Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lawn Survey

Our lawn is six inches of topsoil on top of sand. Chris and I have no desire to flood it with fertilizers and poisons in order to keep up with the neighbors, and we are too busy to pamper it with environmentally-friendly grass-enhancing practices. It gets baked by the sun in the summer until it is practically dust, and we drag a mower over it periodically to keep the taller plants from detracting from the flower beds. The lawn is neglected and ugly, but it is also full of interesting things, so I thought it might be fun to do an occasional survey of what grows in it.

This is white Dutch clover. It isn't native, but we planted it anyway, in the hopes that it could add nitrogen to the soil and maybe green things up a bit - and it could feed our friends the bunnies. It is the most dramatically green thing in the lawn at the moment.

On the left is an unidentified weed. On the right, sheep sorrel. I need to do an entire post on sheep sorrel. It is the most invasive plant in our yard, infesting lawn, flowerbed, and even piles of rocks.

For as sunny and dry as our lawn is, I was surprised to find a mossy patch out by the tall pines. I see a future part-sun garden in this location.

Here's another non-native: muellin. In the first year of life, they form these lovely furry cabbages that look ready to eat passing chipmunks. In the second year, they put up a dramatic spike of yellow flowers.

Yarrow is a native plant to parts of North America. I keep digging it up from the lawn and moving it to the flower beds, where it impresses me by repeatedly being eaten by the bunnies and then putting out new blooms.

Whitlow grass, my favorite non-native! We have wide swaths of these tiny flowers blooming now.

Lo and behold, our lawn also includes grass. But I had to look for it!

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