I have never been a lawn fanatic. Since I was in elementary school in the 1950’s I have had to mow lawns and never found much pleasure in it. I am always a bit surprised at how seriously some people take their lawns; fertilizing them, chemically treating them, and watering them. I was surprised a long time ago upon hearing on a gardening show, people wondering how to get rid of moss growing in their lawns, I love the moss in my lawn and I am happy to have a diversity of other green plants growing there. I usually mow around things like daisies and forget-me-nots when they pop up in my lawn.
All that being said, it does concern me to see how Hawkweed is taking over mine and other lawns in the Robson Valley (The photo above shows mowed Hawkweed at Koeneman Park). There used to be grasses growing in the lawns, now it is Hawkweed, which just muscles out all the other plants.
I have always loved coming upon new wild flowers and I distinctly remember the first time I saw the orange flowers of a hawkweed plant growing beside a secondary road near a railroad crossing. I stopped the car, got out to take a look at the flowers I had never seen before. It is not a rare sight anymore, it is everywhere.
Hawkweed originated in Europe and is now invasive throughout the Pacific Northwest. Like so many invasive plants, once it is established it has to be accepted, because it is now just too widely spread to wipe out. An area of 1 square meter of hawkweed can produce 40,000 seeds.
Even if you constantly mow and prevent it from flowering, seeds will get to your lawn and take over.
Pesticides can wipe out patches of the stuff, but I am not interested in adding any biocides to the Earth, so I guess I will just have to live with my lawn of hawkweed. Below is a photo showing what hawkweed in flower looks like.