Growing a Meadow Garden

This might sound crazy, but I’m not mowing a big chunk of my lawn this year.  I’m not alone.  There’s a movement across the US to move toward no mow, low-maintenance lawns.  At close to 2 acres, my lawn requires a bit of time each week to keep it looking well groomed, and while I’m not making the entire lawn “no mow”, this will help free up more time that could be spent doing more enjoyable things.  Here’s my long-term plan:

First, let me describe my future meadow garden.  If you were to divide my property into four smaller rectangles, my house and garage would be in the northeast rectangle facing north.  The location of my future meadow is on the west side of my property.  For now, I’ll still have a traditional yard around my house.

This first year I’m focusing on cultivating the existing plants and planting the fruit trees that will become the anchors of the future garden.  I say I’m going to “cultivate” my new meadow garden because it will take some tending.  There are quite a few invasive species in the area that could easily take over the area if left unchecked and choke out native species.  This first year will help me see what I’m up against.

Over the coming years I want to add pollinator-friendly perennials, grasses, and shrubs around the trees to create islands of color around the trees and start to fill the area. I’m envisioning an area with winding paths, secluded spots with seating, and views fit for Bilbo Baggins.

Ultimately, that’s what I’m shooting for as a goal.  Picture the countryside in a Victorian drama, an orchard in the 1700s, or … the Shire.  Who wouldn’t want to take off their shoes and relax like a hobbit?

Images via Pxhere