Robert Frost once wrote of his joy at finding a single tuft of flowers “the scythe had spared.” What would he make of Oakland’s flowering park lawns?

As Alameda County’s and California’s keep-home edicts stretch on, wild weeds are reclaiming the city parks around Lake Merritt. Already, a month on, grass is knee-tall, or taller, in places, and crossing what was once a smooth expanse of trimmed sward is now akin to wading through a deep green meadow.

While Oaklanders shelter in place (sort of), Nature has wasted no time — the grass is grown tall and gone to seed, and there are half a dozen species of it, from bromes to needle grass to Kentucky blue grass.

This wildness probably won’t last long — mowing started again this week at the other end of the lake, by Children’s Fairyland. But it’s another sign of how resilient and stubborn Mother Nature can be. And it’s beautiful.


Grass grows tall in Oakland’s parks during the stay-at-home edict.


Walking across park lawns is now akin to crossing a deep meadow.



Two species of thistle.



Weeds spreading out like “islands” in a green sea.



A selection of grass species from the park by Lake Merritt.





English plantain.


Helping the grass (Hordeum vulgare and another species) grow!


Weeds encroaching on the sidewalk.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: