Remodeling and Home Design

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    « UC Verde Grass is rocking the house! | Main | No concrete was harmed in the making of this garden »


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    My neighbor (does this count) used to have a lawn, but now they have a garden full of Australian Natives - including one that goes back across the street with a hand full of cuttings.

    The only time my neighbor used the area was to water the grass and mow. Now that we built her a garden she is out there each morning chatting with the Grevillea's, poking at the Anigozanthos and occasionally hugging the Adenanthos sericeus... secretly now - who hasn't.

    Hmmm, so far your plan to take over the neighborhood's front yards is going along swimmingly. When you're all done, will you petition the city to change the name to Troy Street?

    Yanna Loam

    I used to have a lawn but now I have a permacultural landscape of swales and berms planted with perennial vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs, fruit trees, berry bushes and native plants. I seldom water and rarely need to weed as I'm using a "living mulch" of low-growing mixed clovers. I've replaced 75% of the lawn so far.

    The remaining lawn area will become a potager with circular beds interspersed with compact black currant bushes.

    Some of the front yard and parkway plantings consist of rescued native prairie plants. A local high school had three restored prairies that were slated to become parking lots. The rescue effort was led by Wild Ones - a native plant advocacy group.

    Front Yard Before:

    Front Yard After:

    Yanna, What a great alternative to lawn!


    I finally got around to posting a couple of post-lawn shots, one ugly and transitional, the other more finished. Maybe I'll get some ideas for transforming the ugly space by looking at all the ideas people have posted here... There are so many different ways to do something other than a lawn, but it seems like there's only one way to do a lawn. The alternative is lots more creative...

    Your front yard makeover looks wonderful! I agree, I've been visiting the links hoping to get inspiration for future projects. I suggest visiting Ivette's link - not so much for design ideas (although the photos are beautiful!) but for her passionate argument on how front yard gardens create a community.

    Diana at Garden on the Edge

    Last winter I moved into a new house with a golf course style lawn. I've been slowly chipping away at it as I add perennial beds and shrub borders. I will always have some lawn in the back for the dogs but at least what I keep will be herbicide and pesticide free (although quite possibly full of so-called weeds). Great topic!

    Diana the photos on your post are charming. And you have the right idea - it doesn't have to be about a wholesale makeover or your entire lawn - a gradual, thoughtful reduction makes sense for a lot of folks

    Barbara Eisenstein

    I used to have lawn but now I have less. Forty-five percent less to be exact. Someday I may be all lawn-free, but for now I like a little bit of it. When I started gardening, it was my husband who wanted to keep some lawn. It was a battle between the two of us, but we have reached common ground. He was a good scapegoat, but I have decided that I like a little bit of grass.

    After giving so much time to lawn, now let me say that the rest of the yard is a suburban native wilderness (well hardly, but I like to think of it that way). I am also devoting some space to edibles. I just love mashed potatoes with chives, and the pesto has been outrageous!

    Thanks for opening the conversation! Barbara

    Barbara, I love your before and afters - just left a comment on your blog. If you have a Flickr stream, you should definitely post to the Flickr page on Lawn Reform and provide some inspiration for other garden lovers.

    Town Mouse

    What a great topic! I could have gone on and on, about the fact that lawn maintenance is more work and costs more than lawns, and how even the newly fashionable lavender&ornamental grass industrial landscapes attract a lot more birds than lawn, and...

    Well, as I said, a great topic!

    Very cool to see photos of your backyard! I had the impression that it was only your front yard that was included in the Going Native tour, but is it the back yard, too?


    I found you through InterLeafings. Thank you for helping to "light a fire" for a project that has been neglegted for some time. I am excited to get back to working toward making my vision a reality!

    Just visited your blog and am thrilled the contest got you back into gardening mode! Reading all the great posts on this topic is lighting a fire under me as well!


    Thanks for the opportunity to enter the contest. I enjoyed your site and the Coalition site.

    I am a lawn-free pioneer in my neighborhood. I hope the idea catches on, at least with the people that will make an effort to maintain their natural yard. There is a fine line between natural and neglect.

    It does take more of a commitment when you replace a lawn with a garden, but I'm noticing in my own design practice that once someone in the neighborhood makes the switch, others start to consider the idea as well. I wouldn't be surprised if you turn out to be a trendsetter.


    In Florida, the St.Augustine is requiring rediculous amounts of fertilizers and pesicides. Larger flower beds and less grass is a quick way to help. The garden rebel is recommending at least 1/3 beds. I personally like rock gardens.

    Karen L. Armstrong

    Excellent blog you have here! I have really enjoyed all the wonderful articles. Thank you for sharing your knowledge! Feel free to visit me back!

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