AS SHE OFTEN DOES, naturalist and nature writer Nancy Lawson—perhaps known better to some of you as the Humane Gardener after the title of her first book—caught my attention the other day.
“My yard isn’t overgrown and neither is yours,” Nancy wrote in a post on Instagram. What she went on to say is that words like overgrown are the kind that are often applied negatively to landscapes that don’t fit the manicured model, the one dominated by the mindset of the Great American Lawn.
But Nancy Lawson takes exception countering with the thought that most landscapes are in fact undergrown, as in lacking diversity and life.
Naturalist Nancy Lawson is author of “The Humane Gardener,” and then also of the book“Wildscape” (affiliate links). When she and her husband bought their Maryland home almost 25 years ago, it was anything but a wildscape. And she vividly remembers that the 2.23 acres featured, in her words, “almost 2 acres of mowed turf and a little tiny, sickly rose bush.”
What does the language we are using about our landscapes say—and are we really using the best words?
Plus: Enter to win a copy of her latest book, “Wildscape,” by commenting in the box near the bottom of the page.
Read along as you listen to the Jan. 29, 2023 edition of my public-radio show and podcast using the player below. You can subscribe to all future editions on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) or Spotify (and browse my archive of podcasts here).
Margaret Roach: Hi, Nancy. How is it down there in the wildscape in Maryland? Good?
Nancy Lawson: Hi, yes, it’s excellent. The birds are all in their heated bird baths outside.
Margaret: [Laughter.] Yeah, lots of birds this year. We’ve had just had a coldRead more on awaytogarden.com