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European lawns

Gardening, Random Fun Stuff, Travel By June 21, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

On our trip I quickly realized something amazing. The thing that I have been referring to as a polyculture lawn exists in Europe. They just call it a lawn there.

Okay, okay, I didn’t see all of Europe. I just saw Paris and a good chunk of Southern Ireland, but everywhere we went I saw lawns thriving that looked exactly like what I’m shooting for with our own lawn, blends of grass and clover and flowering ground covers (mostly English Daisy, a ground cover I became so enchanted with I ordered seeds for it it include in our own lawn, hopefully it will grow here). And it wasn’t just in casual locations, even the lawns in the gardens of Versailles were polycultures! In a place where they meticulously trim hundreds of boxwoods into intricate patterns and stately mazes, they are not compelled to make sure nothing but grass grows in their lawns.

It was so prevalent, I wondered if it was intentional. Do all European grass blends come pre mixed with clover and English Daisy? From Blarney Castle to the Jardin des Plantes, polyculture lawns were everywhere we went on our trip. Do Europeans think our monocropped lawns are ridiculous when they come here? Do they notice them at all? I don’t know, but I took a ton of photos to show just how lovely it can be, and to give anyone who doesn’t totally get it an idea of what I’m going for. Enjoy!

Polyculture lawns in Europe

A lawn at a playground near the science museum in Paris.

Here's another lawn from around Paris.

Here’s another lawn from around Paris.

Here's another from around Paris

Here’s another from around Paris

Another Paris lawn in a public garden.

Another Paris lawn in a public garden.

From a distance, the species variety is hardly noticeable.

From a distance, the species variety is hardly noticeable.

This lawn was at a park near Baby Kennan's home in Paris.

This lawn was at a park near Baby Kennan’s home in Paris.

Here's a lawn near some castle ruins in Ireland. Freja loved picking the flowers out of the lawns.

Here’s a lawn near some castle ruins in Ireland. Freja loved picking the flowers out of the lawns.

In this charming photo of my kids, Freja is showing off a bouquet of English Daisy she picked out of the lawns at Blarney Castle. Don't ask me what Elijah is doing. He's weird.

In this charming photo of my kids, Freja is showing off a bouquet of English Daisy she picked out of the lawns at Blarney Castle. Don’t ask me what Elijah is doing. He’s weird.

At Blarney Castle (which was surrounded by beautiful, impressive gardens you could spend all day in), many of the lawns were full of what I think were ramps! There was an intoxicating floral garlic smell everywhere that wasn't so much Italian restaurant as much as maybe allium garden? I don't know, it's hard to explain but it was nice.

At Blarney Castle (which was surrounded by beautiful, impressive gardens you could spend all day in), many of the lawns were full of what I think were ramps! There was an intoxicating floral garlic smell everywhere that wasn’t so much Italian restaurant as much as maybe allium garden? I don’t know, it’s hard to explain but it was nice.

Here's a closeup of that same lawn.

Here’s a closeup of that same lawn.

Back in France, here is a lovely lawn on a hillside at the Jardin des Plantes, which was the site of Louis the XIV's green houses.

Back in France, here is a lovely lawn on a hillside at the Jardin des Plantes, which was the site of Louis the XIV’s green houses.

The closest thing to an American monoculture lawn we saw in the entire trip was this hunk of astroturf on the first level of the Eiffel tower. Probably the football fields they were readying for the European cup too, but we didn't get a close look at those.

The closest thing to an American monoculture lawn we saw in the entire trip was this hunk of astroturf on the first level of the Eiffel tower. Probably the football fields they were readying for the European cup too, but we didn’t get a close look at those.

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Official Polyculture Lawn Plans

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Gardening By March 14, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 4 Comments
Apparently this polyculture lawn is from a park in Missoula Montana. It looks pretty awesome, doesn't it? Hoping for a similar effect in mine! Image obtained here.

Apparently this polyculture lawn is from a park in Missoula Montana. It looks pretty awesome, doesn’t it? Hoping for a similar effect in mine! Image obtained here.

I discussed the concept of polyculture lawns earlier, but here are my actual plans for my lawn. Some of this stuff might not work out in the long run, but there’s only one real way to find out, so I’m giving it a try. To recap, my goals are increased carbon sequestration and improvement of biodiversity through cultivating a multi species lawn.

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