All the Pretty Little Flowers 1: The frontyard

Pz has been raging and ranting about lawns and lawnmowers and I wholeheartedly agree. It also prompted me to do a bit of bragging about the sheer beauty of not having a lawn. Let’s start with the front yard, which was carefully weeded when we bought the house. Here’s another aspect of those lawn and front yard regulations: To keep them up to “standards” you need time to do it or money to hire somebody else to do it. I quickly reduced weeding to an absolute minimum. Nobody touches a dandelion in MY front yard. One thing that happened quickly was that wild strawberries overtook most of the ground. They do many things at once:

First, they protect the ground from drying out.

Second, they provide flowers for pollinators.

Third, they taste so good.

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In spring I built a plant tower in an empty space that had previously been occupied by some useless evergreen bush that got thankfully eaten by caterpillars. I also planted some regular strawberries there.

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Guarded by my little dragons

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If you want to make bees happy, plant lavender. It will also make you happy. Lavender is low maintenance, just cut off the dry stalks in autumn and ok with dry weather. I don’t know if it can survive Minnesota winters.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Probably no German frontyard is complete without a hydrangea. They are lovely, but high maintenance (needing much water, cutting, right ground) and absolutely no good for insects. Like most plants here they are a leftover from the previous owner. I figure that with so many bee friendly plants around I can afford a couple that only look nice.

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I have no idea about most of the plants that grow here. They were already well established when we moved in. Some of them have already bloomed long ago. I basically get flowers from March to October.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Also one corner has been taken over by some wildflowers. I like them, the insects like them. We’re good.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Oh, and btw, the next door neighbour has a lawn (I’m not criticising her, she’s 90 and still living all alone). It’s a sad brown area right now and the grass always creeps into my yard which means that I have to do the weeding there.


  1. Jazzlet says

    Lots of pretties, but wild strawberries are just the best. We had one of our cleared vegetable beds get taken over by them and we have moved clumps to the corners of all of the other vegetable beds, wild strawberries are easy enough to clear if they get out of hand meanwhile they provide ground cover and delicious berries to go on our muesli.

  2. voyager says

    It’s lovely, Giliell. So many pretty flowers and strawberries to boot.
    I’d love to let my lawn turn into native wildflowers, but my neighbours would complain. They already complain about the thistles and dandelions I let grow.

  3. says

    I found wild strawberries in my garden too, just yesterday. I intend to re-plant them to another place and hopefully get some use out of them.

  4. lumipuna says

    This is turning out a good year for wild berries. I’ve been recently tasting wild strawberries*, raspberries and bilberries, though there aren’t too much of those in my neighborhood. I’m also planning to collect larger amounts of Amelanchier and Aronia berries from the public plant ornaments we have in the park.

    Cloudberry is said to be super abundant right now, but it’s hard to find here in “the south”. Maybe I’ll be able to buy some at a somewhat reasonable price.

    *The species that grows wild all over Europe is called woodland strawberry, Fragaria vesca. It is also sometimes cultivated, but the common garden strawberry is a hybrid that originates from entirely different New World species.

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