Meadow GardenContemporary Landscape, Boston
A meadow garden surrounds the property and provides a transition zone between the lawn and woodland border. Installing a meadow allowed us to reduce the amount of traditional lawn around the house, an important factor for this LEED Gold certified property. The meadow is low maintenance (mowed once a year), is drought tolerant, and provides an incredible show of color throughout the summer and fall.
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Grow wildflowers. Create a wildflower meadow if you have the space, or plant wildflowers along the roadside. Perhaps you might even think about replacing the lawn with a wildflower meadow. Or keeping the grass long in places so that pollen-producing weeds such as dandelion and clover can flower and provide vital food for foraging bees. At the very least, mow your lawn less often to give those bee-friendly lawn weeds a chance to flower.How to Design a Meadow Garden Everyone Will Love
49. Little Compton, Rhode Island
This low-impact, environmentally friendly home in Little Compton, Rhode Island, is surrounded by a drought-tolerant meadow garden of perennial flowers and grasses. The mix of tickseed (Coreopsis sp.) in red-brown and bicolored gold and maroon blooms complements the weathered wood and barn-red color of the home’s exterior.
Flowers. We can plant ornamental flowers in drifts or clumps in the gaps in the base layer. These flowers can be a bit shorter than the grasses or sedges to create an additional ground cover — think purple poppy mallow (Callirhoe involucrata), pasque flower (Pulsatilla patens) or prairie smoke (Geum triflorum) — or they can be the same height to provide a more uniform and manicured look. Plants to interweave among the base layer could include nodding onion (Allium cernuum), aromatic aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium), butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), Virginia mountain mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum), white wood aster (Eurybia divaricata) or dotted blazing star (Liatris punctata). An unexpected height or a contrasting architectural form here and there are also welcome. This would include plants along the lines of dwarf blue indigo (Baptisia australis var. minor), pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida), Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum), rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium), calico aster (Symphyotrichum lateriflorum) or smooth aster (S. laeve). Slender plants like meadow blazing star (Liatris ligulistylis) or tall blazing star (L. aspera) can also weave in there. Remember, your plant selections should be tailored accurately to your light, soil and drainage conditions — and your region.
Toss. Place your seed bombs out in a bed that looks a bit sparse. The rain will slowly dissolve the ball, and the seeds will germinate. You can use almost any seed — if you want flowers right away, use an annual seed mix. If you’re placing in the fall or winter, you can use perennial flowers that will need a period of subfreezing, wet weather to germinate before spring. Whatever you do, I strongly encourage using seeds native to your area, which will benefit wildlife and other plant communities more.So what do you think? Will you try making seed bombs? How will you use them?More: How to Help Your Town’s Beneficial Birds and Bugs