Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Turf Grass Isn't Evil
Mr. Meems and I moved our chairs early-morning to this vantage point for better shade. We were talking about how nice it is to change-up the seating arrangement and see the garden differently.
Every angle offers an alternate view. We were remarking how drastically the garden has evolved in recent years. This view (as well as all others in this post) was previously a solid palette of lush green grass. The turf grass has been replaced with Florida-Friendly and native groundcovers/shrubs/trees/ornamentals.
This is the "Circle Garden" in my back yard. There are several meandering pathways trailing off from here in different directions leading to other parts of the garden. (It sounds bigger than it is, but you get the idea.) Jasmine minima or asiatic jasmine (Trachelospermum asiaticum), is the low-lying groundcover that I've shaped into a "circular carpet". It is dense, sturdy, and easy to take care of.
There's a whole lot of buzz going around the gardening world about reducing the lawn in residential yards. I've been gradually taking mine out for the past 12 years. This patch of lawn in the back garden is all that remains. I don't think turf grass is evil, but I do adhere to a naturalistic, organic approach to gardening. Reducing the lawn has made my garden infinitely more sustainable.
Florida lawns require an endless cycle of fertilizer and water, pesticides for the bugs in spring, fungicides for fungus in summer and on it goes. I got tired of replacing grass after the sod webworms chewed it to bits and weakened it for the chinch bugs to move in to finish it off.
The grass that remains is barely enough for the grandkiddos to play. You may have small children or pets that require some turf grass. Our gardens should suit our personal needs.
I have Planted. Every. Single. Plant. Bush. Flower. Bulb. Cutting.Transplant in my garden over the last 12 years. (The trees 20 years ago). I don't say that in a boastful spirit. It's just a point of reference for you. It's to let you know how possible it is to create the garden of your dreams. Every space in my garden has been accomplished in increments and phases.
I’ve grown personally with each creative endeavor~~ each new planting bed~~each sweaty, stinky project~~each success and failure. Working with the diversity of plants is pure joy. The wildlife/critters this type of garden attracts causes me to breathe a little deeper…to pause a little longer. The peace, the sanctuary of a garden compared to a water-guzzling lawn is soul-inspiring.
Have you been remvoing the turf grass in your garden? What are your favorite alternatives to replace it? Happy gardening, Meems
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