If you're looking for a way to make your front yard easier to maintain and less expensive to keep, a "no mow" yard might be just what you're looking for. A no mow yard is one that foregoes the usual water-intensive grass lawn in favor of a landscape design that keeps the green and the beauty in other forms. Here are 3 tips for creating your own alternative to the traditional front yard look.
Don't Go Cold Turkey
Front lawns are such a part of the American mindset that it seems alien to consider ripping out a perfectly good one and trying to fill the space with other things. If replacing your entire front yard is too big to contemplate or too much of a change, change your game plan instead of dropping the idea. Start small by adding planted edges to your yard or expanding the planted areas you already have.
As you remove grass, do so in a way that makes your mowing easier and your watering less. Don't break up the grass sections, so you don't have to move the mower awkwardly. And cap off sprinklers that will no longer be necessary, replacing them with a drip system to care for the non-grass planted areas. You will immediately notice the reduction in your efforts and your water usage, which may inspire you to do more.
Look for Lawn Alternatives
There are a number of ways you can replace a grass lawn with low-maintenance greenery that look great. Dwarf mondo grass, for example, planted close together (around 6 inches for an even look) allows you to keep the green in your yard while reducing the maintenance. Clovers can also create an eye-catching faux lawn -- especially microclover, which stays low to the ground and doesn't flower as often as traditional clovers. Or try a groundcover like creeping thyme that is both simple and great for the senses.
Create Other Points of Interest
Draw your guests' eyes away from the lack of a normal lawn by creating focal points and making the yard visually interesting in other ways. Edge the space with large and lush planters filled with annual flowering plants. Add texture and interest with the use of garden stones -- large ones as focal points and small ones to edge your faux lawn. Or build a cottage garden that fills the space with a variety of romantic and informal flowers and shrubs complemented with a few surprises (like sculptures, birdbaths or distressed antique furniture). Embrace the uniqueness and charm of not being limited to a grass lawn as a way to express your personality.
Designing a no mow front yard opens you up to a world of other possibilities. While many homeowners make the change to save time and money, you may find that the best thing you gain is the freedom to expand your gardening palette and showcase a whole new way to think about the humble front yard.
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