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