Beautiful No-Mow Yards: 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives (Anglais) Broché – 15 février 2012
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Beautiful No-Mow Yards showcases numerous eco-friendly alternatives to that voracious green turf... With drought and the likelihood of hosepipe bans forcing many of us to reconsider our gardening strategies, this book is a useful addition to our library. --Sarah Milliken, Garden Design Journal
If you are a lawn fanatic perhaps this is not the book for you, but if you want to try to reduce your lawned area to experience and cultivate more glorious plants or because you are more eco-minded, there is much to stimulate your interest. --Reckless Gardener
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
In the last year or so, we're hearing that there are better uses for our land than turfgrass, that unless it's needed for sport or play, you can save on resources and probably your labor, too, by switching to an array of alternatives - meadows, vegetable gardens, native grasses, and so on.
All good! Well, mostly good - because that well-intentioned advice isn't easy to actually implement, without a LOT more information. Which groundcovers? Which native grasses - and native to where, anyway? How much do the alternatives cost, can they be walked on, and how much work does it really take to maintain them?
My mixed reviews of much of the lawn-free cheering has me wildly cheering the thoroughly researched and honestly reported definitive book about reducing or eliminating lawns by Evelyn Hadden. Beautiful No-Mow Yards contains exactly the kind of info that's needed, and its gorgeous photographs (most by Evelyn and the wonderful Saxon Holt, too) are deeply inspirational to anyone looking to make their yards more interesting, more beautiful, and more wildlife-friendly.
Readers of GardenRant are no strangers to this subject, but may not be familiar with the author. Well, Evelyn is THE original lawn reformer, having written Shrink Your Lawn and created the Less Lawn website back in 2001. She's a pioneer whose cause has caught on.
What's in Beautiful No-Mow Yards
Photos and stories about gardens sunny and shady, flat and hilly, a "shockingly simple meadow garden", a "patio for pennies", rain gardens, edibles, ponds, terraces, hellstrips and more.
"Smarter lawns" using fine fescue mixes, carexes, and other low-resource grass types, including where each type works best and what it takes to install and maintain them.
Real gardeners and the truth about their attempts to replace their lawns, failures and all.
How-to chapters for killing the lawn, designing alternatives, and maintaining them.
An illustrated guide to groundcovers by type.
It's a important, beautiful, and superbly written. Great job!
Hadden begins by talking about living carpets, plants that will form a thick groundcover and give that same open look that a lawn does, while growing tall enough to suppress weeds. She then moves into talking about shade gardens, meadow and prairie gardens, and rain gardens, giving some solutions for each type of space.
Her section on patios includes some helpful photos which give inspiration on some different styles for designing the patio, as well as a lot of practical tips for designing that most people wouldn't think about until AFTER they made a design mistake with unfortunate maintenance or aesthetic consequences. I also really liked her section on play areas, which included some unusual natural spaces that would encourage kids and grown-ups alike to want to be outdoors.
In her section on ponds, Hadden cleverly points out that "a pond can outperform a lawn as a low, open expanse to look across from your home or patio, bringing light, movement, wildlife, and possibilities for play into your garden." This is something that I've seen in my own landscape design practice. In small or skinny areas where maintaining a small lawn can be a real chore, a pond, either natural or in a geometric shape, can instantly add a huge amount of design appeal, yet takes about the same amount of time each month to maintain as a lawn. Most people don't even think of a pond as a lawn alternative, yet it is an elegant and dramatic one.
She also discusses xeric gardens, edible gardens, stroll gardens, and smarter lawns which get a more lawn-like effect without needing so much mowing or care. Towards the end, she talks honestly and clearly about the installation and maintenance processes of some of the techniques she espouses (a refreshing change from many design books, which act as though gardens just maintain themselves), and then has a small encyclopedia, about 30 pages long, of recommended plants. While plant choices in a general sense are so specific to each region, the author does a good job of covering a variety of plants that do well across the country. You will still need to check her recommendations with a local landscape consultant or nursery to make sure that these plants will grow well in your region, but that is the case with plant recommendations in any book.
I have two minor complaints. First, the text is printed smaller than I'd like and is printed in a brown color that is harder to read than black, which leads me to think that perhaps this would be better as a digital edition than on paper, so you can adjust the text size if needed. Second, I wish the publisher had worked with the author to find more photos of design solutions. While there are beautiful photographs on every page, about half of the photos are close-ups of plants or don't reflect the new ideas the author is sharing in her text. I would have liked about half of the photos replaced with more effective ones.
However, the text itself is outstanding; thoughtful, detailed, horticulturally accurate and full of innovative ideas. I love the author's emphasis on environmentally friendly techniques for installing and maintaining your new lawn free space. And I really liked the sheer number of inspiring ideas and different approaches that she suggested. I think that if this book goes into a second edition, I'd recommend a larger hardcover format with glossy pages that would allow the hopefully expanded selection of photographs to shine even better, and the text to have enough space to be more easily scannable.
Overall, if you're a homeowner looking to replace your lawn with something a little bit more useful and interesting, this book would be a great place to start. You'll find the author answers nearly any question you might have about the different styles of garden or planting you'll be considering for your new garden space, so your book will end up dogeared and well used.
If I had unlimited resources and space, I would have kept the book but since limited funds and didn't see as how-to resource to reference regularly had to retun. Would purchase as ebook if price was right!