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

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  98 Ratings  ·  23 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 mea
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published November 21st 2009 by Timber Press (first published 2009)
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Oct 21, 2009 Nicole rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 01, 2010 jess rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010, growing
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.
This book mainly focuses on California and western/southwestern meadows. The author did a good job of explaining nuances of what is possible, but unfortunately made the process sound too difficult without professional intervention. While I did learn some valuable concepts, the minutiae of scientific plant names was lost on me, and I skipped the chapter overviewing example California meadows that don't apply to my southeast landscape. The author is obviously an expert, but seems to believe only a ...more
May 27, 2013 Dorothy rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature, gardening
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
Aug 09, 2015 Katie rated it liked it
This book was hard to rate. I loved it and was annoyed by it at the same time. I loved the pictures and was inspired by some of the ideas. Meadow gardens are very unique and the author does an excellent job capturing the subtle beauty of a meadow. He suggest ways to make a meadow that expanded my vision and inspired my thinking. There is an extensive list of meadow plants with some information about the best ways to use them in a meadow. I thought he did a good job of explaining the process of l ...more
Jan 17, 2010 Alma rated it liked it
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
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
Joel Thompson
Gorgeous book. There is no doubt in my mind I will attempt to create a small scale meadow in my urban yard at some point. I think the highlight of this book to me is the chapter on example meadows. There is a lot of variety. The only complaint is that it is skewed a bit to the U.S. West coast. I also appreciated how he organized the flowering plants into families to show how they can be effective grass companions.
Mar 09, 2010 Dee rated it really liked it
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 10, 2011 Leif rated it really liked it
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
Feb 01, 2010 Steve H rated it really liked it
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.
Tom Mueller
Dec 11, 2009 Tom Mueller rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 14, 2011 Jeff rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 25, 2010 Jenny rated it liked it
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.
Jul 23, 2011 Sylvester rated it liked it
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.
Annie Oosterwyk
In promotion of low maintenance beauty and meadow ecosystems, this book provides the recipe for yards great and small.
May 25, 2016 Anna rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
3.5: mostly a photo book, but not unwelcome!
May 07, 2010 Janet rated it really liked it
Ideas for the yard at the lake!
Sep 26, 2011 Ronna rated it did not like it
Shelves: gardening
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.

May 26, 2013 Matthew rated it it was amazing
A great coffee table book as well as resource for those interested in the creation of meadows with flowering plants and grasses.
Dec 14, 2010 William rated it really liked it
Lots of good advice about alternatives to traditional lawns.

Tons of good color photos.

An inspirational book.
Oct 13, 2010 Maggie rated it it was ok
seems to focus too much on western united states -- so it wasn't as helpful to me as i'd hoped.
May 27, 2010 Manintheboat rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010
Lovely to read, splendid ideas from all over the country. Found a yard like mine and got great ideas.
Adam Gilbert-Cole
Adam Gilbert-Cole rated it really liked it
Jul 21, 2010
Sharon rated it really liked it
Jan 06, 2013
Cookie rated it really liked it
Jan 17, 2016
Nate Irwin
Nate Irwin rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2015
Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Nov 10, 2016
Susan rated it it was amazing
May 04, 2011
Joseph Millo
Joseph Millo rated it it was amazing
Feb 16, 2017
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