Meadowscaping, all-native plantings, low-mow lawns, vegetated sidewalk strips, and waterside buffers have become popular. Many garden clubs and community groups promote these approaches as they work towards better urban ecology. Some private homeowners adopt them as well.
Yet, others find these landscape styles unacceptable and even offensive. Complaints include informal appearances, plants that are too tall, an unkempt look, fear of ticks and weeds—and concern about curb appeal and real estate. New landscape forms sometimes lead to neighborhood disagreements, blight citations, court orders, and other battles.
Furthermore, Some landscape professionals find these styles difficult to implement. Occasionally, a carefully tended meadow meets with an unknowing lawnmower.
Is the problem one of the embattled traditions, differing expectations, or fundamental design problems?
Let's look at the sources of friction. No guarantees, but we'll try to put this sometimes-difficult conversation into positive action steps. Be prepared for some sighs, some laughs, and perhaps even a bit of controversy.