For generations, the lawn -- that neat, green, weed-less carpet of grass -- has dominated American yards. It still does, but a surge of gardeners, landscapers, and homeowners worried about the environment now see it as an anachronism, or even a threat. And, they are starting to chip away at it. Some people are experimenting with more “eco-friendly” lawns, seed mixes you can buy with native grasses that aren’t as thirsty or finicky. Others are mowing less and tolerating old foes like dandelions and clover. Still others are trying to replace lawns, entirely or bit by bit, with garden beds including pollinator-friendly and edible plants. It all leads to a more relaxed, wilder-looking yard. “The more you can make your little piece that you’re a steward of go with nature’s flow, the better off everyone is,” said Dennis Liu, vice president of education at the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation.

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