Front yard meadow - the list

If you click on the little "meadow" link at the bottom of this post you'll get quite a few blog posts that only partly relate to building a California meadow from your turf lawn. That's because I sometimes glom several topics together on one blog post and the meadow part of the post is minor or incidental or just didn't take more than a paragraph to write up. So, if you don't want to wade through the minutia of a California meadow and prefer to get an idea of the big picture then the short list of most important links is below, working backwards chronologically.

The wildflowers had died and been cleared out (keeping up with the neighbors again) and some yarrow carpeted the meadow area of my front yard - almost like turf grass, provided you were far enough away:


Here's a good time lapse photo history:

This one has the seed mixture and my preparation methods:


  1. That was a great collection of links, Brent. I think what you're doing is super, and I hope the good comments you get outweigh the negative ones. You've included some excellent meadow-starting tips as well. Do you cut it all down once a year or just let it go? I'd also be interested to know if you've thought further about applying for NWF certification. I have just a birdbath to supply water and had no trouble getting certified. Having the sign seems to answer some of my neighbors' questions about my own meadow.

  2. Thanks for visiting, Nan.

    I don't have enough accumulated history to let you know whether I cut it down once per year or not.

    In 2007 I cut the wildflowers with a string trimmer in early summer because of concern about blending in with the neighbors. I then cut the yarrow flowers in fall after their bloom. I wasn't expecting them to have a bloom last fall, but they did.

    This year I have fewer wildflowers and the yarrow is blooming as expected. I suspect I will selectively prune the flowers then take the string trimmer to the yarrow when its time has come.

    My plans for the meadow are to reduce the density of the yarrow in order to allow for better plant health and to interplant with sedges and other low native perrenials. I think I'll let the wildflowers naturalize as they want to, but I won't plant them again with as much density as before.

    I've considered NWF certification and I actually have a small fountain that ought to pass muster with them for water, if only I had electricity outside to run it. I'll have to check to see if that's on my To Do list.

    You're right about the sign - I'm sure it would go a long way to answer questions.

  3. Hi Brent,

    Just catching up on your blog.

    I've thought about getting NWF certification for my own front yard (1.5 yrs as Calif. Native). I, too am concerned about blending in with my neighbors. Last year I had a little sign made that reads 'California Native Plants'. I've had several neighbors come by and express surprise at learning this info. The sign does go a long way.

  4. http://www.ojaigarden.com/2008/06/yarrow.shtml

    Uses yarrow as a lawn substitute.