My Ironic Natural Landscaping Twist


Getting rid of lawn expanses

Several years ago, we decided to limit the amount of lawn we were having to mow. The children had grown and moved out and we no longer needed a large area for playing catch or otherwise running around.

Our first tendency was to mow pathways through the lawn, letting other patches grow and become meadow-like. Unfortunately, as much as we enjoyed the look, feel, and sound of this, we found that it was blatantly against the law. The Ohio Revised Code (at the time) stated that our “lawn” could be no taller than 12 inches. We received our first “Mow it, or we will and then charge you” letter.

I tried laying it down flat, but was told it was still long and needed to be mowed. My heart broke as we had a friend mow it for us. I set about learning all I could about the laws pertaining to private property gardens. We also decided to intentionally create a more wildlife-friendly garden and to try to produce more food for ourselves.

chicory loving insects

Slowly but surely, we have transformed those grass gardens into beds of a growing diversity of plants—many of them natives. One of the largest aids to our transformations was to discover that we could obtain free mulch delivered through our tree arborists. The downside is that these arborist chips can contain things like black walnut which is toxic to some plants. A definite benefit is that we have a never-ending supply to do with what we choose.

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