Field of Flowers
This is part of our front lawn. We are trying to make the most of how it is being used. Right now we've just left it alone, allowing a natural cycle of growth. We have a lot of clover that grows, blooms, dies and decomposes adding valuable nutrients back into the soil. The same goes for other winter "weeds" which includes the loathed henbit.
You see, there are beneficial insects that depend on areas where there are things in bloom throughout most of the year. Honeybees and butterflies are just to name a few of those who are seeking nectar. By allowing our lawn to go through the natural process, we've had something blooming in it at all times since February.
Our current bloomer is oxalis. It has really taken off this year. The waves of yellow are quite pleasing to view. So that makes the third color... first was purple (henbit), then white (clover), and currently yellow (oxalis). In the midst of all of it are bits of blue tiny flowers that I still need to identify. Seeing the population of ladybugs, bumblebees, butterflies and honeybees increase since we moved here 3 years ago amazes me. I think word is getting around that we have a pretty nice place to feast free of chemicals!
The photo here is like playing "Where's Waldo?" (click photo to enlarge) There is a honeybee on one of the flowers. Between the bee not wanting to pose and my camera's slow speed, the timing was a challenge. The bees were hopping from one flower to the next WAY before I could get focused. So 10 picture failures later...this is it!
We DO want to continue to add plants and trees to our lawn that will both feed us and them. Our plan is to build low water usage beds that will give habitat for butterflies and encourage building their population.
Maybe if we lived with a tiny patch of lawn, then having it in a condition that best worked with our needs, we would make different choices. Neighbors may not be so happy with you in a nice suburban-pristine-lawn subdivision. But, better choices could be made by considering what you are truly impacting negatively by having a basically sterile lawn. Considering a perennial bed (even if you can only in the back yard) will help. Since we are on a few acres, it just didn't seem right to sterilize the whole yard, just for the sake of aesthetics. With CCD on the rise for bees and a marked decline in other beneficial insects, our choices DO count.
Plus... it makes life just a bit more colorful I think. Now, we do mow as to not let it get too tall, and it seems we have more flowers than the fields around us. It's either that or the horses and cows have eaten all of the flowers. :)