Native peoples, proud citizens of many towns and countries, and gardeners the world over know that we can develop deep and rewarding relationships with a particular place. But we don't fall in love with just any old place.
(Design by Kelly Stevens)
What makes a place special enough to touch our hearts?
We tend to move around often in this modern age. The places that stick in our minds, that make their way into our dreams, and that carve out corners in our hearts have at least one of the above qualities, and the more a place has, the dearer it can be.
Here are some ideas for making a landscape you can fall in love with.
- Spend time there daily. If it's not comfortable, make it so.
- Make memories there, big ones and small ones.
- Increase its appeal to all your senses. Add edible elements and good smells. Add a variety of colors and textures. Add areas of light and of coolness. Add appealing views and sounds, and screen out unappealing ones.
- Notice and embrace your land's uniqueness. Celebrate its peculiarities rather than trying to erase them.
- Get to know and accept the other living creatures -- human, plant, and animal -- with whom you share your land.
Love transforms us. Spending time and effort to make your yard a well-loved place can work powerful magic on your life.
Evelyn Hadden's latest book, Beautiful No-Mow Yards : 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives, explores many possibilities for making a more meaningful, comfortable, and livable landscape.
For design inspiration, the book showcases 11 different categories of lawn alternatives from living carpets to shade gardens to ponds and patios and more. Clear instructions explain how to do it, and a dictionary of 100 choice ground-layer plants will get you started.
This post is one of a group of Valentine's Day Tributes to Lawn Alternatives by different garden writers. Visit them all:
- "A Love Letter to Wildlife" - Carole Sevilla Brown: Ecosystem Gardening
- "What Can You Do to Replace Your Lawn?" - Carole Sevilla Brown: Beautiful Wildlife Garden
- "Lawn Anti-Valentine" - Susan Harris: GardenRant
- "Dear Lawn, I'm Breaking Up With You" - Heather Holm: Restoring the Landscape with Native Plants
- "Book Review: Beautiful No-Mow Yards" - Susan Morrison: Blue Planet Garden Blog
- "Just Say NO: 5 Ways to Break Up With Your Lawn" - Debbie Roberts: A Garden of Possibilities
- "Landscapes That Love Us Back" - Evelyn Hadden: Lawn Reform Coalition
- "Lawn Love Letters" - Saxon Holt: Gardening Gone Wild
- "Feature: Beautiful No-Mow Yards" - Timber Press Talks
- "Valentine's Day: a round-up" - Timber Press Talks