Categories: Urban & Green

An alternative to a traditional lawn

Expertly manicured lawns have become a point of pride for people in suburbia. But if you are looking to stand out from the crowd, here is an alternative to the traditional lawn.

Are you ready for a natural lawn? Not only can untraditional lawns be a source of contention between neighbors, they also can run the risk of violating zoning codes. If you live in a planned community or municipality, check to see if there are rules for lawn care and appearance. If there aren’t any, you are set to create whatever aesthetic you like.

Here are some gardening tips to get you started:

Embrace wildlife
If you aren’t into a uniform look, let wildflowers run wild. While dandelions will sprout naturally, consider adding some variety to the mix. Your lawn can look like an organic landscape when you add scattered stones and pavers to the mix. Depending on what type of prairie grasses you plant, you might see monarch butterflies and other friendly insects visit your garden.

Landscape design
Add a stone walkway to the front of your lawn to frame your home. A winding path with irregular rocks will add more dimension. Oversized boulders placed in a strategic layout can also improve the look of your home. Added with other tall grass, ferns and bushes, it will make the lawn look more natural. Also, don’t forget to use floral landscaping plants along with the grass.

Lawn island – Another route is to add an island to the center of the lawn. Install a garden bed surrounded by rocks as a barrier to break up the space. Consider the optimal size – you don’t want to make the bed so large that its will dominate the space, but it should create an impact.

Prairie garden
Before planting a garden, find out which plants are native to your region. You can change up the perennials to correlate with the seasons. In some regions during the summer, bergamot is a good choice that attracts bees, and the purple flowers of the blazing star are known to be favorite among butterflies. As the season starts to wind down, add gray-head coneflowers to bring hints of yellow to the landscape.

It may take some time before you see your prairie plants start to blossom. Weeds can be a nuisance during the initial two or three years since these plants spend much time rooting while weeds thrive. Mulch and hand weed to combat the problem. However, another option is to plant a ground cover crop the first season, which will take up space while your prairie plants make their way up to the surface.