Beautiful No-Mow Yards: 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives

Beautiful No-Mow Yards: 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives

by Evelyn Hadden


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With Beautiful No-Mow Yards, you can transform your lawn into a livable garden and bring nature's beauty into your life!

What has your perfect green lawn done for you lately? Is it really worth the time, effort, and resources you lavish on it? Armed with encouragement, inspiration, and cutting-edge advice from award-winning author Evelyn Hadden, you can liberate yourself at last!

In this ultimate guide to rethinking your yard, Hadden showcases dozens of inspiring, eco-friendly alternatives to that demanding (and dare we say boring?) green turf. Trade your lawn for a lively prairie or replace it with a runoff-reducing rain garden. Swap it for an interactive adventure garden or convert it to a low-maintenance living carpet.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604692389
Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/06/2012
Pages: 252
Sales rank: 479,874
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

National speaker and award-winning author Evelyn Hadden encourages property owners to convert unused, unloved lawns to more rewarding landscapes. She is a founder of, a partner at the lauded and provocative blog Garden Rant, and a founding member of the National Lawn Reform Coalition.

Read an Excerpt

For the past century, we gardeners have loved our lawns. They have grown from an occasional play area (or status symbol) for the richest among us to a ubiquitous “affordable” groundcover. But the tide is turning. For a variety of reasons, from our changing environmental awareness to our changing lifestyles, some of us are shrinking our lawns. Others are leaving them behind altogether.
In different areas of our diverse land, the local climate makes it hard to grow a healthy lawn. It may not be practical or worth the cost to give traditional turfgrass the care it needs to grow in those places, especially when we realize that drinkable water is becoming more scarce and water restrictions are on the rise. One easy first step to conserving potable water is to stop irrigating our lawns with it. Instead we can spread succulents, desert flowers, meadow and prairie gardens, and other dry-adapted landscapes across the drier midwestern, intermountain, and southwestern regions of this continent. We can hang a hammock in the shade of a vine-clad arbor and watch hummingbirds feasting on nectar and battling over all the new nesting sites we created by planting native shrubs.

Those of us who have the good fortune to live near a lake or stream are coming to understand that mown lawns can direct pollutant-laden runoff straight into the water, and are restoring our shorelines to naturalistic wetlands and woodlands. We hear the difference in the varied voices of waterbirds that repopulate those refurbished shorelines. They now have perches, cover, and food supplied by insects on land and water, plus fish that flourish in the clean water.

Through our successful efforts to help monarch butterflies by planting milkweed “waystations” all along their migration routes, and to bring bluebird populations back from the brink of extinction by building special houses for them, we have seen evidence that even one landowner on one small city lot can make an enormous difference to the survival of other species. Every one of us can take action in our own yard to help conserve global biodiversity, expand our urban forests, mitigate climate change, and at the same time make life richer and more fulfilling for our families and ourselves.

It used to be that only serious gardeners would take on the challenge of straying from the default home landscape of lawn and foundation plantings. Well, more of us are serious about gardening nowadays; a number of folks who might not lift a finger for an ornamental plant are determined to put in the effort of growing some of their own food. And luckily, even busy non-gardeners who don’t have the time or desire to learn can find local resources and examples to help them exchange their lawns for satisfying alternative landscapes.

Lawn alternatives have always been around, but now with the tools and materials available—not to mention skilled experts for hire—there are more reasons than ever to bypass a lawn and choose something else. Whether you remove all your lawn or just a part of it, you can add new beauty, comfort, and ease to your life.

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