ByeByeGrass: Pimp your garden to promote biodiversity, says new campaign

Summary

Consider wildflowers instead of grass and for goodness sake plant a tree, begs a new campaign that wants to shake up garden status-quo in Flanders

Put away that lawnmower

A happy lawn is a free lawn. With these words, Flemish eco landscape designer Louis De Jaeger launched the ByeByeGrass campaign, together with a few local celebrities. The group wants to educate residents on the ecological benefits of a more natural garden.

Flanders is rife with homes that maintain giant gardens made up of little else than manicured grass. “They need to go,” De Jaeger told De Standaard. “We have all been brainwashed by photos of perfect lawns in garden centre brochures. Just like we’re pushed towards beauty ideals in glossy magazines. But it doesn’t have to be that way.”

A diverse lawn is a healthier lawn – for you, the air and wildlife likes bees and birds – he says. Eliminating all-grass gardens would help promote diversity and fight global warming.

Replace the grass with a field of wildflowers – or at least mix them into the grass – De Jaeger and ByeByeGrass recommend. Plant trees, shrubs and flowers, grow a vegetable garden, put potted herbs on your terrace, anything that introduces biodiversity.

Those who do want to maintain grass should mow it less often, he says – no more than once a month. “Then the roots can grow longer and absorb more CO2, as well as more water. And don’t hesitate to leave patches of it unmowed or mow patterns into it. That gives a really nice effect.”

De Jaeger and others behind the ByeByeGrass campaign planted a tree and flowers last week in the grassy field under the Atomium to kick things off. They are also calling on the public to ask local councils to plant more flowers along the streets.