Grass lawns dot the front yards of neighborhoods everywhere, yet they rarely consist of native grasses, which means we painstakingly fertilize, weed and mow the grass in our yards on a regular basis to keep it healthy. There are landscape alternatives to grass that might work better for your yard, depending on soil conditions, level of moisture and length of hot and cold seasons.
Many people spend countless hours and incredible amounts of money trying to rid their lawns of moss. A moss garden might be a good alternative landscape design to a typical grass lawn, but don't be fooled into thinking moss gardens are low-maintenance. Like most types of landscapes, they require an initial investment of time and energy to become established. With over 14,000 varieties of moss, there are many colors and textures from which to choose when considering creating a moss garden or adding moss as an accompaniment to an existing garden.
Let your imagination run wild with rock garden designs! You could use large boulders found locally and indigenous plants to create a low-maintenance garden that looks like it's been there forever. You could also use small, uniform rocks purchased from a supplier to create a "river" made from rocks to accompany a wildflower or moss garden. Some gardens use simple stacked rock statues to add depth and interest.
Wildflower gardens are often good choices for hard-to-maintain areas of the yard. Choose a wildflower seed variety appropriate for the level of sun and shade, then prepare the soil and plant the seeds. You can enjoy and pick the flowers while they bloom and then mow or rototill the stalks under at the end of the season.
Creating a raised vegetable garden will not only give your yard definition and beautiful color; it will yield healthy vegetables for your family and friends to enjoy.
Check out the concept of square-foot gardens where every square foot of soil contains only one type of plant. Square foot gardening allows for lots of plant variety in small spaces.
Creating a lawn patio of natural stone pavers could extend your outdoor living area with more usable space. The part of your yard that struggles to grow anything more than the occasional weed might be a good choice for a patio area made with natural stone pavers. Fill the space in between the pavers with pea gravel or a hardy rockery plant like creeping thyme.
Simple and easy landscape designs can result in some of the most enjoyable yards, especially when native plants are used, usually creating lower maintenance gardens.
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