Garden Tour 2015

River-Friendly Renovation

Cul-de-sac front yards can be a design challenge with their deep and often irregular shape, but this homeowner took the challenge with this lawn-less renovation and succeeded.

The dominant element is the sweeping pathway of warm-toned pavers set in decomposed granite. The loose set pavers are a great example of permeable paving in the landscape. They provide a sturdy surface for walking and access into the garden, yet allow rainwater to penetrate the soil. The pathway leads you through the landscape to a wonderful space for relaxing, complete with porch swing and fire pit. This area provides a protected spot to enjoy in the late afternoons and evenings. And to add interest and pops of seasonal, the landscape is dotted with colorful pots and container plantings set into the gold toned gravel mulch.

But best of all, this ‘greener’ garden demonstrates several of the seven River Friendly Principles -


  • Landscape for Less to the Landfill - Plantings are uncrowded and given ample room to grow which results in a landscape that doesn’t require frequent pruning or trimming. In addition, weekly lawn clippings are a thing of the past.

  • Conserve Water – Water thirsty lawn has now been replaced with water-wise landscaping. With the exception of a few plants (Heather, Calla Lily and Japanese Maple), the garden is comprised of low to very low water use plant selections.

  • Nurture the Soil – Permeable paving allows rainfall to penetrate the soil rather than run off.

  • Protect Water and Air Quality – Removal of lawn results in less or no use of water soluble fertilizers and pesticides that end up in our creeks and rivers. And, carbon emissions are reduced when gas-powered lawnmowers are no longer in use.



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