Steve Turnipseed, a master gardener from Florida, successfully transformed 7,000 square feet of barren lawn into a flourishing garden filled with native plants, all while navigating the strict regulations of his homeowners’ association, as reported by Dwell.
As reported by Dwell, Turnipseed serves as both the founder and president of his local chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society. Upon his move to the Villages planned retirement community, he expressed disappointment with the landscaping surrounding his new residence.
He embarked on a mission to incorporate the beauty of native plants while adhering to the strict rules set by his Homeowners’ Association (HOA), which included maintaining a “lawn-like” appearance with plants under one foot in height.
Despite these constraints, Turnipseed remained determined, stating, “I was confident I could create something truly captivating.”
For his garden, he opted for the native ground cover frog fruit, known for its ability to attract three species of butterflies and a myriad of other insects. His garden also boasts clump grasses, trees, and shrubs, amounting to nearly 100 native species in total.
When asked why he often spends time in his garden, Turnipseed responds, “This is where the butterflies come.”
Reddit commenters have been expressing their admiration for his achievements. One user remarked, “Absolutely stunning, in line with the guidelines, and perfectly suited to the region!” Another user said, “I wish he could lend a hand with my project, and thankfully, no HOA here.”
While Turnipseed isn’t available for home visits, he does offer valuable advice for those interested in replacing their lawns. Initially, he suggests eliminating the existing grass and its seeds, ideally leaving the dead grass to enrich the soil. There are various methods to accomplish this, such as covering the lawn with cardboard or plastic.