Support this Lawn-to-Prairie Make-Over


Friend-of-Rant Benjamin Vogt wrote to tell me about his exciting new project on Indiegogo -ripping out his front lawn and replacing it with a wildlife garden that he’ll use to spread the word about how beautiful wildlife and native-plant gardens can be – even in front yards.  He went on to say:

I’ll be bringing as many tours and talks to this new garden as I can, writing about it at Houzz and my blog and elsewhere (and sourcing the native plants at a local nonprofit nursery). With neighbors who mow 3x a week, water daily, and even use scissors to clip grass on hands and knees, my wife and I have our work cut out for us.


Click here to read more and then contribute before the campaign ends on September 14.


  1. This is the kind of project we need more of: naturalistic/wildlife gardens built on modest sized lots smack dab in the middle of the suburbs. It seems like a lot of the beautiful naturalistic gardens I see in magazines and books are in the country, on lots of an acre plus.

    I hope Benjamin makes his goal and if he does I hope he keeps us posted on how his neighbors react.

  2. I enjoyed the video and applaud his efforts. It makes total sense with the drought issues so many are facing. I just don’t get the “fund raising” part. Put your money to better use by doing this to a small or large area of your own yard.

    • Precisely. Buy your own damn seed, Ben, like I did. And don’t ask me to underwrite your teaching career either. I’ve been giving free talks to the public through master gardeners about meadow-making for years.

      • I’m so stunned by the out and out meanness of this reply that I immediately went to the site and gave Ben $50 (he’s over halfway to his worthy goal). Anyone who doesn’t want to give certainly has a right to, but for chrissake keep the mean tone on your own damn blog why dontcha? 🙂

        • I had the same reaction, though I was already going to contribute.

          Crowd-sourcing is about money but also about promotion, education, support-building, rallying support, etc. It’s a great tool. Susan

      • “I got mine, you go get your own!” – Exactly the attitude that is bringing this country to its knees. What happened to community support for a worthwhile cause? I’m in for $25 (which is coming out of my bulb budget).

  3. Its certainly innovative… I’ve got a variety of projects in mind on both public and private spaces where resources are limited and these projects are unlikely to move forward. I’m going to watch this process and copy it like hell! Good luck Benjamin.

  4. Darn it — I wish Kickstarter or Go Fund Me had been around when I was ripping out my front lawn!

    I do get the criticism of asking for the money because this site is read by people that have already done or are doing what he’s doing, so it does smart a little.

    But hey, if he can reach a new group of homeowners and be the reason a few more gardens are added to the world, good for him!

  5. Fabulous project! Wish I would have thought of it while I was living in Atlantic, Iowa. I hope you make your goal!

  6. Want to see more front-yard-gardens-in-suburbia? Ben’s project on Indiegogo is almost fully funded and you can help put it over the top with a small contribution. Check out his short, entertaining video above and click on the site to see how you can help and even get one of his gardening books too (I have!) Great project which will no doubt have a great impact. Good luck Ben.

  7. I can’t believe we did it! I can’t wait to start something! Lots of updates will come on my blog The Deep Middle, an article in my weekly column on, and on my Facebook page Milk the Weed. Thank you all!

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