Landscape designer Owen Wormser is making the case for turning lawns into meadows in his new book. In a world where lawns have wreaked havoc on our natural ecosystems, meadows offer a compelling solution: they establish wildlife and pollinator habitats. They’re low-maintenance and low-cost. They have a built-in resilience that helps them weather climate extremes, and they can draw down and store far more carbon dioxide than any manicured lawn. In his new book, Lawns Into Meadows, Owen Wormser creates a clear guide for experienced and beginner gardeners alike to transform their monocrop lawns into beautiful, life-giving meadows.
Douglas W. Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home and Nature's Best Hope wrote, "It’s time to rebuild meadows wherever we can, including the deadscape we call lawn. Owen Wormser explains why, and how to do this, with oodles of highly readable, ecologically sound advice."
Lawns into Meadows by Owen Wormser
Growing a regenerative landscape
I give this book 9 out of 10 acorns. Great book.
If you are interested in turning your lawn into a beautiful, sustainable, wildlife promoting, greenhouse gas limiting, pollination supporting meadow, this is the book for you.
He starts off explaining about how he became interested in meadows. He explains the benefits of them, why we don’t have as many as we used to, and why having more meadows would make us a healthier and more beautiful society. Wormser talks about why some people have not succeeded in making meadows work, and what are the crucial sequences that make them easier to create. He talks about soil, hardiness, sunlight and weeds. Then he goes into detail on several of the most crucial grasses and flowers that can be grown in a meadow and when to choose them. He talks about preparing the field, planting, maintaining the meadow, how to connect with the community, and answers questions that will likely come up.
The only criticism I would have of the book is if you were looking for edible or medicinal qualities of meadow plants, there is not much information here about that. Wormser never intended for it to be that kind of book, so it’s really more of a clarification than a criticism.
Overall, this book does an excellent job of giving you the information you need to start a meadow.
It's simple and basic, the whyand the how of replacing the modern practice of mowing lawns with planting and maintaining wildflower meadows instead. Not just theory, this book is drawn from the New England-based author's experience consulting with clients and turning their lawns and landscapes into soil-restoring, wildlife- and pollinator-friendly places, even in the suburbs.
This is the book where I learned we've lost 90% of the monarchs that there were when I was a kid. I knew I had to do something after reading that, for sure! Planting good plants and not mowing them is the something. This book gives lots of ideas for doing that, of course, including a bit of advice on personalizing your meadow design, and particularly profiles 4 grasses and 17 flowers as excellent meadow choices. Each of the plant profiles includes a lovely illustration--an elegant and realistic line-drawing to help you visualize the plant discussed.
Then the author covers prep, planting, and upkeep of your meadow. Also--there's a cheerful and practical section on "community building" to help readers generate awareness and support of this topic in their areas, and deflect potential criticism, etc. A very useful Q&A section precedes the acknowledgements and notes at the back of the book. It is such a complete volume on the topic, it's amazing this all fits in 157 pages.
“Every human activity is an opportunity to bear fruit and is a continual invitation to exercise the human freedom to create abundance...” ― Andreas Widmer
The fastest and most reliable components of any system are those that are not there. Tiny ad:
Carbon Negative Mass Heaters - Alan Booker Webinar Recording and Slides