“Meadowscape” lawn conversion at the Virginia Robinson Gardens

Old lawn at Virginia Robinson Gardens

Our front lawn before:

And now with our “Meadowscape:”

Like a supporting actor in the movie Chinatown, the front lawn at Virginia Robinson Gardens was subdued in mood, providing an edgy, sterile, green plain for the rest of the cast, the flowering plants, to play off of. This surrealist green, high maintenance lawn existed in an otherwise “unsupportive,” semi-arid climate. It was no Faye Dunaway!

After its remake, starring “Wild Meadow,” the old yard that was filled with the ubiquitous lawn, became the “lead.” This new starlet, Wild Meadow, is a spectacular kaleidoscopic scene stealer. Painterly and impressionistic, Wild Meadow, has a supporting cast of 23 species, comprised of tried and true California native flowering plants. The seasoned cast provides the stage for bees, butterflies, and the boisterous humming birds! A low-budget production, costing just $125.00 for a sack of seeds, is a big hit in the gardening community and is now playing at The Virginia Robinson Gardens. Coming to a front yard near you soon… as Faye Dunaway might have said, “Good bye mower, hello beautiful!”

This project has been an excellent educational vehicle for the community. The local newspaper, the Beverly Hills Courier, has been very helpful in getting the word out by publishing in multiple issues, this lawn alternative (a wild meadow) and documenting the garden’s evolution.

Furthermore, the front yard conversion costs less than paying a gardener to mow the grass for a month. We banked the additional 30% savings on the water bill, while reducing our carbon foot print! In conclusion, the constraints on water use, due to the severe drought, forces creative thought and the formulation of sustainable alternatives to lawns. These new choices are actually superior in comparison, providing beauty and natural habitat, while saving our precious natural resources: oil and water!

Post by Timothy LindsaySuperintendent of Virginia Robinson GardensPhotos: Joshua Johnston

Learn more at robinsongardens.org