Lawns in the habitat garden

Our baby on the lawn ©Janet AllenOur baby on the lawn (of our former house) when we used to treat it with chemicals …
What could we have been thinking?

For the first fifteen years or so we lived here in our present house — even though we had a vegetable garden and some flower borders — we still had quite a bit of lawn.

When I think back at our lawn practices, I'm horrified! What seems so obviously bad now just seemed like normal yard care back then—just a way of being a responsible citizen. For a few years, we even had a lawn service so we, too, could have a perfect lawn, the hallmark of suburban life.

We finally realized we could have a less environmentally damaging lawn if we were willing to accept a "good enough" lawn. To us this means that it's green and we can walk on it. We also reduced the size of our lawns, leaving space for more useful vegetation.

Ironically, once we stopped treating it, leaving the grass clippings on the lawn, our lawn (reduced in size though it is) has done just fine and is pretty comparable to others in the neighborhood, and even better than some.

Here are some ways we've changed our lawn practices over the years—and why:

We especially appreciate the sentiments in this funny lawn story and especially in this poem.