Winter meadow or lawn weeds? You decide!

Sunday, September 15, 2002

My favorite late winter flowers are native groundcovers, known as weeds in many places. While turf lovers annihilate them by the thousands, native plant afficionados propagate and promote them. I’m smack in the middle, removing them from my precious patch of zoysiagrass only to replant them in the ‘mow what grows’ area out back. Around here, we call it the ‘winter meadow’ effect, when a patchwork of flowers carpets the earth in prelude to spring.

Spectacular violets and henbit in purple, clover, spring beauty (Claytonia) and chickweed’s white, the iridescent yellow of blooming moss and our waxy buttercups (Ranunculus), opaque blue lyre sage, then bluets, and spring cress all weave together a purely southern mosaic. Knowing they rest there, never fertilized and mowed all summer, with only rain available, and certain of their flowering blanket to come, I feel comforted. When they bloom, I am dazzled.


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