Lawn-Free Landscaping Ideas

Posted on: 19 April 2016

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Does the idea of constantly mowing a front lawn sound like a less than ideal way to spend your time? For some people lawn care is enjoyable, but for others it feels like a waste of time. If you see a lawn as a pointless waste of space, water, and time, there are other options that can be just as attractive – if not more so. The following ideas can inspire you.

Idea #1: Grow Food

For those that don't mind gardening if it has a purpose, a vegetable garden may be a better option than a lawn. This doesn't mean your yard has to look like a farm, either. Consider setting up raised brick or stone beds, since these are more attractive than a standard plowed plot. You can then use mulch or flagstones to create paths between the beds. Attractive edibles to consider growing include the following:

  • Asparagus. After the initial spring harvest, these perennial plants produce beautiful fern-like plants.

  • Ornamental cabbages. There are varieties of ornamental cabbage that are also edible. Enjoy a rainbow of hues, such as purple, red, and white.

  • Swiss chard. Rainbow chard is an excellent decorative and edible plant. It comes in hues of red, green, yellow, and purple.

  • Sweet potatoes. These lovely climbing vines produce pretty flowers in summer and edible tubers in fall.

Idea #2: Create a formal garden

A formal garden features little to no lawn, although there are other plants. Generally, you start with a centerpiece, such as a fountain or seating area. This is put in the center of the space, with attractive concrete or stone paving beneath. The area around the paved centerpiece area is then turned into formal beds with low walls built of brick or stone. Everything is very symmetrical in most formal garden designs. Popular plants for the beds include carefully trimmed miniature boxwoods, begonias, or dahlias. Everything is then mulched to give a finished look and to prevent weeds from invading the gardens.

Idea #3: Consider xeriscaping

Xeriscaping gained popularity in desert areas, but it can be used successfully in any climate. The bulk of a xeriscaped yard is mulched. You can use stone, gravel, or wood mulch, depending on the look you are striving for. Then, you add native plants that require minimal care or water in your area. For example, in desert areas plants like cacti, aloe, and yuccas are popular choices. In moister areas, you may opt for drought-tolerant shrubs that still needs some rainfall, like lavender, or groundcovers, like creeping thyme. A local landscaper can help you pick the best plants for your microclimate.

When the mulch is installed correctly there is minimal yard work ever necessary, since weeds won't be able to invade. You may need to do some slight trimming and cleaning up of plants in the fall and reapplication of the mulch in the spring.

For help turning one of these ideas into reality, contact a company like The Hilltop Landscape Architects & Contractors.