We all love a gorgeous lawn, right? But there are plenty of reasons to use alternatives to grass when planning your front yard landscaping. There isn’t a single landscaping “plant” that uses more water resources or contributes to the chemical runoff issues more than a lawn.  Grass alternatives can save on your water bill, conserve water, and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and pest control. Also, it’s a lot more interesting than front yard landscaping ideas that just have a boring lawn and some foundations plants! So whether you want to implement more drought tolerant landscaping, you are interested in water conservation, or you simply want to have the best garden design on the block, try these alternatives to grass! (Or, if you just want a no mow yard!)



Alternatives to Grass : Front Yard Landscaping Ideas


Alternatives to Grass – Mondo Grass

From David Morello on ‘Houzz‘, this is a great example of an easy lawn alternative. In this front yard landscape they used a stone pathway, and surrounded it with a mass planting of Mondo Grass. This grass is a perennial groundcover, and is evergreen in many climates. It is also drought resistant once established. It grows in this clump like form and never requires mowing. Simple, but extremely effective lawn replacement!


Lawn Free Drought Resistant Landscaping – Gravel & Stone

Sunset Magazine‘ has a great lesson on a lawn replacement front yard landscape. They used drought resistant shrubs, then replaced the main area with permeable gravel and a stone walkway. The gravel allows the rain water to soak into the ground instead of running into the street. This is also a great example of how replacing your lawn doesn’t have to look barren or like a desert. This could be anyone’s home and it’s an easy transformation. Check out the article to see how much they saved on their water usage!

Alternatives to Grass : Front Yard Landscaping Ideas


Lawn & Grass Alternative – English Garden

From ‘Be Landscape’ via ‘Houzz‘, this is a great example of using English Garden style to create a front yard lawn alternative. They created a small “lawn” area with a green ground cover, and then planted the rest of the yard liberally with drought resistant plants. This is a great alternative to grass that also makes for the most charming front yard on the block!


No Mow Alternative to Grass – Concrete Hardscaping & Native Grasses

‘June Scott Design’ via ‘Houzz‘ has the perfect lawn replacement idea. Using native grasses that require no mowing and very little water! Don’t be fooled into thinking that a lawn is the only front yard landscaping idea that makes sense. Be the trailblazer on your street!

concrete pavers and native grasses being used as alternative to grass


Grass Alternatives – Dry Creek Bed

Adding a dry creek bed to your front yard landscaping is a DIY project most of us can do ourselves. Using rock and stone to create this grass alternative requires no water usage for the dry creek itself, and very little watering of plants used to enhance it. You can read our post to find  out all about DIY Dry Creek Beds. Photo by ‘Houzz‘.


No Grass Front Yard Idea – Creeping Thyme

‘Fine Gardening’ has a reader that shared this amazing alternative to lawn… Creeping Thyme! This easy and drought resistant ground cover will bloom in the spring and early summer, and stay evergreen all year. It is “stepable” but never needs mowing. Great for our bee friends, and easy on water resources. And really easy on the eyes! Photo from ‘Roberta Smith‘.


Front Yard Grass Alternative – Boulders

We have a great idea from the world famous “Kaufman House’ in Palm Springs. Go big, or go home! They used native boulders to create a one of a kind, gorgeous front yard entry that is from the renown designer, Richard Neutra. You can adapt this idea for use in your own yard from this desert landscape. Local rock companies will bring in and place boulders for you, so no worries about the heavy lifting.


Lawn Free Drought Tolerant Landscaping – Desert Plants

And finally, keeping with the desert theme, if you happen to live in a desert area like Palm Springs. Tempe or Scottsdale, you can create wonderful front yard landscaping with crushed granite, large rocks, cacti, yucca, agave and other desert plants. Photo from Sunset.com.


Lawn alternative - desert landscaping

We hope you got lots of inspiration on Alternatives to Grass! We think you will also want to jump right on over to our posts, 10 No Fail Drought Resistant Plants for Low Water Gardens and Great Groundcover Plants!









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1 Comment

  1. Mariah June 14, 2019 at 5:00 am

    There is no harm in trying some alternatives to grass to consider putting in the front yard. As long as it will make the landscape neat and presentable. Desert plants is something new in my taste. Is it not high maintenance?


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