I read with disappointment Ellen Nibali’s Garden Q&A column, “How to control violets in your lawn” (June 6). Instead of educating the reader about the benefits of this native plant, Ms. Nibali recommended applying herbicide. The notion that a “lawn” should consist solely of turf grass is one of the causes of biodiversity loss.
I am delighted with the wild violets in my lawn. Violet flowers are edible, medicinal and create a stunning carpet of color in early spring. Violet leaves are the larval host plant for fritillary butterflies, as Ms. Nibali mentions, and a treat for rabbits. Violets provide a free, low-maintenance ground cover, and they are easily hand-pulled if desired.
Property owners who refrain from using herbicides and allow beneficial “weeds” such as violets, clover and plantain in their lawns can save time and money, observe wildlife and know they are doing their part to reverse global declines in insect and bird populations. In my imagination, I have rewritten Ms. Nibali’s piece with the title, “How to appreciate violets in your lawn.”
Adreon Hubbard, Towson
Add your voice: Respond to this piece or other Sun content by submitting your own letter.