Traditional lawns are one of the most resource intensive elements of a residential landscape. The environmental and economic costs are significant between irrigation, fertilization and mowing.
A great way to reduce the resources required, and introduce wildlife into your landscape, is to transition part of your lawn into a wildflower garden or meadow garden. Meadow gardens offer a much more interesting palette of plants, including ones that attract birds and butterflies. These space require minimal maintenance, when established a once a year mowing suffices and no irrigation or fertilization is necessary.
|Hand spread seed creates a meadow that is truly varied|
This meadow garden in Little Compton, RI was part of a LEED Gold Certified home and landscape. Traditional lawn is limited to around the house, and a meadow garden fills in the area between the lawn and the property edge.
There are three basic ways to establish a meadow garden.
Seed. A seeded meadow can take a few years to fully establish, but it is the least expensive planting approach and is a great option if you want to cover a large area.
Plugs. With this method small plants are installed in the meadow area. This is the most expensive approach, but typically offers the fastest results. It works well in a small area.
Seeds and plugs. A combination approach can work well when you want fast results but the cost of planting plugs across the entire area is prohibitive.
|Another view of the meadow from the front yard|
|A retaining wall separates the traditional lawn from the meadow|
This meadow was established from American Meadow’s Native Northeast Wildflower Seed Mix.