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The American Meadow Garden: Creating a Natural Alternative to the Traditional Lawn

Articles: The American Meadow Garden: Creating a Natural Alternative to the Traditional Lawn

John Greenlee’s newest book is a labor of love. And, as he informs us in the preface, his love is not entirely cerebral: “Grasses are sensual. You can smell them, and hear them, and watch them move. Meadows are sexy, just like lovers—they never stop changing, never ceasing to surprise.”

It’s no surprise, then, that The American Meadow Garden delivers the goods. Eight full, richly detailed chapters provide everything you need to know to create your own meadow garden. The plentiful photographs (another fine showing by Saxon Holt) not only embellish the text, but they inform it. In other words, they are not just hanging around as eye candy to make the book look better; they actually help you understand the concepts being described.

Chapter One, The Lure of the Meadow, opens with a concise defamation of the Western lawn—that demanding, expensive, water-guzzling, and decidedly eco-unfriendly green carpet that may have to be abandoned if the drought really kicks in. Bad lawn! No tap water for you!

Meadows are offered up, in all their beauty and environmental appropriateness, as a satisfying alternative to the great American lawn. Why keep a bad lawn when you can plant a good mea...

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