Pollinator-Friendly Lawns by Thomas Christopher

The weekend before last I had the pleasure of meeting Heather Holm, a great gardener and leading advocate for pollinators from Minneapolis. She has self-published two very useful (and attractive) books: Pollinators of Native Plants (2014) and the multiple-award-winning Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide (2017). Heather told me about her own lawn, which she has overseeded with fine fescues and now mows just three times a year, with a reel mower set to the highest mowing height. This more meadow-like condition has encouraged flowers from her surrounding beds to infiltrate. As well as two species of violets, her lawn now sports woodland phlox, wild geranium and avens. The net result has been to transform this area from a green desert (biologically speaking) to a happy refuge for pollinators. This is one area of the landscape where even a small change in maintenance can have a big impact. A study by US Forest Service of 16 suburban lawns in Springfield, Massachusetts f..
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Monty Don Shines on Netflix

When next-door neighbors combine their front gardens – before and after. Good news! England’s beloved gardening guru Monty Don is now streaming on Netflix with his make-over show Big Dreams Small Spaces. Currently just Season 2 is streaming – six 1-hour episodes, each covering two gardens. Unlike the outdoor make-over shows that HGTV’s programming has devolved to, it’s the right kind of make-over show, produced by people who really know gardening and aren’t trying to fool anyone about how easy it is. I love this show because: Homeowners do all the work themselves, with Monty coaching them every step of the way. First they share their own ideas with Monty and his reaction is possibly the most instructive part of the show. I found his focus on paths particularly helpful – their importance, choosing a route that feels natural, and creating a destination. Next we follow the homeowners as they visit gardens that Monty suggests they see for ideas – gardens chosen based on the style of gard..
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