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Lawn trip to the wild side

Meadows Christopher Lloyd Timber Press, $29.95

August 12, 2004|Lili Singer

Give yourself over to dandelions. Let daffodils and poppies poke up through undulating grasses. A boring lawn or waste-filled roadside can become a meadow -- "a community of colour [sic] and animals ... a dynamic ever-changing tapestry," a zone of planned chaos where herbicides are never welcome. So says British garden master Christopher Lloyd in his latest tome.

Classic meadows of flower-studded grassland managed by intermittent torching, haying or grazing are well described here, as are the processes of modern meadow making and their upkeep (with or without ruminants) in diverse situations and climate zones. An assortment of vibrant meadow plants, including annuals, perennials, bulbs and grasses, are highlighted.

Lloyd's commentary, amped by Jonathan Buckley's sumptuous photographs, is anecdotal, sensitive, sometimes prickly and totally inspiring. The beautiful promise: Meadows provide quick habitat restoration on damaged soil, offering food and shelter for birds, insects and other creatures.

-- Lili Singer

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