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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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    Laura Livengood Schaub

    Congratulations Susan and all the Lawn Reformers; this was a lot of work, and you've done an awesome job! Glad I could help in some small way.

    Susan Harris deserves the credit, she has amazing ideas and energy.

    Although the photo at the top of the post is beautiful, it still doesn't capture the wonderful tranquility of your garden. WAY nicer than a boring old lawn.

    Jonna Shelomith

    I used to have a lawn. And now I have a place to build community with my housemates and neighbors that is stunningly beautiful.

    Jonna, it sounds lovely! Looks like you're not a blogger, but send me a picture and I'll include in the follow-up post.


    I used to have a lawn, now I have my Saturdays free to enjoy the meadow plants that blossom where the lawn use to be.

    Meadow plants! No wonder this giveaway caught your eye - sounds like John's new book is right up your alley.


    Great idea. I can't wait to see what people have done. I did a post awhile ago about putting in our pond where we used to have a lawn. Can I enter that post or should I do a new one? I'm hoping next summer I can say the same thing about the front yard.

    We tend to get so caught up in the sustainability issues, and here in California water in particular, that what gets lost is removing part of your lawn lets you create something so much more interesting. Your lovely photos make yours one of the nicest garden blogs around - and let's face it, photos of lawns are not interesting.


    I used to have a lawn, and now I have... half a lawn.

    Now, I never really had much of a lawn to begin with under the trees, so I'm not fretting. And there's a wonderful butterfly garden that supports a rather large bee population in the sun. But with every year that goes by, more and more turf gets tossed at our house.

    It's like an addiction. You add a bed here, another one there, thinking it will be enough to satisfy you, but it never is. I'm resorting to taking over my neighbors - have talked them into ripping out their front lawn for an ornamental garden. One by one I'm taking over the neighborhood...

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    Congrats on the Lawn Reform Contest, I think your ideas are fantastic and superb in style and presentation.


    Since I'm BARELY keeping up with reading blogs and laundry, I'm not entering the contest, but I did decide last week to take out yet more lawn on the west of my house to expand the daylily-salvia-coreopsis-etc. bed. But it's slow going to replace lawn. I find it daunting to think of replacement plants, improve the soil for them, find the money to buy them all, and keep the weeds out while they mature (and afterwards). And I'm a mildly-obsessed, reasonably educated gardener with willing grunt labor in the form of hubby. No wonder most people just stick with lawn. Good luck motivating and teaching people how to replace the lawn with other alternatives. For many people, something like UC Verde might be the most practical course. Still lawn, but lower-water, lower-fertilizer. Not as overwhelming a change.

    Well, you're a pretty serious gardener. I agree, the average person wouldn't choose a garden as complex as yours, regardless of how beautiful it is. But I only work in my garden about 6 days a year - it's very low maintenance. Sustainability was easy for me to embrace because I equate it with laziness - mowing, fertilizing, etc. takes too much effort. In Susanland, it's strictly survival of the fittest.


    I used to have a lawn and now I have a lot of dead grass (since we turned off the lawn sprinklers this summer).

    We also have 1) a lower water bill, 2) a sense of virtue, and 3) a ticket on the Ship of Indecision. The dog needs a Lap Lawn (canine version of a Lap Pool) and she is driving the design process so far. Last time I checked she had only amateur experience in landscape design, although that included extensive field work--so we will rely on Lawn Reform to save the day!

    Will have to check with the rest of the coalition to find out the plans on adding a section for dogs who design. I'll let you know if I can hook you up.


    I used to have a lawn now I have a peaceful place where the birds, bees, butterflies, and my dog play.

    You make me want to come for a visit. Birds, bees and butterflies are one of the best arguments for exchanging a patch of lawn for a pollinator's garden.


    Ok, I never really had a lawn. I have lots of area where green stuff grows, but you couldn't really, with any dignity, call it a lawn. It is mostly weeds, with a few grass stems struggling to grow in between. I do mow this green thing but certainly never water or fertilize it. The kids can play on it, the dogs can romp on it, and it's very low maintenance and the carbon foot print must be pretty small. It's even fairly attractive... from a distance.

    Oh, and because of my container fetish, I have killed a bunch of the green stuff dead, by putting the containers directly on top. At least I've killed some of the weeds too.

    So if I'm interpreting your comment correctly, your entry into the contest is: I used to have an unidentifiable green mass, but now I have a kick-ass container garden. Did I get that right?


    FUN!!! I am going to make my next post the "I Used To Have A Lawn" post!
    I am SO ON BOARD with your passion about transforming the ubiquitous, thirsty, American front lawn with something that I think reflects the true, modern America - Free, Individualistic Front Yard Gardens! I don't design gardens that have lawn in the front yard - it is against my religion.
    What a great opportunity and what a great idea - I am very happy to join the bandwagon! XOXO!

    Germi, you have such exuberant enthusiasm, I bet you just order your clients lawns to cease and desist and they immediately obey. Can't wait to read your post.


    I suspect a devil's advocate post about I used to despise my lawn but now I'm in love with it wouldn't qualify for the contest. But hey, you've inspired me to blog about it anyway.

    You're right that you wouldn't be following the letter of the law - or the spirit for that matter - but I'm always pleased to think I've inspired something, even if it's outright rebellion. Am now curious to see what you post.

    Frank Hyman

    I used to have a lawn, but now I have a cottage garden And a Lawnlet.

    My wife and I turned our scraggly 'freedom lawn' into a front yard veg garden, an herb garden and several flower gardens. Before I got carried away on lawn removal we created a Lawnlet of evergreen fescue, surrounded by a path. It's only about as big as a king size bed. So I guess turfgrasses can be garden plants too, if they have their own bed.

    You can read my story on our Lawnlet in the Oct. issue of Horticulture magazine:

    Thanks for entering Frank - I'm a fan of lawnlets myself. I saw your link only goes to the homepage for Horticulture magazine - are there photos of your garden on line anywhere?

    Frank Hyman


    I used to have a lawn...but now I have...24 kinds of native flowering plants and 4 kinds of native grasses and sedges!!! It's awesome!!

    Adela, that sounds beautiful! I followed the link you left, but it doesn't go to a blog post or any photos - do you have a different link that shares details on your lawn makeover?

    Great contest- I hope I win.
    Also, great job on Lawn Reform, keep up the great work, wonderful blogs and inspiration!
    Here is a link to my entry...

    Visited your blog post - what a beautiful garden! Perfect example of how much more exciting and engaging a non-lawn, habitat garden can be, as well as a reminder that lawn alternatives are about a lot more than conserving water.

    Kari Lonning

    I used to have a lawn, but ... I kept digging up more and more of it for the plants I fell in love with. Now I have paths through the chaos. There is just a bit lawn to create a contrast to the English-type garden I live in the middle of.
    Here's a peak at the front "yard."

    Kari, your garden is so lush, I feel like I could drown in it. Why don't you add the link to the Mr Linky box so more folks can see it?

    Carolyn Edwards

    I used to have a lawn, but now I have lovely white river-smoothed stones, heavily mulched flower beds, and a couple of crushed granite and paving stone walkways. Down the middle runs a "stream" of darker stones that puts me in a meditative state of mind even in the midst of the worst drought central Texas has ever had. I swear I can "hear" the water.

    Carolyn that's exactly what I try to do in some of the gardens that I design - create the illusion of water. Don't feel sorry for us because we live in drought prone states; I think it just forces us to push the creative envelope in our gardens!

    Susan Tomlinson

    What a great idea! I've just been over to the website, too, and it looks chock full of good stuff.

    Can't wait to see all the entries...

    Susan Tomlinson

    BTW--I haven't been able to figure out how to grab a badge for my blog, but I'll keep trying.

    Also, I put my bicycle path/arroyo in Mr. Linky, just because I enjoy seeing all the ideas for lawn alternatives. However, I don't know if I qualify for the drawing, since I still have a ways to go before the rest of the front garden is finished. I think the other gardens are much more qualified than mine to win the fabulous prize!

    Oh no, did I give the impression I was going to be choosing the winner? I'm drawing names randomly, because as your 2nd grade little league coach used to say, we're all winners here.

    I can't figure out the badge, either. Susan Harris told me to download the image onto my harddrive, then create a typelist using the address of the photo as my URL, but I don't know how to give something on my hard drive an address. But maybe my explanation makes sense to you.

    Enjoyed your post - I've designed for master gardeners, dogs, kids, grandparents and chickens, but never for bicycles!


    I used to have a lawn, but now I have a divided front yard that has edibles, flowers with heavenly scents, neighbors gathering to talk about the ripening squashes, apples to hand to passing children, a ticked off neighbor down the street (she likes lawns), and more room to indulge my food gardening passion.

    Kudos to you for braving the wrath of a crankypants in order to create something beautiful for the whole neighborhood to enjoy.

    the inadvertent farmer

    LOL...would love to join but have never had a yard, just a big hay field! Kim

    Of course you don't have a lawn (because what self-respecting camel would live in a yard, for goodness sakes).

    Susan Tomlinson

    You (the esteemed garden chick) wrote:

    Oh no, did I give the impression I was going to be choosing the winner? I'm drawing names randomly, because as your 2nd grade little league coach used to say, we're all winners here.

    I can't figure out the badge, either. Susan Harris told me to download the image onto my harddrive, then create a typelist using the address of the photo as my URL, but I don't know how to give something on my hard drive an address. But maybe my explanation makes sense to you.

    Enjoyed your post - I've designed for master gardeners, dogs, kids, grandparents and chickens, but never for bycycles!

    To which I reply:

    1) No, I knew you were drawing for the prize. I just wanted to take my name out of the pot so that others could have better odds of winning. Bu I've decided I really like the cover, so on second thought, leave it in. Though I'll feel guilty if I get chosen...ok, I'll get over it. ;-)

    2) Uh, no. Didn't understand a word of that. But I'll keep playing with it because I really like badges. Has something to do with my days in girl scouts, probably.

    3) Bicycles are pretty undemanding as garden clients.

    nell jean - seedscatterer

    I still have a lawn. It is growing smaller every year.

    Hi Nell,
    Just visited your blog to see your post - your garden is HUGE! I am such a California girl used to designing for mostly compact suburban gardens, I'm blow away by all the space. Your post is a wonderful example that lawn can be fine if it's not a waterhog nor chemical dependent. Thanks for linking.


    I use to have a lawn, but now I have a colorful canvas of purple pansies, pink vinca, red impatients, rusty canas, rose sedum, and true green elephant ears.

    My husband and I tilled up all the grass. We layed rock in a circular pattern in order to create a meandering path through our flowers. I love not having grass. Who wants to cut grass when you can have wonderful flowers? We have so many flowers and different types of ground cover that weeds hardly grow. On the other hand, the flowers are vibrant, hardy, and enjoyable.

    Frank Hyman

    Garden Chick, I posted pics of our Lawnlet (described in the Horticulture magazine essay) on the Lawn Replacement page. cheers, Frank

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