Will the Great American Lawn get a Make-over?

by Susan Harris
You bet it’ll get a make-over –  if the Lawn Reform Coalition has anything to say about it.  They’re a group of garden communicators from around the country who’ve been ranting about chemically treated lawns and raving about alternatives to conventional turfgrasses for years now, as individuals.   Now they’ve joined up to create a website and blog where in one place readers can find information about: ways to reduce or eliminate lawn, regionally appropriate lawn species, and eco-friendly care for all lawns.

For starters, how about some visions of lawnless or small-lawn gardens?

Perennial-filled front yard in Chicago.

A "lawn" of Prairie Dropseed at Chanticleer Garden in PA, sprinkled with Baptisia in bloom.

In this California garden, a small turf-like area is covered with Carex pansa.

A real gardener fills her front yard with perennials. This one's in Austin, TX.

Grasses here include Leymus condensatus 'Canyon Prince' and Bonsai fescue

WHO’S WHO IN THE LAWN REFORM COALITION
Okay full disclosure, I’m one of the Coalition members, having gotten rid of my own lawn a few years ago, but I promise we’re NOT anti-lawn.  We take a big-tent approach by encouraging not just lawn replacement but also better types of  lawn and natural lawn care, too.  So the group includes Paul Tukey, the Maine-based garden writer/crusader for the elimination of pesticide use on lawns (he’s spoken at Homestead).  And Tom Christopher, author of Waterwise Gardening.   And Evelyn Hadden, whose Less Lawn website and book started us all thinking about this 10 years ago.   Here’s the list of all 13 of us, with bios.

GET INVOLVED
If you like the look of these gardens, or simply want to make sure your lawn is “eco-friendly”, follow the Lawn  Reform movement by subscribing to the blog, “liking” Lawn Reform on Facebook, or perusing photos on the Flickr group.

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