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Beautiful No-Mow Yards: 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives Paperback – March 6, 2012
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"... hands down one of the best garden writers I've had the pleasure of reading. I have a large library of gardening books, most with excellent content, but few rival the elegant and graceful prose of Beautiful No-Mow Yards." - (Garden Up! co-author Susan Morrison, Blue Planet Garden Blog)
"... an abundance of beautiful and inspiring photos that clearly illustrate all of the author's suggestions. Readers who are intent on eliminating the traditional lawn will be delighted by the endless possibilities they will find in this timely publication." (Allan Becker, BookPleasures)
"A well-written book, appealing and generous with information, and worth adding to the library." (Jill Billington, Gardens Illustrated)
"Beautiful No-Mow Yards showcases numerous eco-friendly alternatives to that voracious green turf... With drought and the likelihood of hosepipe bans forcing many of us to reconsider our gardening strategies, this book is a useful addition to our library." (Sarah Milliken, Garden Design Journal)
From the Author
Hi. I'm Evelyn Hadden, and I wrote Beautiful No-Mow Yards to show you that you have a lot of alternatives to that boring, lifeless lawn.
Part 1 offers design inspiration, with a chapter devoted to each of the following: shade gardens, living carpets, prairie and meadow gardens, patios, rain gardens, play areas, ponds, xeric gardens, stroll gardens, edible gardens, and smarter lawns. In these chapters you'll meet gardeners from coast to coast and learn from their successes.
For instance, Marte planted a different groundcover under each of her trees. Tom and Karen dine outdoors all summer with a lively prairie garden as the floor show. Jay fills his woodland garden with nonstop color, and showy natives bloom under Michelle's mature maple trees. Lisa replaced her whole back lawn with a pond. Julie's family built a patio for pennies. Roy and Rosadelia grow food in their elegant front yard. Ann and Roger's low-care lawn uses half the water of standard turfgrass, while Peggy only mows hers once a year.
You may mow to give your kids a place to run, but for healthy brains and bodies, they also need to climb, to make their own dens, and to interact with plants and animals. Learn from the experts how to find and make creativity-boosting play areas for your kids.
Now that you're inspired, Part 2 shows you how to get there, helping you convert your lawn to topsoil, add life to your design, and make sure that mother nature does more of the work than you do. It even gives tips for making your lawn more self-sustaining. Part 3 introduces 100 choice ground-layer plants, with clues to their behavior to help you site and combine them successfully.
Not all the plants, designs, or strategies presented throughout the book will work for every site or region, but you'll find enough information to make more educated choices about what might work best for your particular site and your style of gardening.
The message of this book, in a nutshell, is that no-mow yards support more life -- not only wildlife, but your family's life outdoors. That's my wish for all of us.
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The book comes in three sections. The first section, about half the book, are descriptions and illustrations of over 50 beautiful garden spaces that once were lawns and now are filled with a wide variety of plants. The locations are spread from Minnesota to Wisconsin to California, with enough information and examples given to enable gardeners in every state to benefit. Many of the images are beautiful closeups of the plant. There are enough wide angle shots to keep most of us happy. Several of these examples were designed and planted by professionals who specialize in creating non grass areas. The second section is how to kill of your old tired bluegrass or other base plants. Mrs. Hadden emphasizes non chemical means like mulch or biodegradable fabric or newspaper and cardboard. Very generalized suggestions for planting techniques are made. These suggestions have to be very general in a book aimed nationwide. The third section is lists and descriptions of several different plants grouped by purpose.
The book is well and clearly written. It reads well, although there is much information scattered through the text. It has a index. And the organization is well done so that much information can be refound by referencing the table of contents.
Mrs. Hadden leans toward common, native plants. Her plant selection, while excellent, includes several that are garden thugs and very invasive, although that is a property desired for some locations. In the third section, the plants descriptions, she does include zone information. But the user of this book would be well advised to select the plants for their zone, habitat and range carefully. Mrs. Hadden does also state this repeatedly in the text. I do like her pushing us to use natives as they blend in better with our various niches and pollinators.
This book is an excellent overview of moving into non blue grass landscaping. A good buy.
in this book can save us a lot of grief in the long run. It isn't as easy as one might
think to go from 'grass to ground cover' without getting out of our depth. Are there any
local community restrictions? Will the neighbors object? All points are considered.