On a sunny morning last September, I sat on the entry to the suburban house I'd just moved into, thinking how to revamp our front yard. The quiet was interrupted by the sound of mowers, blowers, and edgers, revving up for the weekend ritual of taming back what's left of vegetation in suburbia: a 5-inch growth of turf and stray leaves. I strained to hear birds, but no luck.
Facing me was a typical American suburban landscape. Most of the yard was lawn, composed of non-native grasses a near-perfect monoculture, if it weren't for the weeds vying for territory. The few planted areas were disconnected-an island bed adrift in a sea of green, a tree, a border of foundation plantings. This visually homogenous front yard was a lost opportunity to create a sense of place, to connect our home to the earth it sits upon, to connect our site to the regional ecology.
Check out the July/August 2000 issue of Natural Home for more on alternative front lawns, including:
· A Variety of Front Lawn Options
· Natural Ways to Remove Turf Lawn