An average 1,000 sq ft lawn requires 330 gallons of water and regular maintenance. In warmer regions where the sun shines bright, the water tends to evaporate quickly so lawns and landscapes require even more to survive and that can be a drain on the environment’s resources. Lawn-free front yards are beautiful and very trendy so there’s no reason why you should install a large lawn when you can have something equally beautiful that’s easy to maintain and consumes less water. Here are some tips for lawn-free front yard design.
Select the Right Gravel
Gravel might seem like just pieces of stone, but when you use it correctly, it can add a great deal of beauty to your landscape. Gravel usually consists of inorganic material off different colors with different-sized stones so you can pick something that fits in with the overall décor of your landscape. Here are some different kinds of gravel you can add to your lawn-free front yard:
- Glass Gravel
- Lava Rock
- Crushed Granite
- River Rock
- Pea Gravel
- Slate Chips
All of these types of gravel have different textures and colors so there’s no shortage of versatility. In fact, gravel is more versatile, durable, stress-free, and eco-friendly than any type of grass and plant. Once you install it, you won’t have to worry about it for decades. Just clean it once in awhile with little water and comb through the surface to ensure it’s even and your gravel lawn will look presentable.
Embrace Native Desert Plants for Front Yard Design
Desert plants have the ability to thrive on very little water. You can install a number of cacti, succulents, and other such native plants. They do flower and can look very beautiful in any front yard. They’re also easy to maintain because they’ll grow in their natural habitat. You can use plants like Yankee Point or ceanothus, Mexican lobelia, coral fountain, and butterfly weed, etc. Experienced landscape designers will recommend plants that thrive in the desert-like conditions and plant them in strategic areas to ensure maximum effect.
Replace Lawn with Drought-Tolerant Grasses
If you still covet a lawn, there are alternatives to traditional turfs. You can install an artificial turf. It is easier to maintain, durable, and won’t require water. However, artificial turf is not always practical in hot weather. The University of California has identified several draught-tolerant grass species that you can install on your front landscape. These grass species don’t require much water but will provide the same lush green lawns that you always wanted. Here are the best drought-tolerant grass species in order of effectiveness:
- Hybrid Bermuda
- Common Bermuda
- Seashore Paspalum
- St. Augustine
- Tall and Red Fescues
- Kentucky Bluegrass
You can also add other alternatives to grass like moss, thyme, sedum, kidney weed, creepers, etc. They will look good but not require as much water as grass. An experienced yard design expert will be able to help you find the best grass for your landscaping.
Add Depth with Large Cement Planters
Large cement planters are an excellent way to grow plants and conserve water at the same time. The planters will contain the roots of the plants and will require only a limited amount of soil and water. They will also add depth and dimension to your landscape design, making it look clean and modern. Planters are very easy to maintain and can replace full-fledged gardens. They will also protect the delicate plant roots from temperature variations.
As you can see, lawn-free front yard design aren’t that difficult and can create a beautiful landscape. A great landscape designer can help you create the perfect space.