I have a tiny patch of “lawn” in my front yard. It looks horrible. It is the one place I want grass and the one place it does not grow. Also, I am sick of mowing what little is there. So I began to do research on grass seed and lawn alternatives. I found a local seed company called Hobbs & Hopkins Pro-Time and was blown away by all the options they have. Whether you want a manicured, golf course look or a bucolic flowery scene you rarely or never have to mow; even nativegrass and wildflower seed mixes: they have it.
Seed varieties change from year to year, to maximize the quality of product. For those of us who want a look of lawn, without all the care and resources put into it, they have many choices.
Most of the eco-lawn mixes have microclover in them. This, coupled with other plants (including dwarf fescues) insures that the lawn stays healthy with very little maintenance. The clover “feeds” nitrogen into the soil so that whenthe grasses are not dormant they are lush and green. Microclover also keeps the lawn green all year round and requires very little fertilizer and irrigation.
The Rough & Ready mix, a personal favorite, has a beautiful texture. Once fully established and mowed it looks like an impressionist painting. The texture seems to reflect light and almost gives the appearance of water undulating. Fleur de Lawn, developed with Oregon State, has received much attention recently. This mix m
akes me think of the ideal meadow: soft, quiet, with delicate flowers to weave into daisy chains and sweet smells all around.
I decided on the Fragrant Herbal for my front yard’s soul-patch. I like the idea of smelling chamomile when lying on the lawn, and I choose when or if at all to mow it. Apparently, mowing makes it release even more fragrance and it can be maintained with little water and no fertilizer. More to come as I work from the front to the back!