A few years ago, Sarah and I decided that we didn’t need an entire acre of front lawn to mow. So we prepared a small meadow, a rectangle of roughly 50×120′, by clearing and rolling in seeds for Indiana native flowers and grasses we purchased from a supplier we researched online, American Meadows.
Every year we watch the colors emerge, diverse species of birds frolic, and monarch butterflies, carpenter bees, honeybees and other insects feast on bee balm, butterfly weed, cup flowers, cone flowers, milkweed, and so much more (here’s a great guide at Indianawildflowers.com).
Being native, the meadow is resilient to weather (doesn’t need watering or mowing), shows off an ever changing palette of blue, purple, orange, yellow, and red petals, and needs minimum maintenance to avoid succession.
We find it amazing how small an area makes a viable and interesting habitat right in front of our house. Lately I’ve been able to track some of our night visitors using a Bushnell trail camera that takes nighttime images, like this little buck who wandered through the other yesterday.
The buck is a great reminder of how, with a little sweat, it’s possible to make a beautiful, sustainable meadow, help the ecosystem, and bring nature close to home. Great for teaching the kid natural science, as well!