photos taken prior to August 2016
This is a gallery of the species that I am finding in my garden of native wildflowers, since I converted it from a lawn. A lawn has nothing but a light stripe, dark stripe, light stripe, dark stripe and so on. A lawn is a biological desert.
To achieve the perfect lawn, the terrestrial food web must be eliminated. That is exactly what you are doing when you allow a lawn care company to "treat" your lawn.
To appease the public disapproval of lawn pesticides, the latest tactic from the lawn care companies and lawn chemical companies is to label their treatment as being "ORGANIC". The purpose is not to question their honesty, or even to put your local lawn care person out of work.
But it makes no difference what substance or chemical (organic or otherwise) you use to eliminate the base of the natural food web. If you take out the base of a food web or energy web, you are eliminating the entire web, because all energy in all food/energy webs, worldwide, is manufactured at the base of each ecosystem. They all function the same worldwide. You could use any substance you want. The objective is the same; i.e. to eliminate any herbaceous plants that might compete with the grass you want.....and to eliminate the beetles whose lavae eat the roots of the grass. Insecticides are largely wide-spectrum.
Again, it makes no difference if the substance they use is organic or not. It could be honey. If it eliminates the native plants that would otherwise compete with the grass you want, you are eliminating (killing) the native, terrestrial food web.....AT ITS BASE. And without that, there can no native songbirds or native insects, including out native butterflies.
The reasons are because a lawn provides virtually no useable energy for any of the native species. It is because they did not evolve together; they did not co-evolve. It takes millennia to eons to develop a community of species that form a food web. Did you know that less than a .001% (1/100th of 1 %) of the world's 4 million insect species are our enemies. But somehow, in America, we deem it proper to declare war on every single species of insect we have......except out bees. Without the native insects, there can be no native birds. Again, they co-evolved.
The energy pyramid for terrestrial habitats is dependent on the production of energy at the Producer trophic level. This occurs through photosynthesis, by far, the single most important biochemical process on the Biosphere we call Earth. So, the entire budget of energy for the entire terrestrial food web is manufactured by the Producers through photosynthesis.
You who lust for that perfect lawn are poisoning all the Producers and you are also poisoning the Primary Consumers….the insects.
America's obsession with these awful lawns has got to stop. We are not asking you to convert 100% of your lawn back to nature. We ask Suburban America to convert a good part of your lawn to native wildflowers and native trees and do not put down ANY pesticides, organic or otherwise….NONE. Then just mow and trim the remaining grass sections or pathways through the wildflowers.
Here at my southern Maine home, the Mexican Sunflower and the Pacific Giants( Delphinium spp.), are still flowered and it is now into the middle of October 2015. That is very surprising because the species that are native to this region have all passed. The Mexican Sunflower (Tithinoa rotundifolia) and the Pacific mentioned above, are still NA natives.
Update: We had a drought almost all summer 2016. I watered enough to save almost all of my wildflowers, but I lost several that are not native to Maine (they are native to NA). Oh....I discovered something very special that had been missing for more than a decade. I spotted a very large American Toad. If you have an American toad, you are supporting insects because that is what they and the young of our native songbirds eat.