the lawn debate...

We are lucky to have a shady, green urban backyard. It's not huge, but it's cozy and lush with three large oak trees and a towering pine. Because it is a shade garden we stick to hydrangeas, hosta and ferns. I actually love the lushness of a green shady garden.


One problem we have had is with grass. It is very difficult to maintain a lawn in a yard with thirsty trees, lots of shade and urban critters like squirrels and raccoons digging away. 

There has been an ongoing debate in our house about what to do with our "lawn" which is more dirt than grass. John would love to install maintenance free faux grass {insert GASP here}. I would not. You either love the idea or you don't. I'm sorry, I just can't get past the idea of plastic grass. If grass is not meant to grow there then find something that can. So that's what I vowed to do and I did. 

Enter Clover. Your new best friend. It's green. It's soft to walk on. It's pretty. It can withstand traffic and bouts of dryness. It grows fast! I'm so excited. Who knew I'd be so excited by this?

This is our "lawn" with the new clover growing. 

Because it's a seed, we do need to add more to fill in some spaces but it's coming along quite nicely. The great thing is that when a squirrel digs away at it you can just sprinkle more seed and voila! approximately 7 days later you have green.

Clover is much more environmentally friendly than grass because it needs less water. Once it's established you (apparently) don't need to water it as much. I also learned that clover, especially red clover, is great for bee's. With declining bee populations adding a little clover seed to your lawn could help the bee's a little.

So there you go. That's my green thumb advice for your lawn. Wish me (and the clover) luck. I hope it lives up to it's reputation. I'll let you know later this summer how it's doing and whether I'm still winning the debate(wink).

PS. I bought a bag of seeds for $10 at Plant World, my local garden centre. 

Here are a few links with information on establishing clover and other lawn alternatives.

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