No-Mow May & Episode 10 of My Podcast

Being Franco-American, I like things to be tidy and spic-and-span. Even though I don’t have the time or energy to clean the way I once did—writing, in various formats, absorbs much of my day—our home and yard are always neat and picked up. That way, when I do have the opportunity to clean, I don’t have to bother with putting things away first.

Usually, we start mowing the yard sometime the second week of May. Because we live in the woods, our lawn is spotty in the spring, but there are still areas that look downright shaggy. This nags at my Franco-American sensibility.

This year, however, we are adopting a new routine—no-mow May—and will be waiting until June before cutting the grass. In many places around the world, May is a time of abundant bloom. My blogging friends in warmer climates have posted many photos of all the glorious May flowers in their yards and and in wild areas near their homes. However, in the northern United States and in Canada, the riotous blossoming doesn’t start until late May or early June. In Maine, May is a pretty sparse time for all the pollinating insects.

Therefore, gardening and nature experts are advising northern homeowners to wait to mow until June when there are plenty of flowers for the pollinators. This we will do. After all, where in the world would we be without our pollinators? In tough shape, that’s for sure.

So for this month, I’ll try not to mind the shaggy bits in our yard. Instead, I’ll think of all the little buzzers who bring so much life to our town. Those dandelions and scraggly areas are there for you, my pollinating friends.

Heck, I’ll even go low for a picture of the violets that are dotting our backyard. Between exercising and losing weight, I can actually lie on the ground to take pictures and then get up all by myself. Progress!


Today, “Showdown at Crescent Beach,” Episode 10 of “The Wings of Luck,” is available on my podcast Tales from the Other Green Door. Two more to go until the end of this story and Season 1. In “Showdown at Crescent Beach,” Jace, Thirret, and Niall discover that Iris has tricked them and has put them all in danger.

73 thoughts on “No-Mow May & Episode 10 of My Podcast”

  1. I’m glad you’ve posted about No-Mow-May, a movement long overdue here, after starting in the UK. (I’ve taken shots of the lawn, but have yet to post about it.) Our pollinators really need these early spring flowers. So the lawn looks scruffy for a few weeks, no worries. πŸ™‚ I’ll do a very high cut initially, then bring it down to 3″ the next time around a week later. Everyone wins. ❀

  2. Oh, I miss violets! When we lived in Northern Virginia, our subdivision was built over old woodland, and wild violets grew in the yard between our house and our next-door neighbors.’ I have a crystal violet vase my mother brought me back from a trip to England. I would love to use it again!! Oh, and flower stalls in Washington, D.C., used to have violets. I miss flower stalls, too!

  3. Oh, those violets are exquisite. The color! It was worth getting eye to eye with them. I didn’t hear of ‘no-mow May’ before either, but it makes good sense, doesn’t it?

  4. For some years now, our state highway department has adopted the same no-mow principle, refraining from cutting the ditches until the wildflowers have seeded. That’s one reason our landscape is so rich in flowers — individual landowners have both encouraged and followed state practices, and everyone wins. Even some of our secular ‘shrines’ are committed to a no-mow life. I’ll have a post about that soon!

  5. Congratulations Laurie! What a wonderful thing to be able to get down on the floor and get up again easily. The photo of the pretty violets is gorgeous!
    I have been trying to persuade my husband to take part in ‘No Mow May’. I am fighting a losing battle. The urge to mow is just too strong in him!

  6. Dear Laurie — thank you for bringing me into your garden and the reflections they invite. I also appreciated your musings in your previous post about our energy, our aspirations and being gentle with ourselves. (And violets!) I look forward to following you.

    1. Thanks for reading my blog! I lead a quiet life in the Maine Hinterlands, but there is always something to notice. Look forward to following your blog.

  7. You can eat much of your yard at this time: blue violet leaves and flowers. Dandelions. Henbit.

  8. Thank you for thinking of the pollinators. We haven’t had a lawn for years, instead covering our small yard with vinca. Very purple this time of year!

  9. Such pretty violets! And I’m all for a no-mow May — not that we could get away with something like that here. Why, I’d have long ago lost little Monkey, had we refrained from grass-cutting!

  10. I found some tiny Thyme Leaved Speedwell in my lawn, smaller than my thumbnail, so even cool things we can’t see are growing in that grass.

  11. It makes so much sense to refrain from mowing for a while longer in the spring, and I hope you will get many insect visitors. We have had so much rain in the last several weeks (which is unusual) that we have had to cut our grass twice already. I think we might have needed a scythe if we had let it grow until June. But at least we have a number of wildflower patches and they are left untouched.

  12. Laurie, thank you for taking part in No Mow May. I’m intrigued! I followed the link you shared to learn more. It’s such a simple idea, with profound results. I’m a tidy person like you, so one of the things I had to learn was to allow plants to go to seed. The cornflowers, especially, draw numerous birds for nearly a month after they start going to seed. The poppies also look really shabby at the end, but I let them die back and split open, and they too produce lots of seeds for the following year. Will you take part in the nectar count?

    1. A few years ago, I followed the advice of a master gardener and stop cutting back plants in the fall. Supposedly very good for the all kinds of little creatures. And, spring clean-up is no worse. We keep learning, don’t we?

  13. What an exciting campaign – the little things which can affect our ecosystem! Wishing your garden a good month of growth and may you see beauty in the wilderness when you look out your window – the bees will be thrilled!

  14. I like that advice about waiting until June to mow, Laurie. We also are a bit behind everyone else when it comes to blooms and pollen. My husband will like that advice!

  15. What a wonderful idea to let your lawn be more like a meadow with No Mow May! Being thoughtful of pollinators and giving them an extra boost is a small thing that can make a big difference. I love love love violets and thanks to your self care we got a beautiful view.
    Hooray for you!!!

  16. Grass turns green in winter here. We’ve been mowing since late March. πŸ™‚

    I enjoyed the latest podcast and look forward to the next!

  17. Beautiful capture of the violets and another great episode! While I hope your new schedule is helping with your writing and projects, I missed the music this week from Friday Favorites!!

  18. That’s a stunning picture. I had a bit of a shock yesterday when I discovered the council had mown the patch of cowslips I’d been photographing, well before they had finished flowering, never mind set seed.

  19. The violets are so pretty. I like the reasoning behind No-Mow-May. We used to do the same when we were living in the snowbelt (NE Ohio). The spring flowers were always so pretty that it seemed a waste of beauty to mow them all down just as they were getting started.

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