Garden Tour 2012

Lawn Substitute

This front yard has a wide inviting walkway of buff-colored concrete with in-laid slate medallions leading to a large slate landing at the front door. The adjacent plantings are made interesting with a composition of contrasting green foliage interspersed with variegations of red and a variety of textures. The large planter beds include hardy
and less-thirsty shrubs, perennials and groundcovers such as Dwarf Bottlebrush, Cotoneaster ‘Coral Beauty’, Santa Barbara Daisy, Cape Rush and a variety of ornamental grasses that are drip irrigated and receive minimal water in the summer. In addition, dark red pottery is filled with drought tolerant succulents to accent the entry and
complement the colors of the home.

The landscape design originally included two small patches of lawn. At the time the homeowner wasn’t quite sure how the neighbors would react to a home with no lawn at all, so included some turf for good measure. But last summer, the inevitable happened, the lawn came out! According to the homeowner, “It just didn’t make sense to drag out the lawnmower every weekend for two small areas of lawn.”

The hardy groundcover Silver Carpet (Dymondia margaretae) was planted as a lawn substitute and has filled in nicely since last August. The area is still irrigated with the same spray system that used to water the lawn, but is run once or twice a week in the summer compared to two cycles daily for turf. In addition, no fertilizer is used and no mowing is required. That’s a ‘greener garden’ substitute that saves water, lawnmower emissions, water quality and time!

Share This!