This Saturday at noon in Davidsonville, as part of our Spring Open House, I'll be talking about and showing off gorgeous design alternatives to huge expanses of lawn - both smaller lawns and fabulous yards with no lawn at all. I'll also cover caring for lawns in an eco-friendly way.
Before I tempt you with a few more photos, I'll tell you how I came to this topic. Not by becoming virulently anti-lawn but by simply feeling bored by lawn care and wanting to do something more interesting in my decades-old garden. So I ripped out my 1,000-square foot back lawn and replaced it with a creeping sedum and clover, and ripped out my smaller front lawn and planted a mosaic of creeping perennials, some that can be stepped on without harming them. Here's the 411 on both transformations.
Then I contacted a bunch of other garden writers and a few designers from across the country, people I knew to be interested in this topic, and we created the Lawn Reform Coalition. It's a national media campaign to inspire people to grow less lawn/more garden, to choose drought-tolerant lawn species, and to care for the lawn using less resources, especially water and pesticides. Now the group is partnering with the Association of Professional Landscape Designers to show off great plants that can be used en masse to create lawn-like expanses - plants like carexes, which resemble short ornamental grasses, or creeping sedums, the most popular plant for green roofs. Click here to see the first photos in this growing collection.
And just this year the exciting new book Beautiful No-Mow Yards, 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives was published with my very own garden on the cover! (I'm psyched.) Also, I wrote the foreward and the author - Minnesotan Evelyn Hadden - tells the story of my garden's lawn-to-garden conversion. It's selling like hotcakes in its first couple of weeks on the market, so we're very encouraged that the time is right for this important book that combines how-to, detailed plant information and eye-popping photos by Evelyn and others, especially nationally famous garden photographer Saxon Holt.