Monday, May 04, 2009
I've won, I think
I'm weird. Better, I like weird things. I've known for some time that my tastes differ from most people's and I deal with it. Specifically, I am not a big fan of grassy lawns. I give advice to people on landscaping and they always ask me, "what should I do with my lawn". I know they won't like my answer so I rarely bother offering anything. When we first moved into the Tiny Bungalow, the back "lawn", and I use the term loosely consisted of a field of about 10% grass, 20% clover, and 70% this stuff:It's called broadleaf plantain and to me, it is just about the most unattractive thing in a lawn, besides grass. I don't use chemicals and I don't do much to care for my lawn but for the past few years, one by one, I have been pulling this stuff out, along with the stray dandelions that pop up. If you are going to do this, I recommend doing between 5 and 10 a day. It takes patience but the result is worth it. This spring, as depicted in the photo above, only one single broadleaf plantain came up and the lawn now looks like this:I am sure that most folks think this is crazy. I know my weed-be-gone, round-up, re-seed loving neighbor thinks it is. I think its fantastic. It is almost a perfect cloud of clover now. Most people treat clover like a weed but I have actually been trying to get it to look like this pulling grass and weeds for years. I still have the stray dandelion but otherwise, it is mostly clover now. The only downside to this is that it does attract bees, many of them. I am not sure I would recommend such a lawn to anyone that is allergic. My next battle is already sprouting up though. For some reason, I have tons of raspberry bushes coming up in the middle of the yard. I counted 12 this year. It would be funny to let them go but walking in bare feet, on raspberry bushes, is not fun.Since we are on the subject of weird crap I like and how I let weeds grow just about everywhere, I threw in a couple pics of the bluebells coming up in the cracks at the back porch and near the patio. I am not a big "edger" either and I like my landscape edges a little fuzzy. I'll never understand why folks buy or rent those machines to cut clean lines along their concrete walks. Anyway, when it comes to filling in the nooks and crannies, my favorite plant is the bluebell. I wrote about why I like bluebells last year. I cast a lot of seed and did some transplanting last year and they are coming up even bushier this year. I think these are going to look great in another month or so. Finally, a shout-out to another nice-looking lawn plant. I know that some folks truly detest this stuff but I think it's great. It is called "creeping charlie" and is a bit more difficult to tend as it grows like crazy. Either way, it looks fantastic in the spring. I like the English name for it better: ale hoof. I let it grow in between the walkway stones and around the entry to the garage. Keeping it out of the garden and planting area is a little chore but well worth it because it creates a carpet of blue flowers this time of year. I want to put some of this to take over my parkway but I haven't had the guts to do it yet.