While nothing compares to the simple beauty of a freshly manicured lawn, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any great alternatives. The truth is that grass just doesn’t suit all properties. You might have a tiny garden, with no space for a lawn. You may have moved into a home with a fully paved backyard.
Or, you might just prefer concrete to unruly plant life.
After all, it takes a lot of work to maintain a lawn and some of us really don’t have the time. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to create a beautiful backyard, without turning to grass. Patios, decks, and pavers can be visually exciting, especially when teamed with vibrant shrubs, trees, and other accessories.
This guide to gardening without grass will give you some serious design inspiration.
Gardening for Comfort
If you cut out the lawn, it’s much easier to focus on comfort and personal indulgence, because you’re not constantly worrying about keeping the grass alive. You can invest in things like patio heaters and motorised awnings, as they’re much easier to install on solid ground.
Energy efficient heaters are hugely popular right now. They are stylish, low impact, and they allow homeowners to spend time outside all year around. Just imagine being able to host an al fresco dinner party in late May.
Carve Out a Space
One of the trickiest ways to grow grass is on a slope and, unfortunately, the odds are high that you’ve got uneven ground in your yard. You can save yourself the trouble of constant maintenance by building a small patio.
The benefit of building it on a slope is that it creates a sunken space. If you install a stone retaining wall to support the earth, it’s a great idea for an entertaining area. Add a dining set and maybe even a tree for shade in the summer and you’ve got a gorgeous garden nook.
Delight the Senses
If you want to get super smart with your garden, try this next idea. ‘Jigsaw’ style paving stones create an aesthetically striking surface. The asymmetric patterns draw the eye and lend themselves very well to walkways and patios.
The only problem is that they tend to be invaded by weeds.
The cracks between the stones are vulnerable. What you can do is add a tough plant like Corsican mint or thyme. Both of these species withstand foot traffic, fight off weeds, and release a gorgeous aroma.
Time to Go Wild
While patios and decks are pretty fantastic, they’re not always a substitute for plant life. In fact, you’re not the type to cover your lawn with concrete or stone, you might want to consider a ‘wild’ backyard. The idea is that you pick species which require minimal maintenance.
So, shop for hardy, native shrubs and plants which will take care of themselves and give your garden a verdant, lush appearance. Wildflowers are particularly valuable because they look and smell superb, especially in the height of summer.
Making Space for the Elements
You could even add a small water feature to your garden, in lieu of a lawn.
It will need a small amount of maintenance, but you shouldn’t have to tend to it every week, as you might do grass during the summer. Plus, the sound of water is a proven way to relax and soothe.
There is a lot of variety on offer too. You don’t have to opt for a roaring, noisy feature if you’d prefer something subtle. ‘Trickle down’ fountains are popular because they attract birds and butterflies. They are gentle, easy on the ear, and simple to install.