This spring, due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to mow my backyard - the riding mower is on the frits and I am not going to push mow an acre! So my backyard currently looks like a jungle, no kidding.
I have so many plans for the back 40, but I have limited time and resources. I have several garden beds layed out and I have been transplanting divisions from the front yard to the back.
However, with no way to easily mow the back, I have only mowed a few paths through the backyard; mainly to reach the water meter, pick blackberries and transplant divisions. What I have noticed over the past two months is that I am getting a VAST array of wildflowers, tree seedlings and shrubs.
Most people would be horrified to have such an overgrown yard, but I am in natural gardening heaven! The tall bluegrass and fescue I can do without, but some other plants are definitely keepers:
-Several different species of Goldenrod - the official state flower of Kentucky - have sprung up all through the backyard. This is my number one keeper!
-Ironweed, mostly seen in cow pastures and fields, ha sprouted up in several places. I love the purple flowers.
-Milkweed; most of you probably think this is a weed - but you would be mistaken. Milkweed is a host plant for the Monarch butterfly and I love butterflies in my garden. This one is also a keeper.
-Walnut tree seedlings; I am allowing three black walnut trees to take up residence at the extreme bottom of my yard. I love walnuts and if I keep them confined to the very back, I won't have to worry about walnuts all in my garden in the fall.
-Hickory nut seedlings; this is a definite "must keep". As I child I use to go with my grandparents in the fall to pick hickory nuts for the winter.
In addition to the new plant life, my overgrown backyard has become home to all types of wildlife:
-Red tailed hawks
So, if you want to attract wildlife or native plants to your yard, just leave a small portion of your grass unmowed and see what takes root in your gardens.
I am a married mother of 3 grown daughters and I have 2 granddaughters and 1 grandson. I currently have a gardening column in the Sunday's Advocate Messenger and I freelance for Kentucky Monthly magazine and Examiner.com.