I knew there was a groundswell of interest, but I had no idea I'd be inundated by 304 comments from readers eager to win a copy of Evelyn J. Hadden's book, Beautiful No-Mow Yards: 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives. All it took to get in the running for the random drawing was to leave a comment at this blog. I don't have room to highlight all of them, but they ranged from the practical to the environmental to the "I'm just bored with lawns."

Book cover
Margoa wants some fresh ideas and to make yard work easier, writing, "...since I'm going to be 75 soon I've slowed down a bit. My back is in bad shape so I can only work in the yard for about 1/2 hour... Consequently I don't get too much done everyday.

BombasticTurtle is an amphibian after my own heart. "I think lawns are time consuming, water guzzling and high maintenance. A copy of the book might help me change my mindset!"

Short and sweet from summersbreezes: "I would rather have colorful blooms than monotone green lawn."

Well, unfortunately, we don't have 305 copies to give away, but the generous folks at Timber Press, who published this fine tome and were equally taken aback by the response, decided that instead of the one copy I offered, they'd send out FIVE.

Drum Roll, Please

And the lucky winners are...

Shannon Stoney has been gardening for 40 years, currently in zone 6b in Tennessee. She got hooked on gardening in the 60s, copying her grandmother: "She was an early adopter of organic gardening...farming 300 acres."

Shannon's enthusiastic about winning this book. "I haven't used a lawnmower in 30 years. I hate them. I want to see how other people do this." As a bonus, she's looking forward to "less work, less noise, less pollution." Explaining why she reads and likes Fine Gardening, it's all the good advice she picks up.

Here's a taste of Shannon's garden handiwork, photographed in early morning light.

Shannon's garden - morning light  
   

Carolyn Miller (Fine Gardening moniker "equinecpa") will soon be moving from Gainseville, Texas to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, zone 4. She was attracted to gardening in her 20s because she's "always enjoyed ‘creation', watching something grow." She's excited about the potential of starting a new garden in a new area: "Brand new property with a whole new set of challenges," she commented.

Having read the book, I know it will meet Carolyn's expectations. "Due to the climate and lack of water...they really don't have lawns. I want to make our homestead as beautiful as possible with an edible, natural landscape." Wanna stay in touch with Carolyn's adventure? She's a blogger, too! Check out her Neighborly Place blog [http://neighborlyplace.blogspot.com/]. Perhaps she'll be sharing her foray into lawnless living.

Allison Cronce (commenting as morethyme) digs in the dirt of Sussex, Wisconsin, zone 5. She was inspired by her parents, both avid gardeners, and finds gardening to be a relaxing hobby (except for the 15 cubic yards of bark mulch she and hubby spread around their almost-acre lot).

Allison Cronce garden 1
I loved reading that she and her husband have gardening dates: "That's when the two of us go out in the gardens together. I like to think of the garden as a palette that I can ‘paint and play' to color my yards. It doesn't always turn out the way we like it; my garden angels seem to have some say in the matter."

Allison Cronce garden - angel statue  
   
With a large oak and maple trees shading the property, their existing lawn wasn't much to write home about. "So when we replaced the retaining wall...we decided to KILL the grass. Every year, more perennials go in, some leaving on their own accord, and new ones find a way of taking up residence without being asked."

How will Beautiful No-Mow Lawns help? "I want to take this to the next level. I think this book will give some new ideas.

I wasn't able to get in touch with the other two winners, but they are Grace and Ted Curtin of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and Elsie Mirakami, Washington state.

I hope all the winners will stay in touch and send progress reports as they implement the inspirational ideas Evelyn put forth. Again, big thanks to Timber Press and to all who left their comments. For the 300 of you who missed out, I hope you'll order your own copy.

Next Giveaway!

I've got a new book on my nightstand and hope to be offering a copy of The 50 Mile Bouquet; Sensational, Local and Sustainable Flowers, written by Debra Prinzing and lusciously photographed by David E. Perry, in the near future. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

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