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Gardener devises smart way to educate neighbors about new yard modification: 'They all seem very confused at first'

"It might take a bit before it starts to fill in."

"It might take a bit before it starts to fill in."

Photo Credit: iStock

One homeowner decided to get creative when their new landscaping started to attract unexpected attention from the rest of their neighborhood.

"I'm wondering if anyone has had custom signage made for their gardens," said the original poster, an enthusiastic gardener. 

They posed their question to r/NativePlantGardening, a subreddit community with extensive experience installing — and fielding questions about — unusual landscaping.

"I'm in the process of converting my whole front yard into a native plant garden," the original poster explained. "This fall I've prepped it all so I can start planting in the spring, and every time I'm out there, someone stops to ask me what I'm doing. So far it's been all positive responses once I explain it, but they all seem very confused at first."

Switching from a lawn to an alternative like native plants is a way to immediately start saving money on your yard. Grass needs more water than most of the plants you can cultivate in your yard — especially native species, which have adapted to survive on just the normal rainfall in the area. Native plants and other lawn alternatives like xeriscaping or clover are also low-maintenance since they don't need mowing.

Native plants and clover are also great choices for feeding pollinators, which helps both the natural ecosystem and the cultivated gardens in your area.

Given all those benefits, it's only natural that this gardener wanted to share the trick with their neighbors. 

"I'm thinking of putting a sign up to explain what I'm doing (and that it might take a bit before it starts to fill in)," they said. "Once it does start to fill in, I'm thinking of adding some sort of sign/plaque explaining the importance of native plants etc that also welcomes them to walk through the garden and explore. I know many organizations have signs you can get, but I'm looking for something a bit more custom. Has anyone done anything like this?"

Commenters had several suggestions. 

"I wanted a sign to explain why I won't be removing leaves or pine straw this season, and I only liked the Xerces 'leave the leaves' sign but can't afford it right now," said one user. "I ended up designing my own and had it printed on a garden flag."

"I went to my local print shop, and they printed out a sign resembling political name signs. It was $22 USD," said another commenter.

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