Mini Meadows: Grow a Little Patch of Colorful Flowers Anywhere in Your Yard by Mike Lizotte – Book Review
Mini Meadows: Grow a Little Patch of Colorful Flowers Anywhere in Your Yard
Don’t let the title of Mini Meadows turn you off – it’s not about creating a wild, unkempt yard full of “weeds” and critters. You’ll be surprised to learn just how beautiful a meadow can be, even in an urban or suburban environment.
Author Mike Lizotte is the owner of American Meadows and has been in the meadow business since he was 14. Known as the Seed Man, he was already the meadow expert at 18 at the retail counter of the seed company he worked for (he still works there, by the way, but now he and his partner own the business). He’s spent his life learning about meadows and plants, reading books, talking to fellow gardeners, and putting in meadows.
Benefits of a Meadow Garden
The author helps readers clearly understand the many benefits of a meadow, regardless of size, such as:
- A meadow garden uses less water than a traditional lawn.
- It only needs mowing once or twice a year.
- It provides food and homes for pollinating insects, beneficial insects, birds, and other critters.
- Having the variety of those birds and bugs makes the garden more interesting to children.
- It’s a great scheme for erosion control, and for hills that are hard or even dangerous to mow.
- And if all that isn’t enough to convince you, the EPA states that 17 million gallons of gasoline is spilled filling lawn mowers annually.
What’s Covered In The Book?
In Mini Meadows, Lizotte has a short section for every meadow-related question or condition imaginable. He covers topics such as:
- Appropriate meadow size – sizes can range from a traditional meadow, to the roadside parkway (“Hell strip”), to small containers.
- How to prepare the soil and how to maintain the meadow.
- Which plants are suitable for varieties of soil, exposure, pollinators, amounts of water, locations, and weather conditions. He provides plant lists to help you choose the right plants.
- How to attract helpful pollinators and wildlife to your meadow.
- The pros and cons of plugs (tiny plants) vs. regular container plants.
- Recommended annuals, perennials, biennials, groundcovers, and a few vines – these are all listed in their own sections, with great color photos.
- How to collect and use seeds, so you can expand your meadow or just keep it going.
Mini Meadows is a short but fun read, with beautiful photos to complement the text. It’s well organized and written in a conversational style that makes it very accessible. It is a basic book, but inspiring, especially for those to whom gardening is new. And although there’s a lot of information presented, it’s not overwhelming.
The only thing I found questionable is that a truly self-sustaining meadow needs to have a fair bit of grass in it – grasses and broad-leafed plants have a symbiotic relationship, and he barely touches on grasses as something that can be added. Other than that, it provides pretty solid information all the way through.
WHERE TO BUY
Mini Meadows is available from Amazon. You may also be able to find it through other online book sellers.
Mini Meadows: Grow a Little Patch of Colorful Flowers Anywhere around Your Yard
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