On a recent trip to Encinitas, California, I took a walk around the neighborhood and spotted this front yard landscape:
There’s no grass anywhere–which I think is a sign of the times. In my area of central Texas, we’re experiencing unprecedented drought and heat, and it doesn’t look like it’s letting up anytime soon. I know many of us are tied to the lush look of a broad expanse of lawn, particularly in the front yard, but it’s time to start thinking of alternatives.
Keep in mind that this is one look that is an alternative to the traditional lawn–I actually love the more arid, “desert” look, but I understand that this style issn’t for everyone. The important thing is to use native plants that work in your area to reduce the need for watering, and to consider other topdressings such as mulch and various kinds of rock.
This particular example is done well–there’s an arroyo that snakes diagonally through the yard, strategically placed rocks and plants nestled together. These groupings make sense, and it’s what you’d see in nature. If you want to try a style like this, keep in mind that Mother Nature doesn’t space rocks out evenly so that it looks like a minefield, and that She places plants and rocks so that they have a relationship to one another. Study pics like this one so your eye can see what works–then you’ll be more successful in creating a similar look in your yard.
I’m curious as to how many of you have already torn out your grass. What have you replaced it with? Have you noticed a decrease in your water bill? How’s the maintenance? What do your neighbors think? Inquiring minds want to know!