Beautiful No-Mow Yards is just what American gardeners need. And you can win it right here


Beautiful No-MowIn the last year or so, we’re hearing that there are better uses for our land than turfgrass, that unless it’s needed for sport or play, you can save on resources and probably your labor, too, by switching to an array of alternatives – meadows, vegetable gardens, native grasse, and so on.

All good!  Well, mostly good – because that well-intentioned advice isn’t easy to actually implement, without a LOT more information.  Which groundcovers? Which native grasses – and native to where, anyway?  How much do the alternatives cost, can they be walked on, and how much work does it really take to maintain them?

My mixed reviews of much of the lawn-free cheering has me wildly cheering the thoroughly researched and honestly reported definitive book about reducing or eliminating lawns by Evelyn Hadden.  Beautiful No-Mow Yards contains exactly the kind of info that’s needed, and its gorgeous photographs (most by Evelyn and the wonderful Saxon Holt, too) are deeply inspirational to anyone looking to make their yards more interesting, more beautiful, and more wildlife-friendly.

Meet EvelynEvelyn

Readers of GardenRant are no strangers to this subject (see the many stories in our Lawn Reform category), but may not be familiar with the author.  Well, Evelyn is THE original lawn reformer, having written Shrink Your Lawn and created the Less Lawn website back in 2001.  She’s a pioneer whose cause has caught on.

What’s in Beautiful No-Mow Yards

  • Photos and stories about gardens sunny and shady, flat and hilly, a “shockingly simple meadow garden”, a “patio for pennies”, rain gardens, edibles, ponds, terraces, hellstrips and more.
  • “Smarter lawns” using fine fescue mixes, carexes, and other low-resource grass types, including where each type works best and what it takes to install and maintain them.
  • Real gardeners and the truth about their attempts to replace their lawns, failures and all.
  • How-to chapters for killing the lawn, designing alternatives, and maintaining them.
  • An illustrated guide to groundcovers by type.

Here’s Evelyn’s quick video introduction to the book.

Holt_1004_086Just one more photo from the book for now (more coming this afternoon, I hope), and a confession.  That’s my garden on the cover!  And in the photo on the left, both by Saxon Holt.  (Though I suppose I should start saying “former garden,” since I sold it three weeks ago. Sigh.)

Plus, I wrote the foreward, happy to help in any way I could because this book is soooo needed.

So I feel like the proud aunt to Evelyn’s baby. Her beautiful, superbly written baby.  Great job!

Just leave a comment about lawns or alternatives thereto, and I’ll choose one at random.  Entries close Friday at midnight Eastern.


  1. I would love this book!

    I live in Denver where we don’t get much run, so up keep of a lawn is difficult. I have tried seeding, over seeding and watering but it’s to much. I want some ideas for a grass-less lawn and could use all the help I can get.


  2. I live on a corner lot one block from an elementary school. Not only do I not want to take care of a traditional lawn in my front yard, but I’ve been hoping that putting in some kind of lawn alternative will help with some of the kids cutting across my yard all the time. (Yes, I’m that “You kids stay the &$#* off my lawn!” lady!)

  3. I, too, would love this book! I’m down to less than 10% grass since we moved in 10 years ago. Still challenged by what to plant instead…. Lots of shade and roots.

  4. We have no lawn at the new place that we purchased last year … so, instead of seeding the yard, I am still looking for alternatives for at least a large segment of the yard.


  5. I’m working to change just a few square feet of lawn to something else each year — first, some shade gardens; this year, expanded veggie gardens blended into the landscape. Very rewarding!

  6. All the lawn that I want is a place for the dog to play … other than that, we will have fruit, veggies, herbs, and flowers!

  7. I need help in this area. I truly want to take out the lawn, but haven’t found something that will work for me. Been thinking about it for years and still can’t find the right answer.

  8. Please send me this book! I have a large shady area under trees that I don’t know what to do with since grass won’t grow! Help!

  9. I am dead between excited/scared to do this on my own corner lot, one block from school. The book looks great, and I’m just excited to have found Evelyn as another resource.

  10. Beautiful book! We would put it to good use. We are currently de-grassing our front yard and need some new ideas for grass substitutes.

  11. My next-door neighbors would love us if we went grass-free; they did it when they moved in a few years ago.

  12. I am in the process of removing my lawn. I’ve been accumulating plants ( cuttings, seeds, free stuff from craig’s list) for 6 months now. This book would be so useful to me!

  13. I’m slowly transitioning my front yard to be many garden beds with perhaps just some lawn paths in between. I would love to get some more ideas from this book!

  14. So glad to see a book with photographs to share alternatives to traditional lawns. So many folks are simply scared of the changes this would cause. I’m really looking forward to showing off that no-mow yards can be beautiful, not scary!

  15. I removed all lawn in my back garden when I bought the house, replacing a giant square of turf with layered beds and gravel paths. But my front, oh my front: I just haven’t found the right plant ideas to transform the front lawn patches into something divine. Seeking inspiration!

  16. I volunteer w/ my county extension office and am trying to develope a program for the public about this very subject. Our area is drought AND flood prone and growing grass is frustrating for everyone. This is a resource that would be very valuable in educating the public that there ARE alternatives out there!

  17. Count me in! I would love to add this book to my collection. We’re slowly dwindling down the amount of lawn on our property and could use new ideas!

  18. Oh, our backyard. The previous owners removed all the plants and put in sod. Our backyard consists of tiered slopes, with each tier being about 10-20′ wide and 60′ long, with either a wall or a slope in between them. SO MUCH SOD. What’s even better is that the sod was put in the backyard in March, we closed in May. So this winter is the first winter with the sod… the slimy, mucky, NO DRAINAGE, no planning sod. We’re slowly tearing it out and replacing it with better landscaping.

  19. I need a book like this! My lawn looks awful with all the dry shade and roots, and I hate mowing. The grass doesn’t come up with all the maple roots, either. Help!

  20. I have slowly been reducing my lawn and replacing it with natives and fruit shrubs and vines[ mainly natives]

  21. I’ve eliminated both front and back lawns and could use the book to fill in some of the new space I have!

  22. I would love this book. My issue with removing lawn will be staying within the boundaries of my various HOA rules… This book would be an amazing resource. Thanks for the opportunity!

  23. I just bought a 50 lb bag of fine fescue to plant on a steep hillside in Wisconsin… I could sure use some help as I have no idea how I am going to kill the crown vetch that is strangling it now.

  24. I would love this book! My husband and tried to and were somewhat successful at our first attempt in the back yard. Now it’s time to focus on the front yard which is almost all grass!

  25. I have the opposite problem from Kate. Replaced front lawn with native plants and hardscaping, and some in the back with a patio and meditation garden, but left some lawn in the back for the dogs. But the grass is not doing so well and I need different options like carex but something that will still hold up to the dogs.

  26. I have lived at our home 35 years next month, The past 2 years have decided to take steps back into gardening, one HUGE step after another. About a month ago I found and it has become a daily read for me and ALWAYS brings a smile to my face, espically living in Michigan during winter months (not that we could say we have had much of the usual winter weather). THANK YOU!!!! Gerry

  27. I think this will be a brilliant book for when I get my house and land, simply so I can replace the grass with things that my dairy cow and chickens will eat.

    Any idea if it’ll become available on Kindle?

  28. Would love to lose the high-maintenance lawn (and I’m not even the maintain-er !) but hubby is heck-bent on keeping it so we look like the rest of our suburban neighbors. Sigh. Maybe I should slip this book into his reading pile & let him “come up with the idea” to go turf-less on his own.

  29. We just moved into our home last year. I am slowly taking out grass and installing my gardens. My husband said I could have the entire area of (currently) yard between the sidewalk and the house. I would love to have beautiful vegetables there, but need more info. Thanks for offering this.

  30. When we moved into our new house 4 years ago it had no lawn or landscaping done at all. Not having the money after putting the life savings on a down payment, we opted to seed sheep’s fescue (a thin fescue recommended by local gardening gurus) for $20 to keep the mud under control. It was the best choice we ever made. I mow it once a year(?) only if the seed heads look a little shaggy. But its not doing supper in the hottest part of the yard, so I need to come up with an alternative to over seed that area. I’m thinking clover but would love a resource like this book to see what else there is!

  31. I’d love to learn more about this! Less mowing (maybe someday no mowing!!) = more time playing and lounging in the yard!

  32. This book will jump to the top of my “must have” list if it includes information for the Northwest gardener. So many things that are recommended in other books just don’t work well here.

  33. I’ve been brainstorming ways to remove my lawn – so much time spent mowing for something so unattractive to look at. I need a reform, and this sounds like the perfect place to help my research!

  34. I thought that looked like your yard–I came to a talk you did at Behnke’s last year. This looks like a great book, especially if it features yards in the mid-Atlantic.

  35. I’ve started switching my front lawn to a no grow lawn, but it really doesn’t come even close to the beauty of those pictures!

  36. Would love this – been sheet mulching the grass/lawn in our 1/2 acre yard and (because of two lovely black walnut trees & their juglone) am somewhat at a loss on ideas…love the column here. You’re always one of the first reads in the morning!

  37. The less grass the better! I moved into a new-to-me house and before I even got around to painting, I killed all the half-dead grass in the front of the house.
    This book would be a great inspiration to me, now that I am working on filling in that blank canvas.

  38. I am trying to convince my husband that we need to get rid of our lawn, but haven’t found a replacement suitable to him. Need help!

  39. I live downhill from everyone on several acres with lots of black walnut trees. I get my neighbors water run-off and any chemicals they use and weed seeds. The black walnut trees product toxins that limit what I can plant and many areas can get soggy. I have a seasonal run-off stream that cuts across my property too. It’s a constant battle.

  40. We are contemplating installing a no-mow yard in the front of our house. I would love to use this book as inspiration!

  41. I have a large yard. Where the lawn removal is easy, I am almost finished and very pleased. Where the lawn removal is difficult I continue to fail and fail again. I’m not giving up, but it sure would help to read this book.

  42. We live in a 1920s section of hot Montgomery, AL with a shady yard that is alternately boggy and droughty. The previous owners tried and tried and tried for a turfgrass lawn, and I’m eager to undo their (unimpressive) efforts. I can’t wait to study this book!

  43. I am establishing a moss garden where lawn used to grow. It has taken a year but I am really loving it. And it is in a fairly sunny area.

  44. I have been reducing the lawn ever since we moved to our house in the country 3 years ago, but it is so helpful to see and read about examples of how others have done it. I am also trying to use mostly natives with new plantings.

  45. My lawn is slowly becoming more arborist chips and veggie/flower beds, but I’m still looking for good lawn-like options for shady spots under my deciduous trees, since the moss that naturally grows there isn’t tough enough to stand up to foot traffic (especially the dog’s).

  46. Hi, everyone, and thank you for your enthusiastic response to Beautiful No-Mow Yards! To answer a few of your questions about what it covers :

    There’s a chapter on design inspiration for each of the following: shade gardens, living carpets, prairie and meadow gardens, patios, rain gardens, play areas, ponds, xeric gardens, stroll gardens, edible gardens, and smarter lawns. Part two of the book discusses how to get there: how to convert your lawn to a garden, elements of an eco-friendly garden, maintenance, and even making your lawn more eco-friendly. Part three presents 100 choice ground-layer plants, categorized by their general behavior to help you site and combine them successfully.

    Not all the plants, designs, or strategies presented will work for everyone in the country, but I aimed to include enough information and discussion to help you make educated choices about what might work best for your site and your style of gardening.

    And yes, I’m all about making it fun and not scary!

  47. I would love a copy of this book! I hate to mow lawns, and would love to be able to dip into a book that offered alternatives. And the photos look beautiful!

  48. I have succeeded in killing my lawn, now I just need help to make it look beautiful. I would love this book

  49. 3 years ago I began collecting cardboard to smother by 1/3 acre front yards grass. After 3 years, and a lot of cardboard, mulch and compost, my yard has been changed into individual garden patches that have seasonal color and takes about 1/4 as much water as my old lawn. My sister thinks I should charge admission!
    Nice blog by the way. Brian

  50. I could sure use a great book like this ..
    I am currently working on a no mow, lo maintenance area . The photos are gorgeous…


  51. About 15 years ago I bought a house in Boulder and inherited the existing lawn alternative, a low-growing mix of clover, yarrow, bugleweed, thyme, and grasses. It was easy to maintain and an ever-changing feast for the senses, from a carpet of blue flowers in the spring, heavenly fragrances with every footstep all summer, to a tapestry of red, russet, green, and gold in the fall.

  52. The less I have to cut, the better I like it! There’s not much grass now and I’m encouraging moss in one area but alternatives for the remainder would be great

  53. I often visit Olbrich Garden’s meadow garden, and all their other garden areas, for inspiration and hope I will succeed at making my yard into all garden. This book would help take me from inspired to useful doable ideas.

  54. My business has muhly grass in the front where some lawn used to be. It requires much less care, and looks beautiful – especially in the fall

  55. This book sounds terrific. I have removed many feet of lawn in our current place and the previous home. My current favorite method is to put down 6 or 7 sheets of newspaper right over the grass, and cover it with mulch. Some weeding is needed at first, especially if you don’t overlap the newspaper sections much, but it really works. You can plant some things right away, especially shrubs and larger plants. Much easier than digging up all that sod.

  56. About 10 years ago, I realized that my least favorite task in the yard was mowing the lawn So, I assigned that job to my oldest son. Several years later, he passed the job to a younger brother. About 3 years ago, I realized that my youngest son (who inherited the lawn mowing job from son number two) was soon heading to college. I’ve systematically been reducing the size of the lawn and replacing it with plants my wife and I enjoy. Need to hurry up…this is my last summer of discounted labor!

  57. I would like a beautiful green space that isn’t dirt and isn’t lawn. Looks like there are plenty of ideas in this book.

  58. Our yard is beach sand. We have been gradually diminishing the part of it that is lawn needing mowed. I would love some more ideas to speed that process along.

  59. I surely need this book! I don’t have much grass, but my “garden” yard looks more like “jungle” than “garden.” Or maybe “weed patch.” I need help!

  60. i have been plotting against the grass – taking it out stealthily by putting in an area of native flowers here, 5-7 shrubs that will grow into each other, there, vegetable garden over there, squash patch over here.. have realized that i haven’t really made a master plan though.. it looks like a great book, congrats!

  61. Can’t tell you how many newspapers I have used over the years as first step in banishing our lawn. The only problem is that grass clippings are my husband’s most prized and most easily obtainable mulch for his splendid vegetable beds.

  62. We have been slowly getting rid of our lawn since we moved into our house 16 years ago. First, half the back yard became prairie garden. It is now savanna garden because the bur oak we planted has grown up. Then gardens in the side yards. Next the small front yard went. We made berms and paths using the soil from the new patio area (Which removed lawn and replaced it with permeable pavers.) We are on a corner lot and have a lot of terrace (hell strip) area. That is turning to garden year by year. We are going to contact the city about putting in a rain garden in part of our terrace. That will get rid of some more lawn. My ultimate goal is to have a patch of perfect lawn about six feet in diameter that I can trim with sheep shears and weed by hand and that contains only lawn grasses, white clover and a few violets. No creeping charlie, plantain or dandelions. Oh, and maybe some scilla for the spring. A few crocuses would be ok, too. Why do I want the book? We are not done yet and can always use some more ideas!

  63. It looks like a fantastic book! Please send it to me! It is just what I need, since I don’t own a lawn mower.

  64. My husband and I live on three acres in rural western Maryland. I’ve been cultivating–organically, vegetables, small fruits, native perennials and grasses (many grown from seed)–about 1/2 of the land for 20 years. There’s still an acre field with the grass and weed mix that was here when we bought it, and it includes the pernicious bull thistle, which my husband tries to dig up by the root each year. A very large, curvilinear ornamental garden, becoming a bit too much for me to keep up, covers most of our “back yard.”

    I would be happy to peruse Evelyn’s book and discover more suggestions (if she offers them) for large properties.

  65. I have a vegetable garden in a large part of my front yard. The rest is just mowed weeds. I had to give up watering the grass years ago for lack of time. Now, it would be very hard to keep it alive because of water restrictions. This looks like a great book.

  66. What a beautiful book. I live in the country, lots of grass to eliminate, would be a great challenge. When grass is not grass its called pasture, but I still have plenty to work with.

  67. The book looks awesome. I have very little lawn and less all the time. The big challenge is convincing other people to get rid of most or all of their lawn.

  68. Heh, like Carri, I am also slowly and nonconsensually replacing the grass in our front yard with no-mow options. Some guidance & inspiration would be awesome!

  69. We are in the process of converting our tiny urban front yard from 100% lawn to a mixture of shrubs, a small tree, perennials, ferns, bulbs, etc. Each year I just make the perimeter a bit bigger. It’s been a lot of fun so far, and, in spite of a few mistakes, it’s going really well.

    Would love the book!

  70. My lawn gets smaller every year and I’m sure I could get rid of some more grass with inspiration from this book.

  71. I finished killing my lawn about 15 years ago, replaced by gravel sitting area, paver paths and native plant areas. Ironically, I now wish I had a good-sized stretch of — well, not ‘lawn’, so much as grass — to serve as ‘pasture’ to my small flock of chickens. That being said, I could really use this book, since some of that original landscaping is looking pretty crummy and needs a complete redo.

    Also, kudos on the beautiful (ex-) garden, Susan.

  72. My parents have 2 acres of land and most of it is lawn. My father is in denial that lawn is stupid. How many hours does he spend mowing 2 acres? How much gas is wasted? How much money is spent on Weed ‘n Feed?

    He needs this book. Hopefully the local library will purchase it.

  73. It seems there are many of us with the will but not the way to accomplish the changeover from traditional grass to the wonders of nature. Thanks for suggesting this book.

  74. There were five acres of lawn when we bought this property in the midst of a 12-acre wood. We’re down to an acre of lawn, but this last part is the hardest. I’d be grateful for help and inspiration.

  75. My husband and I did some hardscape remodel in the front of our house, and he insisted on having turf put in. It looks nice, but I wanted something more dramatic. This book looks like it would give both of us some inspiration.

  76. I enjoy the look of a lawn free front yard. At first, people saw them as an eyesore, but with people realizing the advantages, they are literally taking over! It makes me very happy to see this emerging beyond a “trend” and into the norm.

  77. What a wonderful idea for a book! I have spent some time recently hunting around for grass alternatives online for my backyard. My only issue is making part of my lawn-free garden dog friendly. I bet Evelyn’s book has good ideas for such a situation!

  78. Apparently that there are 80,000 hospitalizations per year due to mower accidents. Many of these are children. That seems a good enough reason to get rid of the lawn! Looking forward to seeing the ideas in this book.

  79. Slowly removing San Augustine grass from my Texas yard (it makes me furious to water grass with our precious limited supply of water especially after last summer). But, what to do when your property slopes toward your house and there is nothing to slow erosion down? Looking for solutions!

  80. there is road work proposed where I live and I hope once they have torn away a portion of my front lawn that I can replace it with a garden… always a silver lining to be found…!!

  81. Removed the so-called lawn here ages ago when I first started the garden outside my NY apartment. It was a few straggly patches of grass vying with long tendrils of ivy. Never looked back and never missed that lawn. (Did like the old push mower the previous occupant left behind, though.) Besides, while there’s a place for the focused use of some flat green in some places, there are millions of more interesting plants than grass to cram in this small garden instead!

  82. I killed the last of my lawn three years ago and the garden looks pretty good, but not yet beautiful. I’d love this book to help me make it so!

  83. I followed all the steps to install a low mow lawn in one part of my front yard — next growing season, the new lawn was 97 percent white clover. After getting compliments from visitors and “how did you do it?” I decided to leave it in place. I would love to have this book!

  84. Love this, I’ve toyed with PAVING my lawn or doing something with groundcovers. The only thing that has stopped me is how I could control the groundcovers from going into my neighbors yards! S0- do they make green asphalt?!?

  85. I need to replace my front lawn with something pretty and easy to maintain, it’s all dead and starting to get covered in weeds 🙁

  86. My lawn gets smaller every year as it is replaced by raised beds.Would love to read this book for more ideas.

  87. I would love to own this book and if I don’t win, I will definitely buy. I have asked Timber Press to let me know when this will be available. I have removed all lawns on my So. Ca. property and I need more advice. I created a meadow in my front and it was way to messy. I am getting professional advice on doing it differently but really want more ideas for other places on my property.

    Thanks for all the info on these great books!

  88. We have eight acres and have never had any kind of a lawn. I use a selection of evergreen ground covers (e.g. arctostapylos, juniperus, grevillia, etc) to provide ‘negative space’ and the kind of foil that turf grass usually provides for ornamentals.

  89. Oh–how very cool! I’ve been wanting something with directions and caveats on moving from a yard full of grass to something that’s more interesting. Thanks for this.

  90. I thankfully had no lawn when I moved into my house, saved me a lot of work. Alas, my neighbor still has one. She’s got a mow, blow, and go crew that likes to blow clippings all over my driveway and carnivorous plant bog. Perhaps I can use this to convince her.

  91. Lovely photos. I havw been looking for an alternative to lawn that is dog friendly. The only ideas i have had so far involve mulch or gravel over the entire yard. I saw this in arizona and it was beautifully done with native xeric plants throughout. However, i live in maryland and dont think it could be successfully done and be in tune with the surroundings. If anyone has done anything that works for a dog friendly (she needs space to run!) lawn alternative, i would love to know about it.

  92. This book comes out at a very opportune moment for me. I’ve spent the last few days staring at the lawn at our “new” house (we’ve been here a year now), trying to decide where and how to take my next whack it. I removed a small portion of lawn in late Summer last year, filling in with Rosemary, Thyme and miscellaneous drought-tolerant shrubs but this place is a little over 1/2 an acre with LOTS of grass and it’s much more daunting than my last effort with a postage-size yard. I can’t believe I once wanted a place with 2 acres…

  93. We replaced our entire front lawn with native wildflowers a few years ago in Bozeman, MT. We now are in a new place in NY and I would love some ideas and inspiration for our new front soon-to-be-smaller lawn.

  94. Over the years I have managed to rid my garden of all of its lawn areas. They only thing left is the city property (though I am responsible for it) between the sidewalk and the street, but I turn a few more sq. feet of that into garden each year.

    Last summer I went on a garden tour and one of the homes had a no-mow lawn made entirely of mondo grass. I found it way cool, here is a pic:

  95. My husband and I are in a constant battle over the lawn. We have grass, grass and more grass. He even gets a lawn service to treat it a few times each spring! I am so in favor of getting rid of most of it. This book would be a great help in getting us spurred on to rip up the yard! I need some concrete plans of action that are beautiful and acceptable enough to not irk the neighbors in my very suburban hood.

  96. There’s a lot less lawn at my house since I started to garden, but I haven’t yet convinced my wife to let me replace the front lawn.

    My goal is to replace the lawn with ground cover, rocks, and paths. And then to get two large planters, in which I’ll plant — and maintain — a perfect, tiny lawn.

  97. I have been working on this for years! The plan was to have all the grass gone before all the boys moved out…didn’t make it but still trying. My “sod dump” in the back has turned out to be a great compost pile. Every blade that I remove is one that I don’t have to mow (or pay someone to mow)!

  98. My husband asked me, “Is it my imagination, or is it taking me less and less time each year to cut the grass?” I have gotten rid of about half of it, but would love some more inspiration.

  99. Books like this that show beautiful alternatives to lawns are just what we need to convince people of the aesthetic appeal. I would love to win this book!

  100. I would love to win this! A neighbor down the street recently filled her font yard with native plants. At first everything was tiny, but it filled in beautifully over the years.

  101. I gotta say, IMO Lorrie Otto was really the original no-lawn revolutionary, who turned her suburban lawn in Madison, WI,into prairie in 1970. She surely was the first to battle pin-headed town officials about mowing her abundant yard–and she won.

  102. I am so excited about this book! I have two and a half acres of useless lawn. I have a permaculture site plan worked out and will need to spend the rest of my life putting it all in and eradicating all this useless, time consuming grass.

  103. Gee, I don’t think my poem is so good that it needs to printed twice. When I went to look for it, I didn’t see it….so I pasted it again.

    Maybe, though, my message can be re-stated:
    it is a process that takes some guts!

  104. Looking to plant a couple trees to shade the house. And I want an arbor, and a rose hedge, and herbs and vegs mixed in with perennials,,,, and somebody to do all the work!

  105. I thought that garden photo looked familiar! Thanks for validating what passes for my memory any more.

    In my Santa Cruz home, we removed the “hardscape” to find on one side, the buried former driveway, and on the other, really good soil. At that time, my son (18 on the 28th!) was too young for me to feel comfortable playing in the unfenced front yard. There were three boulders that had to be put in the small lawned area in the mid-back yard, where if he fell off them, no sudden trip to the ER would be needed. On the driveway side, half-barrels were laid out with citrus or roses in them, and one Wintersweet plant.
    On the other side, with the Canary Island Date Palm (male) in the center, and a downspout in an unfortunate location (set to destroy our foundation) we put in a drip irrigation system, underneath the weed cloth and “gorilla hair”, with roses having been pre-placed before anything was laid down. There was also a “dry creek bed” meandering from that downspout out to the curb, which was practical in Bay Area winter, and decorative in summer. At the curb, and up the sidewalk to the house were placed lavendars and a few rosemary, which only got seasonal rain and runoff from the drip system (in other words, hardly any).

  106. I have had a no mow front and back yard for 12 years now. What prompted me was having to load the lawnmower in the pickup truck once a week and drive round the front with it because the gangway between the back of the house and front was too narrow to wheel it down without having pull it sideways. Got real tired of doing that for a whole season. It kept catching on the chain link fence!

  107. I Would love to have this book! I am lucky to have 1/3 acre…but am so done with the watering (dragging the hose across the yard) and the mowing and the weeding. A few veggie beds have taken up some of the yard but I need inspiration for the rest!

  108. Where did the lawn go?
    Let me count the ways
    North, South, East, West
    Replaced by groundcovers
    I love the best.

    Microbiota, carex large and small
    Japanese grasses, “Homefires” plox,
    Gotta love them all!

    Two front yard maples gone
    (the grass never grew)
    Nor anything else, so what’s new?
    Replaced by special shrubs that glow,
    Coppertina, fothergilla and rhus “Low Grow”

  109. Part 2
    Confession: there remains an oval of grass,
    (too weedy to be called turf)
    Brightened by dandelions, coarsened by weeds,
    Graced by white clover that pleases my bees

    Gave up the gas mower, got a Neuton
    Damn, is that battery already gone?
    Still love my green patch
    That sets off the blossoms ,
    Cools my toes , but needs no hose
    Envy me, for this is Boston

    Winning this book would affirm my goal
    And what’s been accomplished,
    But…. be not proud my soul!

    For though I yearn for recognition,
    When the mower dies, I’m still bitchin’
    Lord, help me reduce my greensward strife
    Warning grass! Here comes the knife!

  110. We have been gradually replacing the grass in our yard with mostly native plants and paths. And we bought a Fiskars manual reel mower last year to keep the remaining grass under control. We are always looking for ideas for replacing the remaining grass.

  111. Sob story: The Sycamore on the sidewalk in front of my house crushed the clay sewage pipe going into my house, flooding the basement with about 6 inches of…manure. Yard has been excavated…twenty years of gardening gone. My beautifully nurtured soil is now buried under rubble. Time to begin again. Did I win? If not, i am buying this book!

  112. We’ll be moving soon, and will be getting rid of most of the lawn in the new place (it will have a permaculture forest garden instead). We’ll still need a bit of lawn for our dogs to play on though, so we’re looking into alternatives. Preferably a grass that’s low water, and a bit tougher than the usual variety that they tend to rip to shreds.

  113. I’d love this book! I have several gardens but a lot more grass to move out! This book will give me more ideas on what to do. So far we’re also working on de-grassing the ditch out front where our rose garden is. We plan on putting in low growing clovers, birdsfoot trefoil and other natural flowers as well as planting some squil. But we also have lots of work to do in the front of our large property.We’ve already expanded the two cottage gardens, but it’s a large area.

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