Very nice thread, and well worth the read!!
I live in a heavy deciduous forest in the Loess Hills along the Missouri River. There are about 15 huge shade trees in my yard, including several
oaks, a few ash, a silver maple, elms, and an enormous walnut. I barely have enough "full-sun" areas to cultivate a few native species of flowers;
and no grass will grow in the back at all...
however, I DO have green things growing. They are short, and keep the dirt from running downhill, so my yard is green with some bare spots. I prefer
to call the backyard a "campground" (it's under a tree canopy and not landscaped at all....), and the front a "meadow".
I sometimes have to cut the remnants of "grass" that are still here and there, but mostly, my lawn doesn't get above 6" or so; it has lots of moss,
wild violets, wild strawberries, and many other herbs and groundcovers, like Creeping Charlie (YAY!), and vinca. A lot of the stuff growing on its
own has medicinal and/or nutritious merit (yes, even dandelions are good for you).
I've always hated mowing; hate the noise, and the smell, and the hassle...so, I've let it go fairly "natural"....proudly. Fortunately, my neighbors
aren't bothered. The guy down the block just got chickens; I was considering getting a miniature equine as a "mower" (smaller than a large dog, and
I'm too old to mess with full-size horses like I used to).
I bought several books on natural and herbal medicine over the years, and learned what plants I have. I could feasibly live here without outside
groceries; there are some blackberry bushes, mulberry trees, and of course the walnuts, plus plenty of "salad" stuff.
I've never understood why people want an acre or more of "lawn" that just requires constant maintenance and uses up water. My motto is, if you can't
make it with the climate we've got, you don't need to grow here.....especially with water crises looming....
why water, fertilize, pesticide, fill your yard with chemicals?? (I think it makes the bugs come inside, too, if you poison their natural outdoor
Still, without doing any of that stuff, and minimal mowing and some weed-pulling, I have a very pleasant woodland garden, and NO BUGS in my house..
The house is also situated to take full advantage of the seasons: shade in summer, south-facing windows for sun in winter, excellent ventilation, and
stout plaster walls with masonry outside the "frame".
Thanks again for the thread, OP!
edit on 16-9-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)