If the sun is out, I’ll be outside. Pulling weeds. Waiting for new flowers. Looking for pollinators. Taking pictures. Watering. Stacking rocks. Moving and dividing. Killing more lawn. Planning for next year.
I’m not sure how I became a gardener. I used to be very good at killing plants; so good I volunteered with a bunch of organizations to help control invasive species. I still like to kill bad plants (yesterday, I went on a rogue mission to pull the black swallow-wort in my neighbor’s shrubs before the seed pods burst.. shhhhh!! don’t tell).
For many years, I tossed those “Wildflower Garden” seeds that you buy at box stores along this wall and for many years, I got a lot of crab grass with pink cosmos mixed in. After getting involved with the Native Plant Trust (then known as the New England Wild Flower Society), I started adding native perennials, a few plants each year. Those plants started growing – on their own, coming back every year, re-seeding and spreading – with very little help from me. Nice! So I guess I’m not a gardener, I’m a facilitator, or maybe an enabler or just someone who made some space for the plants to grow where someone else had planted grass for a long time.
According to Doug Tallamy, more than 40 million acres of the United States is covered by lawn. That’s an area the size of New England that we mow down to less than a couple inches. That’s about the combined size of these National Parks: Adirondacks, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Tetons, Canyonlands, Mount Ranier, North Cascades, Badlands, Olympic, Sequoia, Grand Canyon, Denali and the Great Smoky Mountains. Tallamy’s big idea is to restore habitat by creating a HOMEGROWN NATIONAL PARK by getting rid of some lawn and adding native plantings.
It’s a pretty big idea, but also a simple one. While you think about it, I’ll be outside…