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Rethink the Lawn

The lawn is a gift of the English garden tradition from the eighteenth century.

Early America loved the lawn.

Philadelphia horticulturist and writer Thomas Meahan praised the lawn in the 1861 edition of his garden magazine, Gardener’s Monthly.

He wrote, “The management and care of the lawn is of first importance.

“it is to the lawn more than to any other part that we owe the highest pleasures of gardening.”

He chose pretty strong words to give the reader support and encouragement in including a lawn in the landscape.

Given the recent hot weather and high humidity that have struck much of the country, maybe it’s time to rethink the lawn one more time. The maintenance and the amount of water the lawn require could be used elsewhere in the garden.

What can we do about the lawn? Could we plant something else instead of grass?

I have seen vegetables fill what was once the front lawn area.

Last week I visited a garden on the New England Hosta Society annual summer tour.

The owner had a section of the garden planted in thyme. The variety was ‘Woolly.’

Looked fabulous. [below]

‘Woolly’ Thyme

Garden writer Bonnie L. Grant writes about this variety of thyme on her blog.

She says, “There are plants you just want to touch, and a woolly thyme plant (Thymus pseudolanuginosus) is one of them.

“Woolly thyme is a perennial herb, with medicinal and culinary uses in addition to ornamental use. Try growing woolly thyme in the cracks between paving stones, along a gravel path.”

You can read more about this thyme variety on her blog Gardening Know How.  

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