Monday, September 14, 2009

I used to have a lawn...

Susan Morrison, of the wonderful Blue Planet Garden Blog, challenged garden bloggers to share their lawnless gardens in a post (here) , to bring attention to, among other things, her "ongoing quest to replace the Great American Lawn with garden". A noble cause. She teamed up with Susan Harris, of Garden Rant and The Sustainable Garden blogs (two of my favorite sites) and other outstanding gardeners to create Lawn Reform a new website that advocates for: Regionally Appropriate Lawn Species, Eco-Friendly Care for all Lawns, Design Ideas to Reduce or Replace Lawns.

This challenge involves a contest, with a prize I want. To enter, write a post on your blog that answers the question: "I used to have a lawn, but now I have…” So, here is my entry...

I used to have a (front) lawn, but now I have an interpretive sign explaining why I don't have a lawn (and, I guess, why you should not either).

Rolling up our lawn was the first thing we did when we moved into this house in 1999.
I used to have a (front) lawn, but now I have a short grass prairie with over 80 plant species native to the Missoula valley It is constantly changing, and interesting all year long.

I used to have a lawn, but now I have shooting stars and arrow leaf balsamroot (photo at the beginning of the post), I used to have a lawn in the backyard, too...
but now we have a vegetable garden surrounded by native plants...
with grasshoppers, and visits by over 50 species of birds.
I used to have a lawn, but now I have prairie crocus,
a greenhouse,
and a blog.


  1. I used to have more lawn as well ... but you've REALLY created the idea behind the challenge. It's beautiful!

  2. David, this is a great post! (and I'm not just saying that because you called my blog wonderful, although that's what earned you the exclamation mark.)

    Thanks for entering the contest. Because of our tendency to be so focused on water in California, for me one of the great things about blogging has been that it's opened my eyes to how much broader the topic really is.

  3. Great post! And beautiful yard. I like flowers, birds, and butterflies so much better than grass.

  4. Inspiring, as always. Glad you ditched the shutters too!

  5. That interpretative sign is a great idea, David. Could I ask for a close-up... speaking for myself, I'd love to be able to walk by, visit in person to see your beautiful gardens, and read your sign, but that'd be quite the field-trip.

  6. I'd vote for you, if for that nifty greenhouse alone! ;-) Seriously, I love your prairie. A gardener after my own heart.

  7. Thank you all for your comments and comliments, I especially thank Susan M, the garden chick for the contest and the tip about the new book that I hope I win.
    Deborah- I'll post the pdf of the sign soon, once I figure out the best way to do it.
    Daffodil- maybe I should add "I used to have a lawn but now I don't have shutters". Good catch!
    Susan T- thank you as always, your garden and blogs inspire me.

  8. Yes, yes, yes! So inspiring. Isn't it fun to see how more and more critters move in? Some fast, some slow? I'm already seeing baby lizards in my front garden, replanted a year ago. 50 species of birds might take a bit longer.

    I'll do my own Lawn Reform post this weekend, I hope.

    P.S. I voted for you as my favorite Montana post on Blotanical. I hope you'll win, more wildlife focus among the winners would be a good thing ;->

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  10. Great post. I love your prairie AND your house and greenhouse. Delightful!

  11. I love the photo of your front path, winding through soft-textured prairie. So interesting seeing your natives. I tried a chaparral meadow but got weeds! Next time I'll do better, I hope.

  12. David, amazing blog! You have a great yard with beautiful flowers. Great ideas for keeping my lawn safe and beautiful.