If you build it…

Since we moved to our house five years ago, we’ve been converting several areas that were formerly maintained as mown lawn to meadow. This is the first year that wildflowers and milkweed from seeds sown and scattered are blooming and it’s a delight to see butterflies, bees, and dragonflies take notice. A monarch caterpillar was our best resident to date, and I’m glad I sketched it before it either became a juicy meal for a lucky bird or crawled off and hid itself to begin its transformation. Alas, it has been a lovely June in the meadow. What will July bring?

Coming up in July: Sketching Garden Flowers, Tuesday, July 19, 3-5pm Pacific/6-8pm Eastern, online at Winslow Art Center >

27 Comments on “If you build it…

  1. I love hearing about mown-to-meadow conversions, congratulations on seeing all that life return! It sounds exciting, and your documentation of it is lovely.

    • Thanks Cathy. It’s an area with rather poor soil, so it will take a while for it to mature and for us to add more to it. Still, it’s great to see some success.

  2. I hope that your beautiful art will inspire others to replace lawn with native plants for wildlife and pollinators!

    • Thank you! I plan to scatter more seeds in some bare patches this fall. House wrens have taken up residence in a nest box, too, so I hope they are successful. It’s fun to watch the changes.

  3. Just to add to my previous comment…I wanted to say, about it being a “busy” painting… I LOVE that! It’s like a happy song! Talk about inspiring!!

  4. How wonderful for you to have transformed your land! We have water restrictions, so the need to get creative with plants is necessary. And hard – what to keep, let go, and so on. I am a fan of native plants, and have been fortunate to have milkweed in my garden, and have watched the monarchs hatch, eat, grow, spin, and become butterflies. Bees, too, though far more rare, have been visitors. A cooler spring has brought out the songbirds. Summer, too, though warming up, is pleasant enough. The natural world is to be savored. Nice work, gardenerly and and arstically. Thanks!

    • Thank you…I stick to native plants too (mostly) as they do well and offer so much benefit for wildlife. I hope my milkweed continues to grow– it’s a bit small this year, but should come back heartier year to year. Enjoy your garden!

  5. You mentioned being concerned that the sketch was too busy, but before I read that, you’d made me think ‘It is busy, but isn’t a meadow just like that – and more!’

  6. A terrific portrait of the June meadow.
    We have something similar here, though we didn’t need to convert anything or sow seeds, we just stopped mowing, except for a meandering path through the growth, which is full of activity. It’s about time I recorded it in a sketch.

    • We also stopped mowing but there were bare, dry spots where we added wildflowers. It’s been fun to see what comes in. Good luck with your sketch! Hope some butterflies or dragonflies land near you when you’re out there.

  7. It’s good to hear that you’re converting those lawn areas to meadows. Next year it will probably be even better! I love that chunky Monarch caterpillar chowing down on the milkweed leaves.

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