Happy Earth Day! I have no idea why we are celebrating earth today rather than any other day, but it’s definitely deserving. One of the best ways to honor the mother ship is to not waste her resources. In Southern California, where we live in a virtual desert by the sea, water is precious. One of the best and easiest ways to knock down that watering bill is to get rid of the chemical-dependent carpet of grass. I know it can be a huge mental block to rip it out, but there are so many resources out there to embolden you. And the yards I’ve seen that have gone lawn-free usually look great, too.
So to celebrate Earth Day, I thought I would walk around the block to see who in my neighborhood is pioneering lawn-free yards around here, and share some with you.
I happen to know that the owners of this home also run, or used to run, a local landscaping company called Instant Jungle, so it’s no coincidence that their yard is one of the most attractive up here. But with or without their help, you could do something like this, too. One of the tricks is mass plantings, and using drought-tolerant plants, such as succulents, cactus and grasses. When possible, natives are always best!
Succulents like these are so easy to grow and they just get more interesting with time.
Here’s another yard on a busy corner. They just drew in a path, threw down some decomposed granite, somehow got those large boulders in strategic locations, planted a sedum-like ground cover, tuft grasses and aloes, and vavoom! It looks great. No noisy lawn mowers around this place.
And it goes without saying how pleasant it is to walk by here and always find different plants in bloom.
Here’s another yard that’s gone kind of Mad Men with the geometric designs. Besides the boulders, the hip owner has used the mounding grass, low-growing evergreens and lava rock to create a mid-century style design.
If you have an ultra modern home, you can’t go wrong with a cactus garden. Sculptural, stylistic and so exciting when they bloom.
If this has inspired you at all, here are some wonderful books for more ideas: