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Trying to Figure out what to put in Flower Garden Instead of Grass

 
pioneer
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Location: Vermont
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Hello,

I would like to make our front yard into a - flower, shrub, and maybe other types of plant - garden in order to do away with part of our lawn for environmental reasons, not to mention we like the looks of many we've seen around.

The problem is that I don't have any experience doing this sort of thing.

What I was hoping to end up with is a mix of flowers, small bushes, etc, but what I'd really like to figure out first is which grass alternative to plant between them. I've heard good things about creeping thyme and dwarf carpet of the stars. I like the idea of being able to walk on it, as well as the low-maintenance climate friendly aspect.

Wondering if anyone would share their experiences with lawn alternatives.

 
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Location: Melbourne's SE Australia
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foraging urban
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Hi there

In 2016 i completed the removal of runner_ grass from my front yard covering it all with catdboard and news pappers and all manner biodegradable matter that blocked the daylight to kill the grass. It worked. (except my neighbour has the same vrunner grass and does not controll it on any boundaries so i still have that edge which i am about to dig along with a narrow spade  deep enough to insert equal lengths of  "root boundary / barrier" so it dies no infiltrate again especially if I attach the top edge of the root barrier to the base board of thr fence).


On top of the blackout cardboard i spread bought wood chip.
And now 2021 all that has disolved well and truly but the no grasses noe weeds continues. My paths are covered with hand broken or machine chipped homegrown branches. Honegrown chips.

Anything that is not a pathway is bedded with food potential
Permanent and seasonal. Fruit trees and shrubs eg blue berries.  And vege beds. Herbs etc. Volunteer veges and greens.

I would suggest to you why not source local hatdy wild flowers to compliment what you have in mind?

Others will have specifics about grasses and herbs i suspect.

But more about your area.
What size and scope aspect and desugn do you have.



 
pollinator
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Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
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Dutch/white clover would be my choice. Stays fairly low, builds soil, feeds pollinators. Only needs an occasional trim for aesthetics.

There's also a microclover I've read about for lawn replacements. I don't know much more about it, but I'm keeping my eyes open.
 
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Location: Tip of the Mitt, Michigan
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Hi,  I'd say how much work do you want to do after planting? How big of a garden? Walking paths and benches or a small 4'x10'? Tall ornamental grasses mixed with low shrubs and perennial flowers give an almost carefree garden. You still need to cut the grasses and some flowers. Most of the other work is watering and adding some kind of nutrient. Every year I check soil conditions and add something if needed.

Instead of grass between the gardens try looking up plants you can walk on. That way you get specific zone and location plants for your area. I like moss and creeping thyme. With plants  you do not need to mow and will have time for others.
 
Mark Huntington
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Hi Joyce,

We live in Vermont which means the first 2 feet of our lawn near the road will need to be left open for snow from the road plow, maybe just whatever grass alternative we go with. The hedges on the left are the boundary on that side, so I'd like this entire space to be flower/shrub garden.

The other problem is that strip of lawn between the house and hedges, it is very shaded so I'm not sure what we will plant there.

I do like your idea of wildflowers, I think we will have a fair amount of those.

I've seen several people in Montpelier VT who have vegetable gardens on their front lawn. I like that idea but my wife doesn't like it, she is one of the millions of people on this planet who cling to the old idea of a manicured lawn, at the expense of the planet.

EDIT - I'm trying to figure out how to insert an image, not going well so far.

EDIT 2 - Got it!

Front_Yard.jpg
[Thumbnail for Front_Yard.jpg]
 
Mark Huntington
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I've heard about micro clover too, it's on my shortlist.

Thank Douglas
 
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