change your lawn, change your life
August 15, 2019. By Isara Ongwiseth: When we started replacing turf-grass lawns, we focused on the the return on investment we knew we could promise. Water savings. Time and money too. Of course, on the design side, we knew we could increase curb appeal. There was something more, but it was hard to put into words – and we thought we might get a bit of side-eye if we tried!
This year, luckily, clients put it into words for us. We began to notice that when we ask about the returns they see from a lawn replacement, they turn away from the nitty gritty and speak to how they spend their time.
For example, Art of the Garden Tour homeowners Tom and Bea Schumacher spoke to their lawned-life and what life is like now that they have lawn freedom.
“Replacing our lawn with native plants has opened our eyes to how lawns require a schedule of mundane, repetitive activity that adds sound and air pollution to our neighborhood. Whether we, or a gardener maintained the lawn, the labor involved only kept the status quo. Now we enjoy discovering daily colorful growth, from our veggie garden to the seasonal flowers and variegated leaves that make us realize the quality of our garden experience is much more charming than our lawn ever was.”
After going completely lawn free in both the back and front gardens, Tom and Bea now engage with the garden in new ways. The front garden is a place to wander and experiment. Neighbors stop to compliment the fragrance of the salvia, roses and citrus trees or to just say hi. The back is a cozy, shaded retreat with an ample edible garden.
Similarly, Native Plant Garden Tour homeowners Vickie and Alex Taylor enjoy fresh produce from their edible gardens and and the wildlife attracted to natives in the backyard. Whether checking on the progress of plants or simply relaxing, Vickie also notices a change in how she spends her time.
“I had those same two chairs in the same place when we had a lawn. We never used them. It just wasn’t relaxing. Now it’s my favorite spot. I have a hard time going inside!”
Unlike the Schumachers, the Taylors did not go completely lawn free. They opted for an IdealMow meadow of Carex pansa in the front garden. Because it looks lovely (maybe loveliest?) at it’s full length, the Taylors have also escaped the mundanity lawned-life. Instead, they can simply enjoy watching waves of grass move with the breeze.
While we’ve always been extremely satisfied with the data-driven results of lawn replacements, it is these stories that motivate us. It’s one thing to give people more beauty, another to be able to provide a better life. Thank you for helping us understand that is what we are really doing!