A Potted Garden
What's a flat, manicured lawn next to an exciting and colorful container garden? Trade in your lawn mower and for a simple spade and watering can. Caring for a container garden is a cinch, and the options for plantings are endless. Be sure to position your colorful planters throughout the yard for welcoming cheer and color.
Go for Gravel
Raise Your Yard to the Next Level
Converting a lawn into a garden with raised planters provides a variety of benefits. Because you're not planting directly into the ground, you'll reduce the need to weed and till. They require less water than container gardens and make harvesting vegetables a snap. They’re not just for vegetables, though. Perennials, annuals and ornamental grasses do extremely well in raised beds.
Zillow Digs home in Paoli, PA
Much About Mulch
Organic mulches like cedar or pine bark chips can be used to replace grass quite easily for a rustic ground cover. Before you lay the mulch down, lay landscaping cloth on the bare soil to prevent weeds from growing to the surface. For dog owners, make sure to avoid Cocoa hull mulch—it’s lethal to pooches.
Related: How To—Mulch Your Flower Beds
If you’ve been dreaming about a lush, green lawn but can't bear to uproot another dandelion, then artificial turf may be your perfect solution. The new fake grass is stain-resistant and offers excellent drainage. The best part is that it will always stay green without any maintenance.
Zillow Digs home in San Clemente, CA
Put in a Patio
Turn your backyard into a concrete jungle with a lovely new patio. Stamped concrete, patio pavers, or natural stone will create a stunning and functional space. Surround the perimeter with lush ornamental grasses and colorful flowers. Or brighten the space with a few well-placed containers brimming with greenery. You won't even miss the lawn.
flickr.com / via lovemaegan
Keep It Simple
For some, a rainbow of blooms is a crowning achievement in the garden, but for others, simplicity is perfection. If no-nonsense greenery is your idea of great design, then replace the lawn with a low-growing perennial like creeping Jenny or thyme. Like grass, these ground covers can stand up to foot traffic but with the added advantage of being mow-free. Go ahead and celebrate.
flickr.com / via patrickstandish
To achieve a mix of colors and textures, create a rock garden with stones and flowers. The rugged simplicity of the rocks will contrast nicely with the vibrant blooms, creating a one-of-a-kind backyard feature. Plus, once the flowers fade off in the winter, you'll still enjoy the boulders scattered throughout your property.
Related: The Best Places to Buy Plants Online
Make Room for Moss
Another way to ensure your lawn stays lush year-round: planting a moss garden. Homeowners can simply pull out their grass and replace with a carpet of moss; in return, they get a yard that doesn't need weeding or watering. Plus, moss looks equally lovely in good and bad soil conditions!
Related: 8 Plants You Can Grow Without Soil
Make a Splash
If you're not ready to part with grass completely, make a show-stopping display with ornamental grasses. The long blades are a low-maintenance alternative to a traditional lawn, requiring only occasional trimming throughout the year. Homeowners will find countless varieties to choose from at home and garden centers.
Transform your flat landscape into a vertical oasis with trees that offer privacy and shade. Many trees will take years to mature to their full height so if you'd rather not wait, consider fully grown dwarf varieties of palms or evergreens—even large potted rubber trees or ficus plants. Whatever you choose, remember to check your hardiness zone before planting.
Related: 11 Ideas for Better Backyard Privacy
Move Over, Lawn Mower
There are beautiful grass alternatives that can relieve you of mowing chores forever!
Whether you're a lawn care novice or a master gardener, everyone can use a little help around the yard. Subscribe to The Dirt newsletter for tips, recommendations, and problem-solving tools that can help you tame your great outdoors.