I like to think of my tree lawn as chatting in a neighborly fashion with Jane’s, across the street. Hers is wild and wooly, grown from seed, self-seeding. a haven for pollinators. Mine is a bit more conventional, with plants native and otherwise, flowering and edible–aiming for eye-candy in all seasons. We are both a bit rebellious, the only ones on our block to have transformed our tree lawns, so really we are more alike than different; different enough, though, to have a lively dialogue (see below for Eutrochium purpureum (Joe-Pye Weed)/Asclepias Incarnata and Rudbeckia Maxima/Echinacea Paradoxa color correspondences)
Did you know that it is only in Cleveland that the term “tree lawn” is used? In other cities they may be called “hell strips,” or “devil strips.” I like our term because it evokes some pleasant possibilities for greater greenery, bloomery, and a kind of reckless cheerfulness.
Some others in our vicinity seem to agree and are also experimenting with such cheerful tree lawns (see below some transformations I have found nearby.)
If you have seen any such reincarnated tree lawns, please send inspiring photos to the rest of us at gardenopolisCLE@gmail.com or include them in the Comments section.
Getting back to Jane, what I would really like to see would be many more of the same plants on both of our tree lawns, the repetition of plant form and color along side of our somewhat different visions would make for a great conversation. And wouldn’t it be great fun if whole streets could collaborate on tree lawns that spoke to each other and provided feasts for our eyes and for our pollinators?