Today I’m participating in a massive, worldwide blogging event called Blog Action Day, where the topic we’ll all write about is Water.
As any California gardener knows, water is our most precious resource. In this post, I’m going to show you how to create a lawn-and-chemical-free meadow garden teeming with life, color, scent and natural beauty. And the best part about meadows? If the correct plants are chosen, they’re very drought tolerant, requiring very little water outside of our normal rainfall.
Earlier this year I stumbled upon a gorgeous, wild meadow at Lake Tahoe. I couldn’t believe how absolutely perfect it was, and decided to take photos of a few key elements that I thought made it particularly beautiful.
Tips for designing a Meadow Garden
1. Vary the sizes of grasses Unlike traditional turf lawns, meadows have many different types of grasses with different heights, bloom times and colors. Don’t just use a single grass, but rather plant several grasses and blend them together for a more natural look.
Wild Meadow’s Grasses My Meadow’s Grasses
2. Color – just because you’re using grasses doesn’t mean you have to forfeit color! Look at any meadow and you’ll find a riot of color both from individual grasses and the wildflowers.
Wild Meadow’s Flowers
My Meadow’s flowers
3 Shape of Flowers – Many meadow flowers have tall and wiry stems, similar to their surrounding grasses. I can’t think of a logical reason for this other than Mother Nature has great aesthetic taste. Imagine a clunky dinnerplate dahlia mixed in here – it wouldn’t exactly ‘blend’ now would it?
4. Drifts – Throughout a meadow, you’ll find drifts (or ‘swaths’) of one type of flower. Sure there’s lots of different flowers in a meadow, but mixed throughout are drifts – and it’s the combination of both that makes a meadow look natural.
Wild Meadow’s drifts of lupine and daisies