Now that “No Mow May” is half over, I want to support Susan in her recent critique of the “no mow” movement. I totally agree with her that if you’re going to have a lawn, you may as well follow basic (and sustainable) lawn health guidelines, which this movement appears to completely subvert. I don’t have a lawn though, so I won’t travel too far along that path of argument.
In spite of my lawn lack and resultant inability to not mow it, I have plenty of offerings for pollinators at this time. In early April, I plant pansies and violas everywhere; the bees and other flying insects that are around seem to like them just as well as the wild violets that might (or might not) turn up in a lawn.
I also have hellebores (one plant of many shown at top) blooming from April through May. The species tulips (above) and erythronium begin to arrive mid-April and the hybrid tulips in pots (with pansies) bloom late April through May. We also have chionodoxa, scilla, ornithogalum umbellatum, and others. I even have a gorgeous native, double bloodroot, that is out now–though clearly the “no mow” folks are not insisting on natives, given their stress on dandelions and violets.
I’d like to include those who want early flowers to consider these options. Heck, if you’re a gardener, just buy a few flats of pansies early, and plant them when you feel like it. The pollinators will find them in their flats. All this avoids the issues rightly cited by Susan.
But you know what I most dislike about all these directives coming down from various wildlife organizations (some with more credibility than others)? I don’t garden by meme and I am not going to encourage others to do it. Let’s put some thought into gardening. Let’s exercise our creativity as well as our common sense. Let’s be gardeners.