Not all yards require grass to appear well-landscaped. Here are 15 ways that you can design your yard and make it beautiful – all without the use of any grass!
1. Use Other Kinds of Plants
Who says you need to use the same old grass as everyone else? If you still want a green cover in your yard, you have options. Depending on the climate you live in, you may be able to swap out grassy lawns for alternative plants, including different kinds of ferns, creeping mosses or thyme, or even lamb’s ears.
2. Featuring Some Water Flows
Not exactly free from water-intensity is the idea of incorporating flowing water into your landscaping. Perhaps this is a relatively still pond, but perhaps it is a small waterfall. Water can be a soothing touch to your backyard. Ponds are great for increasing biodiversity in small yards. And it means not planting grass in all that space!
3. Mulch Mania
Weed control and grass-free design? Why not mulch? Mulch seems to be the easy suggestion, merely chipped wood that can come in a variety of colors. In fact, you can even find alternative mulches, for example cocoa bean shells or other byproducts that serve the same purpose but are just a little different in appearance and even smell!
4. Fill It with a Courtyard
It’s not too hard to design a space with pervious materials that promote drainage and discourage weeds from growing. For example, use various kinds of pavers or stones to design a courtyard out back. This courtyard can be perfect for outdoor seating, grilling, or simply sitting near a fire – and no grass (or grass upkeep) is required!
5. Moss-Packed Pavers
Moss is soft, green, and strong. If you’re looking for an alternative plant to walk on, why not encourage the growth of moss? Moss is perfect on its own as well as growing up between pavers. It adds green and does not require the same kind of attention that typical grass does in a yard.
6. Hedges and Hydrangeas
You don’t have to plant just grass when there are so many beautiful plants that require far less maintenance. Although hedges can become a little time-consuming, they usually take only some amounts of snipping to maintain. Add plants like hydrangeas – free-standing, flowering bushes with beautiful ranges of colors.
7. Woodland Gardens
Imagine: having a yard that looks just like the edge of the woods, or which is full of natural plants that encourage butterflies but require very little attention? By trying to incorporate woodlands to your yard, you can have a very low-maintenance, beautiful landscape and biodiversity.
8. Get Creative with Stones
There are ways to use stones to create decorated spaces with local materials. Sometimes people design what they call “Sun and Moon Gardens”, but you can also arrange stones vertically as well as in embedded patterns in the ground to create paths and designs throughout your yard.
9. Wooden Platform Trails
Similar to encouraging woodland-like growth, you can also encourage nature walking through your own yard. By building a quality walkway, you can reduce the need for grass while also adding to the aesthetics of your property.
10. Stony Shapes
Play around with different shapes to add character to your yard. This can look like square pavers near round pots in your landscaping. It can also look like sidewalks lined by scoria or lots of small, riverbed rocks in a wide range of colors.
11. Stone and Water
Want to add elegance and not as concerned about drainage or water use? Why not pave over a section of your yard and install a pool or hot tub? This method clearly reduces the use of grass while also incorporating a significant amount of elegance.
12. Scenic Sidewalks
Add a sidewalk to your yard and line it with beautiful shrubs. Before you know it, you have a grass-free, inviting backyard!
13. Create Some Slope Terraces
Terraces are a great way to add dimension to your yard. With terraces, you don’t plant grasses – at least not typically – and so you should be able to add a wide range of plants at stepped levels.
14. Stripping and Starting Over
Perhaps your yard hasn’t been the most conducive to certain kinds of landscaping. By stripping it down, you can start over – even incorporate steel frames or other forms of reinforcement to emphasize the need for diversifying your backyard.
15. Artificial Grass
Finally, why not take the easy way out? It’s not too hard to simply remove your grass and replace it with an artificial turf! No water needed.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to use landscaping that doesn’t require grass. You just need a little creativity and inspiration. Another bonus? Not using grass to landscape in many climates actually promotes a more sustainable and less water-intensive kind of yard!
Written by Craig Scott
I love to spend all the time I can outdoors and find every excuse to leave my house. I write about everything from backyard DIY projects to gardening. If you can’t get a hold of me I am probably on a trail or a boat.