Tired of mowing the lawn on their 5½-acre property in Vermont, Jonathan Yacko and Natalie Gilliard wanted something different. Their neighbor Hadley Mueller, who works for seed company American Meadows, suggested a wildflower meadow. Yacko and Gilliard ripped out an acre’s worth of grass, ordered a 50-pound bag of seed that would grow 27 varieties of wildflowers, plowed, and seeded. After the first colors appeared in spring 2021, neighbors and strangers began dropping by with baked goods and thank you notes. “The meadow became this wonderful way to develop new friendships and feel like we belonged to something and were part of a community,” Gilliard said. Yacko now mows the meadow once each spring so the flowers will come back in abundance. “Now we’re helping the bees, we’re adding beauty to the landscape and we’re making the community happy,” Yacko said. “It’s nice to be able to give that back to everyone.

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