The creeping wild

No mow May: here.

Home meadows are becoming more common, for pollinators. Unmown, with wildflowers. There is a movement for a no mow May, to help pollinators and insects survive. This will help the birds too, because insects are food.

I quit mowing half my lot in 2007, after checking with the neighbors. I had just finished a divorce and I was paying my ex and I did not have time to mow it, nor money, nor inclination. My lot is L shaped. The 1930s garage extends onto the second lot, which is perpendicular to the first lot and goes to the middle of the block. The plumbing goes there too.

The lot is a deer stop. The deer circle a route that is often the same from year to year. This lot is not very visible from the road because a huge rosa rugosa, well over my head, fronts on the street. The deer come in through the driveway. There are high fences around it now, but there are still two other exits. One at the other end, to another driveway, and one past the garage next door. I watch for fawns in the spring, the mothers will leave them there some days.

I have birds and nests and sometimes raccoons and squirrels. I have seen coyotes within a block. This year I have a pair of “swamp robins”, also known as varied thrush, at my bird feeder. That is a first. My present cats are allowed out on leash or in the cat cage, so I have lots more birds all around the house. The birds apparently know that the cats are contained.

The lurker in the cover picture is Sol Duc. The grass is already deep.

My front and back lawn are still lawn, sort of. I have not used any weedkiller ever, and have lived here since 2000. Siberian squill and parsley and daffodils and forget-me-nots are busily invading the lawn. Also oregano and thyme. The deer are unenthused about most of these. They can come through the sometimes mown back of the house, but the front yard is fenced to protect my roses.

The deer do eat the squill. Maybe I could have a lawn of squill, mown by deer.

I like my lawn full of weeds. I am not very interested in grass and I like birds and insects much more. Ok, not cockroaches or fleas. We are not warm enough to have a lot of mosquitoes in my yard.

Maybe the deer like the leaves but not the flowers.

The wild has taken over the center of the block and now is creeping through my back yard and my front yard. And I am rooting for it all the way.

8 thoughts on “The creeping wild

  1. Lou Carreras says:

    Mixed native and other plantings replaced our front lawn a few years ago. In August it’s the best looking front yard among all the scorched dead lawns. I don’t know if you have much watering to do, but water conservation is a major part of our type of de-lawning.

    • drkottaway says:

      I don’t water. Ok, I did water all the trees when we hit 100 degrees last summer, but not grass.

      • Lou Carreras says:

        The extreme swings of are hard to pan for. A neighbor gave me one of those rain barrels, and I spot water from that during the worst, but mostly in the back where I’ve been trying to reestablish lots of ephemerals and small native flowers in the shaded areas.

        • drkottaway says:

          I have been keeping my eyes out for a rain barrel. NPR had a talk yesterday that dandelions do not feed pollinators well and that grass doesn’t like growing tall and then being cut — no more than the top third. But I still want more meadows.

  2. My front lawn is evolving or devolving depending on one’s pov…

  3. lois says:

    This is my kind of yard. I have clover and spiderwort in my front yard–notice it is a yard and not a lawn. Birds and squirrels know a good thing when they see it. No-mow May–I like that.

    • drkottaway says:

      Mine is kind of lawnish in front if mown. When it is not mown it looks wild. Right now it looks wild!

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