No Mow Year Three

Categories: No Mow

Well, we mowed the no-mow again (loving the oxymoron), as it was due for its spring knockdown. Like I’ve seen in quite a few farmers fields this year, it actually wasn’t a great grass year-the clovers, alfalfas, and wildflowers seem to have been able to keep pace with the spring flush of grass growth this year. We do an intitial mowing in June (early July this year, rain) to prevent long grass from being availible for deer tick egg laying, as well as giving the wildflowers a fair shot at competing against the grass. Look around Addison County, at many of the hay fields. The second cut of hay is the attractive one, the one where the alfalfa and clover really stand up, while the grass plays second fiddle. Hopefully, it will be the same in our no-mow zones with wildflowers. This year, though, the wildflowers stood out with the grass, and some early ones had started to bloom. They’ll re-bloom, even after being mown.

Observant people will have also noticed that we slightly expanded some of the no-mow areas this spring. Facilities Services, in concert with the Master Plan committee, identified some areas next to existing no-mow locations that needn’t be mowed lawn. The insight of the Master Plan committee was great to watch. With a wonderful eye for design, they expanded no-mow almost right to the front door of Bi-Hall, further shrinking what we are beginning to call Bicentennial Park, making the park like area smaller, but more readable and usable. The same effect was done up by Hadley-Milliken-Kelly-Lang, bringing the no-mow area closer to the row of dorms, making a park like space for what we are now calling Ross Commons surronded by no-mow meadow. There is a bonfire pit in the middle of the commons now, as well as a volleyball net.

There’s a wonderful article, not availible online, sadly, in the May issue of Landscape Architecture that I’ve recently read, entitled “Graduating To Green”, by Mark Hough, ASLA. It starts “The traditional American campus landscape, captured most vividly by an image of open lawns with mature canopy trees, is one of our most established, celebrated, and significant landscape typologies and is, in the 21st century, at a crossroads.” The article is very interesting, and longer than I have time to write about on a beautiful summer evening, but maybe in the next rainstorm…

2 Responses to No Mow Year Three

  1. Pingback: Things That Happened, Things To Do—Week of August 2 - Middlebury Magazine

  2. Anne Harlan says:

    I do love those no-mow zones, so am happy to see there are more!

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