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Visitor sparks conversation with photo of local park's unconventional landscaping: 'I love the idea, but...'

"Kudos to the park — it looks like a lovely place to spend time."

"Kudos to the park — it looks like a lovely place to spend time."

Photo Credit: Reddit

One gorgeous photo of native plants in a park led to intense discussions about the merits of mulch beds and the options to avoid tedious yard maintenance.

"Pollinator Garden at a local park — less grass to cut and all native plants," said the original post on r/NoLawns.

The accompanying photo shows a garden full of blossoms, including small sunflowers and coral bean. They're planted in a bed of mulch and accompanied by educational signs.

"As it should be," said one satisfied commenter.

Other users, however, were more skeptical. "I love the idea, but in this case aren't you trading mowing for weed pulling? Lots of mulched space between those plants," said one. 

"I'd rather spend an hour pulling weeds to make sure bees and hummingbirds have a place to live and eat than spend an hour mowing so my neighbors think I've accomplished something with consistently green useless ground cover," argued another. 

Luckily, a third commenter had a solution.

"You can underplant with sedges and cool season grasses," they said. "Sedges start popping up as soon as the ground is thawed so they start helping with weed suppression immediately. … In this way you can still create space between flowers if you want, but instead of having to worry about weeds, you have good looking and nicely behaved green foliage taking up all the light the weeds would otherwise take advantage of."

Gardening with well-planned combinations of native plants is an effective way to save time and money. Native plants are adapted to the local weather and won't need much water or maintenance to be healthy. You'll also be feeding pollinators, just like this pollinator garden.

Other low-maintenance lawn options include clover and buffalo grass. Even replacing part of your lawn can help you lower your bills while improving the environment.

You can even lay out a native plant garden alongside a mowed lawn, just like this park did.

"Kudos to the park — it looks like a lovely place to spend time," said another commenter.

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