Are you tired of plain grass? Check out these alternative things to grow that will make your neighbors green with envy!
Ground Cover Plants
Week after week of mowing the lawn can be tiresome. So, why not use an easy, low-care, and environmentally beneficial ground cover in place of high-upkeep grass?
Ground covers spread out instead of becoming tall, removing the need to mow altogether.
Below are some great examples of ground cover plants that can be used on their own, paired with rocks to construct a rock garden, or paired with other drought-tolerant plants to create a xeriscape.
Creeping Thyme (Thymus praecox)
Clover (Trifolium repens)
Carpet Sedum (Sedum lineare)
Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata)
Nondecomposable alternatives can be applied to flowerbeds and other landscaping features to suppress weed growth and help retain moisture. However, there is one drawback to using these alternatives. Because these items do not decompose, many nutrients are not returned to the soil as they would with regular mulches. However, you can fix this by periodically applying fertilizers. Below are some ideas to help you determine how you will design your yard.
Rocks, Gravel, Pebbles, and Other Stones
Many people are looking into lower property maintenance options as they become more concerned about water conservation and chemical use in yards. Stone and gravel landscaping are excellent alternatives to grass, particularly in areas where frequent drought and heat make turf grass unsuitable. However, regardless of where you live, inorganic materials such as river rock, pea gravel, and crushed granite can be a lovely complement to the rest of your landscaping while requiring far less effort.
Because it is made from recycled tires, rubber mulch is an excellent choice for people looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Because of its weight, it remains in place even in high winds and storms, which means it does not need to be replaced as frequently as other mulch alternatives.
Bark and Wood Chippings
Bark chippings are attractive alternatives to grass that can be used for more than just mulching borders or adding to play areas to suit family garden ideas. They are ideal for smaller areas because they are practical, relatively soft underfoot, and beautifully accentuate surrounding plants while requiring little maintenance.
Other Landscaping Options
Gone are the days in which a plain yard full of grass will suffice. Homeowners must think about curb appeal (for the front yard), as well as the functionality and form of their backyards, should they have visitors. That being said, a well-balanced landscape design should include an aesthetic combination of both hardscaping and softscaping elements. Hardscaping refers to the non-living landscape elements (stone, bricks, concrete, or metal), whereas softscaping refers to the use of living elements such as soil, trees, flowers, grass, and shrubs. Below are some current landscaping trends that you may see popping up around town.
Instead of growing grass across the entire yard, you can plant veggies among the flower beds instead of separately in a raised bed.
You could also try planting veggies like lettuce strategically so that they themselves create a border.
Biophilic design aims to connect our innate desire to connect with nature in the modern, man-made environment by combining the two. So, while you may not want your entire yard to be filled with grass, you may still want a little to help you feel at one with nature. You can do this by using pavers, rocks, or stepping stones to create a pattern that allows grass, moss, or other ground cover plants to grow in between and create a harmonious flow between nature and modernity.
Research has shown that spaces designed with biophilic principles benefit occupants’ mental and physical health, so design a space that not only looks good but makes you feel good too.
When you think of nature, you typically think about plants and earth, but don’t forget about the other two elements: fire and water!
Creating water features such as a fountain, pool, pond, or small stream can add another layer of depth to your outdoor living design. Water feature sounds can also help with mental health as well as act to help reduce noise pollution.
Similarly, incorporating fire features such as a fire pit, torches, a tower, or a pentola can add another layer that could alter the mood of your yard significantly.