Landscaping the Yard Without Grass: Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn

Landscaping Ideas Without Grass

There are alternatives to cementing the yard when lawn maintenance becomes too frustrating. Personal preferences, price, and location, influence your choices.

A grass lawn can be either an emerald jewel surrounding your home or it can be a major source of frustration.

Maintaining a lawn and adhering to water restrictions or battling droughts, pests, baking sun, frigid cold, broken lawnmowers or no-show lawn services can be more than the average homeowner can bear.


Landscaping the Yard Without Grass: Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn

Patios and Decks

Adding a patio or deck of wood, brick, pavers, or natural stone, completes your home while filling in yard area. A deck can be raised or ground level, attached to the house or free standing.

Patios and decks can be open or covered or completely enclosed. Both areas become an outdoor room ready for decorating and enjoying. Lighting, an outdoor grill, and potted plants add to the ambience.

Ground Cover

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Choosing ground cover takes into consideration of climate, amount of light-sun, but the soil and slope of the yard as well.

Determining whether it is mountainous or boggy, highly trafficked or a dog run help influence choices. Popular ground covers such as chamomile, clover, and thyme, have been utilized. There are various ornamental grasses best used for zones 6-9.

Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival displays multiple flowering ground coverings emphasizing not only the above but scent, color, and design as well. Drought tolerant Bulbine ground cover is featured there. Native wildflowers can be seen as well as planted professionally maintained gardens.

Ground Covering Ideas

  • Silver sedge for shaded areas in zones 4-8.
  • Silk tassel or morrous sedge in zones 6-9
  • Beach daisy requires full sun in zone 8-10
  • Prairie dropseed, full sun, zones 3-9
  • Ferns
  • Ivy, which is sun or shade and drought tolerant,
  • Mimosa- wet or dry, sun or shade but primarily zones 8-9
  • Rose bushes scattered through the area.
  • Red mulch or cedar chips
  • Colored stones, pebbles,
  • Rock gardens
  • Pools, ponds, or artificial streams and footbridges.

Artificial Turf

Fake lawns aren’t a new idea but the concept is regaining popularity or at least consideration with areas of the sun scorched, water deprived south and southwest.

Sports fields, for example the Rays Tropicana field, are composed of synthetic grass. Golf course or putting greens have used artificial turf, as have playgrounds and hotels.

Synthetic lawns can be created for a dog run or as small clusters of green throughout the lawn area. The product is created so as to be nontoxic and forever green difficult to differentiate from the real thing though obviously drought friendly.

Creating Paths Within the Yard

Pathways of open cobbles or closed brick and stamped concrete break up yard areas yet can give the illusion of more space. One meanders along a path with bushes or plants defining it or directing the walker to a specific site such as a birdbath on a pedestal or Interesting Trees on the lot.

Combining pathways and ground covers or patios covers a no grass space in interesting patterns. A path can also lead to a yard alternative such as a pool or pond.

Check your community by-laws before undergoing drastic and expensive lawn changes. There are many options to “going green”. The irony is, not all are natural.

23 no grass backyard ideas

beautiful no grass backyard ideas

It might be hard to imagine a backyard without grass but let me tell you, it is utterly possible. As a matter of fact, it is a growing trend for modern architecture and landscaping right now and labeled these designs as the no-mow garden and backyard.

This is a valid alternative in building your dream backyard because we have to admit, maintaining the turf requires more than just money but also a considerable amount of effort. And if you have been dying of what you can transform your backyard into, here are no grass backyard ideas you can count on. 

Flagstone

Eliminate the grass and do so with a neater choice with no maintenance needs whatsoever like flagstones, cobblestones and all sorts of large slabs as pavers or stepping stones.

Gearing up for a moss in between or ornamentals around would also make it more astounding. Just make sure that the elements you add to it will complement each other well. A table set or shade would be the cherry on top if you want to. Look at these designs from BHGFor My Wife and Pinterest

Gravel and pebbles

If you are thinking of wide, open spaces where you could throw a whole table set for gathering with family and friends, gravel and pebble would be the best combination to do that.

A raised wooden deck is a good addition too if you want to go over the top. Just look at these designs from houzz, Country Living and Houzz.  

Potted plants

Let us not just stay exclusively with potted plants though. Refurbished planters out of many things or raised beds will make a cottage-like vibe, a vintage feel if you may. Just a piece of advice though, low maintenance plants and ornamentals would make a nice touch. Look at these designs from Zillow.  

Artificial grass and turf

If you think you can never go away from grass but fears that it could be high maintenance and shall require a lot of effort and you just do not have the time to water the turf every now and then, well there is always a cheaper, low maintenance alternative.

For this you can have artificial grass and turf for your backyard ensemble. Of course, adding other landscaping elements will help. Just treat it as if they were real grass. You may look at these ideas from Water Use It Wisely and WaterQuest set them as patterns for your artificial grass and turf backyard. 

Water features

Adding a water feature in the backyard never goes out of style. Aside from being a source of refreshment, it adds a calming effect to the entire backyard repertoire.

You can add jagged stones to give off a zen feel, a pebbled pond, tiled fountain or a swimming pool, there’s no limit to what water feature you can add truth be told. These ideas from WSJ, The Bark and Pinterest will definitely prove the point. 

Tropical canopy

If you want to stay out of water features, a tropical canopy is a good fallback. Get some tree arrangements going but you will have to wait a long time before they could all grow with the pattern.

You can also commission someone to just install some but that would cost much. So if you have seedlings that you could get growing around, then it is only a matter of time.

Making a canopy out of it towering over a table set, other ornamentals, a deck and some light work to glow at night will make a dreamy no grass backyard any day like these ones from Gardenista, Forbes and  House Beautiful


Outdoor setting and a patio

If you are thinking of putting up more than two elements together, then an outdoor setting or bringing out an entire patio in the middle of the backyard will notch up everything in an exquisite manner.

You can add pebbles, stones, wood decks, cobblestones and flagstones, a backyard kitchen and BBQ set if you need to. For patterns and ideas look at these ideas from HGTV, Pinterest, Recognize Leader and Sunset.

44+ Landscaping Ideas without grass

1. Peaceably Backyard Landscaping without Grass

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

2. Backyard without grass

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

3. Foot-friendly pea gravel

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

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4. Suburban homestead

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

 

5. Amazing Backyard Makeover

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

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6. A butterfly friendly canyon

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

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7. Lawn-free tapestry

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

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8. Zen retreat

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

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9. Front lawn no water landscaping

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

10. Reduce lawn makeover

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

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11. Front yard landscape without grass

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

12. Elegant Elements

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

13. Contemporary Courtyard

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

14. Solar system

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

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15. Charming Courtyard

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

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16. Circles and squares

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

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17. Water Feature

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

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18. Lawn substitute

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

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19-20. Garden Path

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

21-43. Landscaping without grass

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

44. Beautiful grassless Yards

44+ Ideas For Landscape the Yard Without Grass | Alternatives to the Manicured Lawn | FarmFoodFamily.com

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