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The American Meadow Garden: Creating a Natural Alternative to the Traditional Lawn

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  78 ratings  ·  19 reviews
If there's one lesson every homeowner must learn, it's this: The traditional lawn is a huge, time consuming, synthetic-chemical sucking mistake. The time has come to look for new ways to create friendly, livable spaces around our homes.

In The American Meadow Garden, ornamental grass expert John Greenlee creates a new model for homeowners and gardeners. For Greenlee, a mead
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published November 21st 2009 by Timber Press (first published 2009)
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Oct 26, 2010 Nicole rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Dan Barron, Elizabeth Edwards
Shelves: non-fiction
ok, actually i mostly looked at the pictures. meadow gardens are better for the environment. "a safe habitat for for beneficial insects and pollinators, a place where native ecology can thrive. meadows, by attracting a diversity of 'life,' are animated, alive with rhythmic movement, catching both wind and light. properly designed, meadows require less maintenance and consume significantly less resources than lawn or border."

it really does seem backwards, the American fascination with manicured l
Beautifully illustrated, this informative book was nevertheless a disappointment to me as the author largely focused on Californian and southwestern meadow examples. While many of the informative sidebars and plant lists are undoubtedly a good starting point, I wanted specific recommendations for my mid-Atlantic garden, as well as help identifying some of the plants which crop up in my natural meadow, goals I was not able to achieve with this title. Western gardeners would find this book a font ...more
As the earth heats up and droughts become more prevalent across the country, American gardeners are learning, in many cases to their chagrin, that the broad expanses of green lawn that have long been a staple of the American landscape may no longer be sustainable. These lawns are water-guzzlers and, as water becomes more dear, it is more and more obvious that the traditional lawn has to go.

Moreover, that traditional lawn as it has evolved over a century and a half has become a time-consuming, sy
The pictures are beautiful, but the text scares one away from thoughts of implementation. Presents a mind-numbing parade of grasses and complementary plants.
Quotation from p. 226: "The success of your meadow garden depends on many factors: selecting the right plants for your soil and your design purposes, properly preparing your site before planting begins, and selecting the right method and time of year to plant. Failure on any one of these counts can mean the difference between a beautiful me
Mar 09, 2010 Dee rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Dee by:
If you'd like to reduce the size of your lawn and instead plant native and decorative grasses and other prairie plants. Or, if you just want to know more about how a meadow is constructed, this is the book for you. John Greenlee is known as the Father of Grasses in the U.S., and Saxon Holt's photographs perfectly frame the many meadows in this book. You can almost feel the breeze and hear the grasses waving in the wind. Just lovely.
Jan 17, 2012 Leif rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: plants
A lovely, large-format book with gorgeous photos of meadows and gardens on nearly every page is hard to beat. I was a tiny bit disappointed that the author doesn't share my dogmatic zeal for native plants above all else. Oh well. Look through this book and then replace your lawn with something more beautiful and less resource-intensive.
Steve H
Some decent alternatives suggested, and more importantly plenty of pictures to show you what can/will replace your natural lawn (assuming local zoning regulations allow something other than a 2.5 inch lawn. I'm a bit concerned that some of the alternatives they suggest might become invasive in some areas.
Great photos, good information but like most books like this it's all about personal execution, that is, it's easier to read about it than put it into practice. Hopefully, I can start small and create a backyard meadow of my own.
Tom Mueller
Well illustrated with photos and extensive index and resource [where to buy:] list. This volume can help accomplish exactly what the title infers. I hope to start a Meadow Garden, doing away with typical turf grass.
I'm really enjoying this book, and creating one of these gardens is a goal for my back yard. However, this book is not for beginners! Creating a meadow garden seems like a challenging and expensive endeavor.
This book is so good, I could probably read it 100 more times but someone else has it on hold at the library. Suffice to say, I want to do this to my backyard in a serious, painful longing kind of way.
Lovely photos. Wish I could turn my lawn into a meadow! Loved Chapter 6 "Grasses for Meadows" as I am a big fan of ornamental grasses and am always scouting for new varieties.
Most of the gardens shown in the book have no resemblance to the cover! Perhaps a book for those who like to choose the weeds they plant in their yard.

A great coffee table book as well as resource for those interested in the creation of meadows with flowering plants and grasses.
Annie Oosterwyk
In promotion of low maintenance beauty and meadow ecosystems, this book provides the recipe for yards great and small.
Lots of good advice about alternatives to traditional lawns.

Tons of good color photos.

An inspirational book.
Lovely to read, splendid ideas from all over the country. Found a yard like mine and got great ideas.
seems to focus too much on western united states -- so it wasn't as helpful to me as i'd hoped.
Ideas for the yard at the lake!
Aida Alston
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Apr 19, 2015
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