Actually you know what. Just don’t mow. Get rid of your lawnmower. Turn your whole yard into a wildflower field or an edible garden. Lawns are the invention of the upper class to show wealth through wasted plots of grass that is meticulously tended for no reason other than to be grass. It’s literally an empty plot of land they kept because they had so much money they didn’t need it to grow food. Not using a yard as just a yard is an act of rebellion.
One of the main industries still supporting lawns is chemical pest control companies, and they’re also responsible for the insecticides that crashed the bird populations in the 40s and 50s as well as a lot of what’s killing bees and butterflies now. The herbicides they produce specifically targets “bad” plants like dandelions, buttercups, and clovers, which are plants bees rely on for early spring feeding. Grass is just grass; it would be great for feeding small mammals if people would let it grow more than three inches, but they won’t.
So, yeah. Kill lawnmower culture. Plant some native flowers. Grow some vegetables and fruit trees. Put out bird feeders and bee sugar spots and homes for both. Be kind to bugs and birds and rabbits and opossums and whoever else might wander by. Make your neighborhood a lot more beautiful.
I took these pictures this morning in my front and back yards. It's the time of year when winter vegetables set seed. The Leeks are flowering in the front garden. Their flower heads look like fireworks exploding. The Radicchio is setting beautiful blue flowers, their flower stalks are spindly and other wordily and so pretty! I love this plant in every stage of development. Celery seed is starting to dry on the plant, and fennel seed too. Both of these plants I grow primarily to use the seeds as spices. I love making celery salt, it’s one of my favorite flavors. And fennel seed is a delicious flavoring in home made sausage, even veggie sausage.
We’ve got green tomatoes on all of our plants; Cherokee Purple, Brandywine, Isis Candy, and Patio among others. I love summertime mostly because of tomatoes. We’ve been harvesting Sun Gold since last week. I gently pinch the center of the tomato flowers to get the plants to set more fruit. It works!
I planted Haricot Vert and Yellow wax beans at my friend’s house, who’s on vacation. We’ve been harvesting beans whenever we go there to water. She has patty pan squash, and Moon and Stars watermelon and Butternut squash trailing across her back yard garden.
Our Tuscan Kale has been mulched with a layer of straw and is going strong in the summer heat. We also have Purple Ruffle Kale and Green Curly Kale.
The Cripps Pink, aka “Pink Lady” apple tree has 2-4 little green apples on each branch. The grapes are setting fruit, and the passionflower vine is covered with passions fruits. I have no idea what to do with these, it’s my first time growing them. The blueberries are done, but the blackberries are starting to set flowers again. Our strawberries are doing great. I keep harvesting them in order for the plant to keep going. I look forward to this every day.
There are three varieties of Eggplant in our garden; Rosa Bianca, Casper and Little Fingers, which is a very creepy name for a vegetable. All are doing well. They love the sunshine and heat.
Purple Basil, Thai Basil, and Genovese Basil are growing strong. We made pesto from the Genovese the other night, it was delicious.
Tarragon has gone wild, it’s huge! I’ll clip a few stems off and hang them to dry because there’s no way I’m going to use it all this summer.
Today I’m planting out squash I started from seed, and more tomatoes in a new bed I made where a dying tree had to be cut down a few weeks ago. I’m sad to see the tree go, it was really big and shady, but happy to have more garden space.