Creating a Garden Meadow Landscape Design

Creating a Garden Meadow Landscape Design

Posted by Tammy Sons on Jul 18, 2022

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Imagine squandering money on something that requires you to work longer hours, using machinery that emits carbon emissions, eliminates wildlife habitats, and introduces harsh chemicals into the soil and groundwater. If you think there should be a law against this practice, there's no. It may be a tough pill to swallow, but those rank among the negative impacts of a well-manicured lawn.

But the good news stems from the fact that homeowners no longer need to "keep up with the Joneses," as the saying goes. By employing some outside-the-box thinking, you can be a landscaping trendsetter while feeling good about pivoting away from the negatives surrounding the treatment, care, and existence of lawns. Converting a section of your property to a wildflower meadow eliminates those negatives and replaces them with the following benefits.

1: No More Weekend Mowing & Edging

It's not unusual to drive past rows of green lawns and want to emulate them. Suburban landscapes are primarily designed to include a front lawn, not a more natural habitat. New construction builds, and single-family homes almost always seem to have a lawn that requires DIY work or hiring a professional.

The average property owner spends a soul-crushing 70 hours on lawn care and maintenance. To put that in context, many Americans enjoy a two-week vacation, which tallies only about 80 work hours. You're spending almost as much time working on the lawn during off-hours as you reap on an annual vacation. Eliminating lawn work adds a tremendous quality of life benefit.

2: Feel Good About Protecting The Environment

In The U.S., the lower 48 states include upwards of 50 million acres of lawn. Adding insult to injury, turf farms have replaced food growing in some areas because homeowners inadvertently made grass more profitable than vegetables.

Imagine that Americans expend more water on manicured lawns than growing corn for a moment. Not only has suburban sprawl destroyed forests, but lawns also now rank as the highest irrigated crop. Studies indicate that two-thirds of residential water use occurs outdoors. Clean water has become increasingly scarce, and front yard grass ranks among the minor drought-resistant landscaping elements.

Good people want to do their part to protect our natural resources, and water remains a top priority. Pivoting away from passive grass to a drought-resistant wildflower meadow means you can take pride knowing you're not wasting water.

3: Restore Crucial Resource For Declining Bee Populations

Bees remain a cornerstone of a healthy environment because they help cross-pollinate everything from tomato plants to fruit trees. Without a flourishing bee population, necessary food harvests are jeopardized, and lawns contribute to their loss.

In 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced these vital pollinators stood at a "crossroads." The decline in Western bee populations over the last 15 years was pegged at 90 percent by a National Geographic report. While lawns and suburban sprawl are only partially to blame, property owners can help turn the tide.

Flowering perennial plants used in wildflower meadows rank among the primary food resources for bees and other pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds. Replacing an expensive lawn that sometimes requires toxic chemical treatments with colorful blooms and sweeping greenery provides the food necessary for a robust bee population. Fruit trees, vegetable gardens, berry bushes, and farming crops produce higher yields when successfully pollinated by bees.

4: Give Children A First-Hand Wildlife Education

By converting lawn space into a wildflower oasis, homeowners attract more than honeybees and butterflies. The tall flowering perennials create a haven for harmless ground bugs such as beetles that birds feed on. What began as an eye-catching sea of flowers evolves into a lush habitat for birds such as warblers, finches, owls, robins, and breath-taking hummingbirds. Don't be surprised if a family of bunny rabbits moves in that dazzles young children.

The point is that lawns generally attract only root-eating grubs and moles burrowing below the surface. A wildflower meadow allows children of all ages to peer out the window at a microcosm of the natural world. Teaching youngsters about nature and why we should value it proves priceless.

5: Reduce Stress and Improve Peaceful Enjoyment Of Your Property

Consider carving out space near your wildflower meadow where you can sit, relax, and allow your senses to be tingled by thriving perennial plants and nature's activity. That experience is akin to what the Japanese call "forest bathing."

Having an opportunity to experience nature positively mindfully affects our feelings, emotions, and outlook on life. Essentially, immersing ourselves in nature reduces stress and improves our mental health. Creating a wildflower meadow provides a rare opportunity to experience nature's sights, sounds, and fragrances while relaxing on your property.

Select Perennial Plants For A Wildflower Meadow

Creating an inspiring wildflower meadow relies on flowering perennial plants and native grasses. It may be worthwhile to consider native grasses as base greenery when planning your layout. Some provide early spring blooms, while others deliver colorful petals all summer and fall. These rank among the popular choices.