A small native plant, Houstonia caerulea, also known as Bluets or Quaker Ladies, carpets the ground in many flat, open areas with lean, infertile soil. I snapped these photos in Pepperell in a mowed field at the edge of the woods. Note the moss which serves as a protective medium for bluet seeds. Standing only about 2”-3” tall, bluets colonize an area readily once they find conditions to their liking. Smaller clusters will occur in woodlands due to lower light levels. The plants flower in late spring to early summer and do not tolerate arid heat so go dormant.
To start seeds of Bluets, do it outdoors when fresh seed is available from specialty vendors in late summer. Sow thinly in a well-drained mix of vermiculite, just cover, and sink containers into the ground against a north-facing wall. Cover with glass to keep out rodents. Moisten soil occasionally. Allow one season of growth before transplanting to a permanent location.
Our Project Foreman, Jeff Stevens, supplied this photo of his lawn, which has another type of lawn alternative with self-seeded Violets galore! He mows the area only a few times yearly, and certainly not until the show is over.