Flowering Native and Alien Vounteers Beautify My Yard

Driving up through the Pennsylvania mountains today we saw that the redbud trees were in full bloom. What a beautiful sight to see their purple blossoms all along the highway. Keep your eyes on the road, but look for nature’s beauty – she’s everywhere!

Common cinquefoil is beautifying our backyard this morning. For a week or so there will be these little bright yellow spots dotting the landscape. Of course I could go out and pull it up after the flowering so that more grass could grow on the lawn, but we don’t care too much for mowing the grass. The cinquefoil stays.

I actually look forward to all the wild flowers that spring up in the yard. We’re located on a mountain ridge in a forest clearing so there’s plenty of volunteers that come up in the areas without trees. I delight in seeing them all – No planting needed!

The series of spring flowering volunteers include

  • dandelion
  • – Is this the most commonly recognized flowering plant on the face of the planet?

  • ground ivy
  • Pennsylvania bittercress
  • thyme-leaved speedwell
  • garlic mustard
  • northern downy violet
  • arrowleaf violet
  • common blue violet
  • cinquefoil
  • mustard
  • strawberry
  • yellow hawkweed

Ok, some of my happy volunteers are aliens, but now they live here, too. The true American yard should be a melting pot, don’t you think? I admit to pulling up the really invasive garlic mustard every chance I get because I don’t want it to totally take over our spaces.

We’re not in the right ecosystem to have a perfectly manicured grassy lawn. For that you’d have to be back in the UK where the weather is much more conducive to keeping the grass green.

In the interest of going green I’m not going to spread chemicals and work my hands to the bone trying to force the grass to grow. Save your money, your water and your time and let the natives take over the landscape.

If I lived in a planned neighborhood and everybody on the street had nice green lawns, I’m sure that mine would stick out from the rest. As it stands now our vegetable garden is in the front yard as that is where the best sun shines. I say, “Dare to be different!” – it’s the only way to make progress in the war against the lemming-like behavior of suburban inhabitants.

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