Cropped Circles

You will mow your lawn. You will mow your lawn. You will mow your... 

All summer long, it keeps on growing and growing and growing...   What if we did something different?  What if we did something a little more organic?  What if we left a whole patch un-mowed? What would the neighbors think?

This time of year everyone is ready to throw in the towel when it comes to mowing that grass. We have a day off work and yes, we spend it mowing and weed-eating. We are lucky in the 573 area to have had such a green year when some of our country is in such a serious drought. Around my house we do try to keep up the mowing. The snakes are an issue in the country, and we want to be able to see them. We also like to have a nice low cut green for a family game of soccer.

One hot and sunny day, I had almost mowed the whole yard and had one last section. Why should I just mow it all? I was feeling creative and spunky. I mowed a big spiral into the lawn while grinning. My husband was surprised. My children ran out to play in the homemade maze. I've let the spiral grow for over a month now. I am humbled by the amazing plants that are growing and blooming in my spiral. This spiral has given us a chance to see our lawn in true glory.

Edible and medicinal plants grow all over these Missouri hills and farm lands.

We began to identify the many plants that were growing there. Edible and medicinal plants grow all over these Missouri hills and farm lands. Our ancestors were acquainted with these plants and used them to gain healing and strength. We had dandelion, an edible and medicinal plant with more vitamins and minerals than anything in my actual garden. Perilla began to grace us with its beautiful, fragrant leaves. Perilla originated in China and was considered a sacred plant 2,000 years ago.

Smart weed popped up with a fast growing, perky, pink flower. Smart weed can be used for seasoning in soups. It is also used as an anti- inflammatory and antibiotic. Many animals use smart weed for a food source.

The ground ivy started crawling around, wanting to be noticed. Ground ivy has been used as a cough remedy and for nervous headaches. It has also been used in curing abscesses and bruising.

And, I can't forget to mention plantain. Plantain is one of the most amazing first aid herbs, yet it is such a common little weed. When we were on vacation, the children enjoyed the beach. My oldest daughter said, “There is no plantain growing. What do we do?” My children know to pick a plantain leaf, chew it and place it on a bug bite or scrape. Two local folks have cured brown recluse bites by using plantain poultice. Let’s not mow it all down!

What is in your spiral of life? Get creative with your lawn. Learn about your local plants and how you can benefit from them. It’s fun for the whole family.  Peterson Field Guide, Eastern and Central Medicinal Plants and Herbs by Steven Foster and James A. Duke is a wonderful identification book.

I would love to see photos of your creative lawn art.

Happy Mowing!