Friday, May 1, 2015

A Plea for Loving Lawn Weeds


Here's a photo to give lawn fanatics the heebie-jeebies, while it gives our native bees and butterflies good cause to shout "Hurray!"  Yes, I know that both Ground Ivy and Dandelions are introduced non-native species, but they still provide pollen and nectar to our native pollinators craving sustenance in early spring when other, native flowers have yet to bloom.  Molting birds, especially, love Ground Ivy and will roll in it to ease the pain of their feathers poking through, for the minty oils in the leaves are both analgesic and antiseptic.  And oh, aren't these flowers just beautiful!

The stretch of sunny warm weather we've had of late has coaxed both of these lovely lawn "weeds" into bloom at last, while also spurring the growth of useless lawn grass.  Already, I can smell the stench of weedkillers and pesticides and lawnmower exhaust threatening to overpower whatever delicate scents the early flowers are sending forth to entice flying visitors.  Oh please, dear people, it's time to rethink our lawn-care priorities!  Those poisons we spread on our lawns don't kill just the weeds and bugs we despise, they also kill the micro-critters that live in the soil and convert grass clipping and other plant material into the nutrients needed to sustain the health of plants.  Those poisons also enter our homes on the feet of pets and children who don't heed the "Caution: Pesticide Application" signs, and those poisons eventually enter the vital organs of those pets and children to often malignant effect.

So please, let's change our priorities.  Let's learn to love weeds and bugs, and say to hell with grass.  Ground Ivy and violets and speedwells and clover and chickweeds and other little flowering plants can cover our lawns just as well, while also providing food for the pollinators we need for our very own nourishment.  And they will  look much prettier than boring old grass.

7 comments:

swamp4me said...

Yes! I totally agree.

The Furry Gnome said...

Me too!

Elizabeth said...

Our (landlord's) lawn hasn't been mowed yet this spring, and it's absolutely carpeted with violets, spring beauties, and dandelions. I actually walked across what seemed like a mat of tightly woven and blooming violets earlier today. I'll miss those flowers when the mower comes by, but the bees and other creatures are certainly benefiting from them now at least!

Uta said...

Thank you, thank you, we have been following this for as long as I can remember. Our neighbors don't feel that way and spray everything. Since we moved here 26years ago we have less Birds, Butterflies and Bees. What a shame people don't see this.

threecollie said...

Not a fan of lawns either. I have written several columns on how much water they waste and how many needless chemicals are spread on them. Let's hear it for dandelions!

catharus said...

Well said!

Victoria Howell said...

Yes! People need to wake up to what is being done to our earth. I think these lawn pesticides should be illegal. I hardly ever see frogs, newts, turtles and such anymore. They've been wiped out in some places just for the sake of grassy lawns. It's hearbreaking...