame Frederick Law Olmsted for the popularity of lawn in the U.S., and we have an answer by guest ranter Thomas Mickey. Recent posts have appeared on this site that blasted the American obsession with the lawn.  I have no problem...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Lawn Reform
Posted by on January 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm   This post has 6 responses.

How the rest of the world solves the front-yard problem? No front yard!

Time for a follow-up to my recent criticism of the all-turf American front yard, which we can thank Olmsted for popularizing both in parks and in front of homes.  When commissioned to design a new town, he mandated 30-foot setbacks from the street. Readers here know that front yards...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Lawn Reform
Posted by on January 4, 2013 at 9:11 am   This post has 32 responses.

An Anti-Valentine to the Lawn

For Valentine's Day, Timber Books has invited some bloggers to write anti-valentines to lawns, to help spread the word about Beautiful No-Mow Yards. (Click here to see the anti-Valentines of my blogging buddies.) I'll start with a photo that shows lawn at its most perfect and ridiculous.  Next, here...

Read more in: Lawn Reform
Posted by on February 14, 2012 at 4:30 am   This post has 18 responses.

More Beautiful No-Mow Yards

As promised in my first post about this book, here are more photos from the book, just a few of my favorites. Above, the tiny urban back yard of DC Master Gardener Barbara Dinsmore.  Photo by Lucy Dinsmore. Below, pink muhly grass in a California yard.  Photo by Saxon...

Read more in: Lawn Reform
Posted by on January 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm   This post has 12 responses.

Beautiful No-Mow Yards is just what American gardeners need. And you can win it right here

In the last year or so, we’re hearing that there are better uses for our land than turfgrass, that unless it’s needed for sport or play, you can save on resources and probably your labor, too, by switching to an array of alternatives – meadows, vegetable gardens, native grasse,...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, Lawn Reform
Posted by on January 24, 2012 at 6:54 am   This post has 161 responses.

Who will buy my lawnless garden?

Breaking news – to anyone who knows me and assumed I’d never, ever leave my garden – I’m selling it and the house it surrounds.  Time to move on. Selling the Complicated Garden Any realtor will tell you that nice gardens may or may not be advantages in selling...

Read more in: Lawn Reform, Real Gardens
Posted by on September 27, 2011 at 6:25 am   This post has 19 responses.

Contribute photos of groundcovers that can replace lawns!

Lawn Reformers are getting lots of questions about specific plants that can be used en masse to create a low, lawn-like expanse in the landscape and we're frustrated by the lack of detailed, regionally specific information about the plants people are asking about – Carexes, buffalo grass, low-input grass...

Read more in: Lawn Reform
Posted by on September 24, 2011 at 6:31 pm   This post has 6 responses.

Garden Designers Roundtable: From lawn to Sedum, clover, bare soil and erosion!

The Garden Designers Roundtable invited the Lawn Reform Coalition to be their guest blogger(s) this month, combining forces to publish 19 articles about Lawn Replacement on the same day, and linking to each other. Great idea, designers!  Scroll down for the links to those 18 other blog posts, including...

Read more in: Lawn Reform
Posted by on August 22, 2011 at 9:02 pm   This post has 37 responses.

Turf is top topic in my town’s parade

You've seen the partying spectators for my town's July 4th Parade.  Now for the turf- and gardening-related floats and people IN the parade. This group of reel-mowers have been at it for 15 or so years now, way ahead of the rest of the Lawn Reform movement.  I believe...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Lawn Reform
Posted by on July 19, 2011 at 8:06 am   This post has 7 responses.
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