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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