Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, February 25, 2008

Every Picture Tells A Story

My next door neighbor's corner lot

A yard around the corner

Rocky outcropping frequent in this neighborhood

Here is the story....most of the folks in my little piece of heaven can't grow grass. We happily mow the faux grass....and lawn mowing services thrive here (the yards are big). Take this rocky slope....do you see grass? Not really.

To be fair, there was more grass like growth before the 2007 drought, but even then it wasn't what a real grass lover would call lawn.

It doesn't make sense to me to try to get turf to grow in this less than friendly to turf environment. Too much work for too little return. So I am searching for low growing carex/sedge alternatives.

A recent article suggests growing native grasses like Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium ) and mowing them until June/July and then letting them go to seed. I better check those weed laws!

If any of you have any thoughts or ideas do please share.



  1. We are not very lawn friendly here, although we do have a small patch that is my better half's hobby. Ground covers for sun or shade, I like to mix them up. The little bluestem is wild here, I let it grow sometimes, but it seeds everywhere. A whole spread of it would look stupendous, the seeding would not be a problem. Good luck!

    Frances at Faire Garden

  2. Frances,

    Neither am I am that is why I look toward the native grasses and sedges. I bet little b is here and I haven't paid enough attention and it was mowed down.


    If you only knew how much liriopi I gave away. It is nice in the right garden but here it looks out of place. Now if only I could eradicate the vincas that previous owners planted.

    thank you both,


  3. Hi Gail
    That is one tough area to plant !
    I am determined to get rid of the little bit of lawn we have in the front .. with natural slate stones randomely placed and "stepable" hrbs/plants low profile as not to compete with my raised bed .
    I love ornamental grasses and have fescue,small fountain ones etc .. and ferns for shady areas.
    Good luck with finding the right one .. you will know it straight away !

  4. gardenjoy,

    I look forward to seeing your steppables...sounds like a good plan.

    It has been an adventure in this garden or maybe a journey, how about an adventurous journey.


  5. i hear you gail. in the right place. but i think you could grow grass there. but like you said, too much work.

    my sympathy on the vinca. stupid me, i did it to myself and can't blame the former owners for planting it! and to think one year i really thought it was all going to die out! it wouldn't be so bad if it didn't climb and smother everything. i mean it is pretty.lol

  6. Tina,

    While I think huge expanses of grass are a waste of gardening space! I think that grass edging my woodland would look great...a nice juxtaposition.


  7. I didn't realize you had a blog too!

    Wow, I thought I had it bad up here. All we have is sand. I'll have to see if I can find a picture of my yard. It should looka lot better this year. Wouldn't it be nice if we could just mix our yards together? Some clay and some sand is nice, but when it's all or nothing it gets a bit rough!

  8. Low growing step-ables here...Lysimachia nummularia (I got from a gardener while in Nashville), Mazus reptans, Fragaria (?) blooming strawberry, and more Sedum than you can shake a stick at.

    Try to visit a rock garden in your area.

  9. cinj.

    Yes I am very new at blogging...sand and clay,we might end up with concrete! Yikes!


    I have been thinking about sedums, they are some of my favorite plants...I especially like the idea of the frageria/strawberry..I like mazus, too.



  10. Great blog. I will be back to visit.

  11. hmmmmm--thinking---Stepables had a website you can look at. Some are drought tolerant. I have some wormwood growing that surved the worst of droughts. It's a silvery sage color and would be pretty with the rock. Sedums are a good idea too. Be careful with the sedges--some like lots of water. There is a purple lantana that would grow but I think it's only hardy to zone 7. It might be worth the try for summer color. Lorapedalums would look pretty on that hill. It's shrub and comes in lots of different sizes. I got a bunch of them and they took the drought and kept on giving. They have a purple leaf that is just stunning. They are everygreen/purple here. Blue Creeper--is it juniper? or cedar--my mind went blank. I'll have to google that to see what it's called. The Lorapedalums and Blue Star?Creeper would be pretty together.

  12. Hi,
    thanks for the help with my mystery plant.
    I have always found here to go with the natives and they usual come through all sorts of weather problems.

  13. Hi,
    I'm back again, I've been thinking about your garden....would prarie planting work. You could use native grasses and flowers that would tolerate your soil and plant them in drifts. I have seen it done and it looks stunning. Not knowing what grows where you live I can't advise you on that.

  14. Anna,

    You are the best...don't fall into an internet rabbit hole...I start to look at something and before I know it I am looking at something else and have been on the computer for more time than I care to admit to!


    Glad to help and welcome to my Nashville garden. What are your garden conditions like?



"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson