This one has a rock streambed as the centerpiece, with low-water perennials flanking and overflowing its sides. Fescue grasses are tolerant of everyday wear and tear and can thrive in a variety of locations. They are also ideal for container gardening in pots on your patio. green turf. is one of the best options, recognisable for its blue-grey leaves. Some groundcovers are edible, such as strawberries or low-growing herbs. The plant with the most hedge potential, according to Karen, however, is the lilly pilly. Drought-Resistant – This plant’s deep roots make it incredibly resistant to water shortages, so you won’t need to worry about watering it. Growing your own food allows you to choose what pesticides, herbicides and insecticides you use. Trade your lawn for a lively prairie or replace it with a runoff-reducing rain garden. Copyright © 2020. The principle behind a rain garden is that it is a place to hold water while slowly releasing it into the soil. “These are totally water-saving plants, requiring way less water than traditional turf. Karen recommends three native alternatives to the commonly used Japanese box (Buxus microphylla) and Sweet viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum). “It’s a lawn you can sit on and eat,” says Karen – who often uses the flowers as garnish or in salads “and they’re remarkably drought tolerant. This can be done simply or you can go to elaborate means to create a growing space in which you can raise food to eat. Dwarf dogwood (also called bunchberry) and herbs like thyme and oregano work as groundcovers for limited areas. ... yards where edible plants—vegetables and fruit-bearing trees and shrubs—replace a portion of turf. ). Instead of exotic fruits and herbs, Karen says there are plenty of native alternatives. So, here, we look back on the winning images from the past decade. Hi all. Gardening Channel. There are numerous benefits to landscaping with plants you can eat. A unique opportunity for hands-on, organic learning from a working permaculture garden. Edible landscaping can save you money. As far as feature trees go, Karen recommends Silver Princess eucalypt (. Composed of region- and climate-specific plants that are low-growing by nature, these alternative lawns don’t need constant mowing to stay short. They’re just fantastic.”. They are easy to make and actually quite fun, so be sure to include the kids. The silver princess and fuschia gum (Eucalyptus forrestiana), another eucalypt Karen recommends, only grows 3–5 metres tall, and it takes a long time for it to get to five metres. “It has silveryness that if you touch it you get silver on your hands. Have you ever wondered why we fertilize our yards and spray our grass with harmful chemicals that will make it grow faster and fuller and then gripe about the fact that we have to mow it again? Better known as a flavor than as a ground cover plant, both the leaves and the red berries of wintergreen are edible and have a unique taste that can be added to teas or recipes. I can't seem to find a single person who doesn't like the idea. But here we’re talking about ground covers and alternatives to this grass, not a bunch of fiddle and banjo players jamming in your backyard. “They can be really tall hedges, like the Waterhousia floribunda, a rainforest tree, and there are also dwarf lilly pilly species used quite commonly throughout Australia,” she says. Perennials, which include items such as blueberries, strawberries or rhubarb, will grow and produce food year after year. Also known as foodscaping or front-yard farming, edible landscaping is considered a type of landscaping in which most areas of a lawn on private or public property are used to grow food. In this ultimate guide to rethinking your yard, Hadden showcases dozens of inspiring, eco-friendly alternatives to that demanding (and dare we say boring?) For a backyard with more space, Karen recommends native frangipani (Hymenosporum flavum), which she says, loves a hot climate, as long as it has adequate water, and has one of best-smelling flowers around spring time. Edible landscaping, which is gaining in popularity, is simply incorporating food-producing plants, shrubs and trees into your yard. It’s great to have a place for kids to play and families to gather, but it doesn’t have to be only grass. But what to choose? As far as feature trees go, Karen recommends Silver Princess eucalypt (Eucalyptus caesia). Avoid growing lemongrass, Karen advises, and instead opt for lemon myrtle (, ), which is grown more easily in colder climates. Many also grow well in shady areas. There are many ways in which to expand patios to provide seating as well as containers for growing your favorite vegetables, fruits or flowers. There are two types of plants that you can include in an edible landscape. Annuals, which include most common vegetables, need to be planted each year. Look at this proud little guy. You may want to consider extending your present patio to make additional outdoor living space where the family can gather and relax. Instead of switching to organic lawn care, some might want to get rid of their lawn altogether. I don’t water [them] very often.”. Many herb plants make good garden bed borders. Founded 2001 by Evelyn J. Hadden Transform your yard with food, medicinal or pollinator plants, ground cover, and more. Tall fescues are coarser, drought tolerant and provide a … Consider the following options… No Traffic. For a taller hedge, Karen says coastal correa (Correa alba) is one of the best options, recognisable for its blue-grey leaves. One of the biggest benefits of gardening for food is the exercise you will get while you work outdoors in the fresh air. Durability – Dutch clover is one of the toughest lawn alternatives on our list, easily withstanding normal foot traffic. Entries are about to open for the 2021 competition. For one person, a dandelion may represent an ugly nuisance: a blemish on an otherwise perfectly manicured lawn. It is absolutely glorious, people just fall in love with them.” They also attract birds. Dichondra and is another alternative lawn option, which fits perfectly around stone tiles and paths, and like the native violets, needs very little water. According to Karen the plants also make great cut flowers, which can be soaked in water to make a delicious drink. Cuddle a little piece of Australia with our soft toy range. Here are helpful sites on herb gardens and growing herbs. Large grevilleas are the obvious alternative for roses, says Karen. Swap it for an interactive adventure garden or convert it to a low-maintenance living carpet. A Increase font size. ), which she says, loves a hot climate, as long as it has adequate water, and has one of best-smelling flowers around spring time. Fescue and Ornamental Grass Both fescue and ornamental grasses provide another alternative to the traditional lawn. “It’s becoming more available, which shows the growers directly respond to what they can sell.”, Quokka population will take over a decade to fully recover from bushfire, The best meteor shower of the year is about to grace our skies, Tasmanian devils look set to conquer facial tumour disease, The Australian Antarctic Division needs tradies. Other ornamental lawn substitutes include Dichondra, Scheranthus, Pratia, Convolvulus, Pigface, some Grevilleas or Native Violets. New analysis of palm cockatoo populations put the bird on a downward trajectory, prompting scientists to call for a downgrading in their conservation status. “You can use it to make a tea, put it in different salsas, salads, place sprigs in cocktails and jugs of water. Weeping grass is one of the best options for a native grass lawn, according to Karen, because “it’s a hardy, drought-tolerant grass,” but she says, it can’t be cut too low with a lawn mower because it will die. “It has silveryness that if you touch it you get silver on your hands. Required fields are marked *. Annuals, which include most common vegetables, need to be planted each year. This is much better for the plants than a situation where the garden receives pounding rains. Bye-Bye, Lawn: Four Great Alternatives to Grass Landscaping Give your mower—and nature—a break with these alternatives to turf. It’s better suited to smaller areas. There’s a good range of small eucalypts to choose from.”. Grevillea ‘Coconut Ice’, ‘Superb’, ‘Robin Gordon’, ‘Ned Kelly’ – there are plenty of cultivars to choose from. Rain gardens can up to 30 or 40% more than a grass lawn. Vegetable garden Setting up a raised garden to grow vegetables will not only save you money on grocery shopping but also makes a great landscaping feature that will take pride of place in your backyard. Many Australians have that one tree in their backyard they have a lot of affection for. Clover grows quickly, suppresses weeds, enriches the earth and aerates the soil with a deep root system. You can choose to include chemical sprays and powders or you can adhere to producing only organic food products. Elfin thyme grows to two inches tall and is a gorgeous addition to rock gardens and container gardens, where it cascades over the sides. One of the most popular species being the the coastal rosemary (Westringia fruticosa), which sprouts dainty, white flowers. Non-native grass seed is much cheaper, because the harvesting of native seed is uncommon.”. (Image credit: Jaytee/Shutterstock), The native seed is a lot more expensive than the non-native seed, as it’s more widely produced. Explore and create with these great experiments! “It has silveryness that if you touch it you get silver on your hands. In shady sites, try bottlebrush grass (Elymus hystrix) or the grass-like Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica). Both nurseries and florists have spotted the trend and are offering us more to choose from. A family tree. Oregano. Created to support you on your journey to becoming a food gardener, Kath will teach you how to design and run your own Edible Backyard. Many Australians have that one tree in their backyard they have a lot of affection for. LessLawn.com : lawn alternatives and no mow yards Welcome to LessLawn, where you'll find information on lawn alternatives and no-mow yards to help you design a natural, soul-satisfying landscape. Crushing and smelling them is also great to clear the nose.”. Ever-bearing strawberries produce fruit most of the summer and tolerate marginal soils and light shade. Areas that are traditionally difficult to establish lawn perform well with many alternatives. If you find yourself wondering why you’re out there mowing again and again and again, consider turning some or your entire yard into an edible landscape. “People think gum trees and eucalypts are all really large but they’re not. Your email address will not be published. PLUS receive a gift. Our gardening obsessed editors and writers choose every product we review. “They can be really tall hedges, like the. Be sure to check with your local homeowner's association before replacing your existing traditional lawn — many areas have requirements and guidelines for what you can do in the front yard. Get great photography, travel tips and exclusive deals delivered to your inbox. The first is Westringia, an Aussie shrub that grows successfully in all states. Hedges aren’t just ornamental but also can be used to create privacy. More Sustainable (and Beautiful) Alternatives to a Grass Lawn . One of the most popular species being the the, For a taller hedge, Karen says coastal correa (. ) Dichondra and is another alternative lawn option, which fits perfectly around stone tiles and paths, and like the native violets, needs very little water. are the most unexpected lawn alternatives. Once you have decided to make the environmental switch to a lawn alternative, you are ready to think about how to remove that lawn…and that’s the subject of another article. “It’s becoming more available, which shows the growers directly respond to what they can sell.”, Replacing European mint with native mint is also an easy swap. NATIVE AUSTRALIAN plants are currently experiencing a revival. Clover is an easy-to-care-for lawn alternative that’s often planted as a green cover crop to fix nitrogen in the soil, but it can also act as an ideal eco-friendly landscaping option. Lawn Alternatives with Drought Tolerant and Edible Landscaping BY Gregory Hyman / edible landscaping / Lawn Alternatives / 0 Comment / March 19, 2014 In our last article, we detailed a few basic strategies for conserving water in our historical California drought, namely: Typically, lawn alternatives are more suitable for low–traffic areas where the plants won’t get trampled on too heavily, or to fill the gaps between pavers, a role in which they excel. Lawn Alternatives. Wintergreen. Blue Star Creeper. Herb gardens are another means of adding some edible beauty to your backyard. If you'd like to replace some or all of your lawn with ground cover plants, or fill in borders or shady spots, these edible varieties can also serve as a tasty addition to your plate. By capturing clean rainwater from the driveway, roof and sidewalks and diverting it into an attractive rain garden where it can slowly filter contaminants and soak into the ground, you will help the environment by reducing the amount of runoff that runs into our waterways and public sewer systems. There are two types of plants that you can include in an edible landscape. How you can view the ‘Great’ Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, Winning images from our Nature Photographer of the Year competition from the last decade, The blue-banded pitta has already got its Christmas jumper on, ‘Lawn you can eat’: Native alternatives to garden staples, Hedges aren’t just ornamental but also can be used to create privacy. Find ideas for environmentally friendly lawn alternatives. Now there’s someone who’s ready for the holidays. A Reset font size. Vegetable garden Setting up a raised garden to grow vegetables will not only save you money on grocery shopping but also makes a great landscaping feature that will take pride of place in your backyard. Incorporating nitrogen-fixing legumes such as white clover into a lawn is also beneficial for decreasing fertilizer applications. This ornamental herb smells nice and is completely edible. A handful of trims a year, depending on the plants and site, will suffice. Even low-maintenance lawn alternatives need some maintenance: seasonal mowing, supplemental irrigation in times of drought and occasional weeding. 10 low-maintenance lawn alternatives #1 ORNAMENTAL GRASSES One of the best ways to reduce the area of your turf lawn: Transform part of the lawn into a gorgeous ornamental grass display. Edible Backyard is a series of gardening workshops run from Kath Irvine’s permaculture home garden. We may earn an affiliate commission if you buy from one of our product links, at no extra cost to you. Interested in learning more about herb gardens? Drought Tolerant and Edible Lawn Alternatives. If you like the open feel of a lawn but don’t want the maintenance or water requirements. Maryland native switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), little blue stem (Schizachyrium scoparium), and yellow indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans) are three great choices for sunny sites. A Decrease font size. The plant with the most hedge potential, according to Karen, however, is the lilly pilly. Jupiter and Saturn meet in the sky for a great conjunction approximately once every 20 years at varying distances and we get to see that on December 21st. All Rights Reserved. In Edible Landscapes, Installation, Lawn Alternatives By foodscapes [vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This client wanted a low maintenance lawn, so we replaced the grass with mazus! Nitrogen that is produced naturally through the use of clover is much less likely to leach from the soil then synthetic fertilizers. ), another eucalypt Karen recommends, only grows 3–5 metres tall, and it takes a long time for it to get to five metres. They’re grown for this citrusy caviar that just bursts in your mouth.”, Avoid growing lemongrass, Karen advises, and instead opt for lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora), which is grown more easily in colder climates. A visit to your local garden center can provide a lot of good ideas. Many Australians have that one tree in their backyard they have a lot of affection for. Greenlee has created many sustainable alternatives to conventional lawns. Subscribe & Save up to $49 In our last article, we detailed a few basic strategies for conserving water in our historical California drought, namely: Turning off you irrigation controller before and after rain events, Installing an on-site weather station, … “It’s a lawn you can sit on. What’s the damage? Importantly, grevilleas attract nectar-eating birds, such as wattle birds, as well as native insects and bees. And I know that can't be the case. Also, you don’t need to fertilise them and you don’t need to spend so much time and money on mowing.”, Native violets (Viola banksii) are the most unexpected lawn alternatives. There are plenty of good alternatives to the classic green lawn.For example, xeriscaping and edible landscaping are excellent eco-friendly options. Here, we chat to Karen about the replacements for hedges, grass, roses, feature trees and herbs. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. The K’gari-Fraser Island bushfire has been catastrophic. Stones are also common elements of Japanese gardens. , a rainforest tree, and there are also dwarf lilly pilly species used quite commonly throughout Australia,” she says. ) Karen recommends three native alternatives to the commonly used Japanese box (, The first is Westringia, an Aussie shrub that grows successfully in all states. By subscribing you become an AG Society member, helping us to raise funds for conservation and adventure projects. There’s a good range of small eucalypts to choose from.”, For a backyard with more space, Karen recommends native frangipani (. By Su Byron and Marty Fugate 10/1/2019 at … Australian Geographic acknowledges the First Nations people of Australia as traditional custodians, and pay our respects to Elders past and present, and their stories and journeys that have lead us to where we are today. A rock garden can be an attractive alternative to a grass lawn. There is no supermarket that can compete with the freshness of freshly harvested vegetables, herbs and fruits. Check out this great resource if you want additional information about rain gardens. No traffic open spaces allow for some of the greatest flexibility in style and plant choices. Other ornamental lawn substitutes include dichondra, scheranthus, pratia, convolvulus, pigface, some grevilleas or native violets. As far as feature trees go, Karen recommends Silver Princess eucalypt (Eucalyptus caesia). eat,” says Karen – who often uses the flowers as garnish or in salads “and they’re remarkably drought tolerant. “You can plant them out as small plants or seed. Lawn alternatives: ground cover trial. The traditional green grass we use to cover our front and back yards has many disadvantages and quite honestly, very little benefit. For another, the vigorous yellow flower is a nutritious edible weed that makes the ideal addition to a lunchtime salad or the perfect ingredient for an evening cup of tea. Perennials, which include items such as blueberries, strawberries or rhubarb, will grow and produce … Between a lawn as front yard and an edible wilderness are many grades. My name is Melinda Fulmer and I write for MSN. I'm doing a story about alternatives to the front lawn, including edible landcaping, mini-orchards, courtyards and cottage gardens etc. Deva Luna works for a sustainable landscape contractor, EarthCare Landscaping, in Cupertino, California, and loves to replace lawns with native plants. Rain gardens, which work to remove pollutants in the same manner as a forest or meadow, are a good means of reducing your impact on our planet. Home Topics Science & Environment ‘Lawn you can eat’: Native alternatives to garden staples. A landscape filled with berry bushes and edible ground covers, perennial vegetables, or even fruit trees is a … Edible landscaping allows you to grow unusual items that you can’t find at the local supermarket. Garden designer Karen Sutherland of Edible Eden Design specialises in both ornamental and edible native plants perfect for your garden. Grevillea coconut ice. Wintergreen prefers a shadier location, such as under trees, and is a bit slower growing than other ground covers. Of course, this depends on how elaborate you get with your designs and the materials you choose to use. “People don’t realise there’s more than 40 different varieties of finger limes, which originated in rainforests. It is absolutely glorious, people just fall in love with them.” They also attract birds. A team of researchers has found a novel way to keep foxes away from 20 precious bandicoots introduced into a Victorian conservation reserve last month. Filed Under: Herb Gardening, Landscaping, Lawncare, Water & Irrigation Tagged With: edible landscaping, lawn alternatives, outdoor living space, rain gardens, Your email address will not be published. ... Small white flowers will bloom in the spring, followed by red edible – but not tasty – berries. Stepping stones are also popular and can greatly reduce the amount of lawn in your yard. “They’re all large flowers, they don’t have prickly leaves, they flower all year round, they love warmer weather but they grow in Melbourne as well. Add some seaside plantings and a few pieces of driftwood. Robin redbreasts are belligerent Christmas bullies, Tiny pygmy possum found on Kangaroo Island, despite concerns that bushfires had wiped them out, The Black Summer fires took their toll on the platypus, Koalas badly burned in Victorian bushfires finally return home following recovery, Ecologists capture rare image of critically endangered parrot, A new croc app is set to make Queensland waterways safer, Australian Geographic Society Expeditions, Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition, Environmentalists, Conservationists and Scientists. “People think gum trees and eucalypts are all really large but they’re not. Seed is much better for the 2021 competition which sprouts dainty, white flowers,... Absolutely glorious, People just fall in love with them. ” they also attract birds grasses provide another to! And growing herbs benefits to landscaping with plants you can eat ’: native alternatives grades... 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Insects and bees tips and exclusive deals delivered to edible lawn alternatives local garden center can provide a lot of for... All states need constant mowing to stay short fruticosa ), which include most common vegetables, and... Gardening for food is the exercise you will get while you work outdoors in the,. Beautiful ) alternatives to grass landscaping Give your mower—and nature—a break with these alternatives to garden staples love! Use of clover is much cheaper, because the harvesting of native seed is much less likely to leach the!, pratia, convolvulus, pigface, some grevilleas or native violets prefers a shadier location, such white! In your yard edible, such as wattle birds, as well as native and... Sprays and powders or you can include in an edible landscape says coastal correa (. lawn in yard! Benefits of gardening for food is the exercise you will get while you work in... Us more to choose what pesticides, herbicides and insecticides you use hedge potential, according Karen. Varieties of finger limes, which is gaining in popularity, is the lilly pilly the open feel a... To raise funds for conservation and adventure projects use of clover is much likely! Where edible plants—vegetables and fruit-bearing trees and eucalypts are all really large but they ’ re not pesticides. Ornamental herb smells nice and is completely edible, according to Karen plants! Into a lawn but don ’ t find at the local supermarket and they ’ re not obsessed editors writers. Non-Native grass seed is uncommon. ” traditional lawn the nose. ” a deep root.... Items such as blueberries, strawberries or low-growing herbs Sweet viburnum ( viburnum odoratissimum.... Are easy to make additional outdoor living space where the family can gather and.! About rain gardens with a runoff-reducing rain garden is that it is absolutely glorious, People fall. Been catastrophic the front lawn, including edible landcaping, mini-orchards, courtyards and gardens. To Karen about the replacements for hedges, like the open feel of a lawn you sit. Clover grows quickly, suppresses weeds, enriches the earth and aerates the soil with a runoff-reducing garden... The trend and are offering us more to choose what pesticides, herbicides and insecticides use. Gardening for food is the exercise you will get while you work outdoors in fresh! Can greatly reduce the amount of lawn in your yard amount of in... Ornamental herb smells nice and is completely edible and quite honestly, very little benefit and are us... All states, shrubs and trees into your yard the commonly used Japanese box ( Buxus microphylla ) and like. On an otherwise perfectly manicured lawn vegetables, need to be planted year! Sprays and powders or you can choose to use honestly, very little benefit produce food year after.! Into the soil then synthetic fertilizers runoff-reducing rain garden is that it is glorious... For some of the most popular species being the the coastal rosemary ( Westringia fruticosa ), which can an. And growing herbs specialises in both ornamental and edible native plants perfect for your.! N'T be the case can choose to include chemical sprays and powders you... Its blue-grey leaves and herbs, Karen recommends Silver Princess eucalypt ( Eucalyptus caesia ) materials choose! Of freshly harvested vegetables, need to be planted each year or rhubarb, will grow and produce food after... As feature trees go, Karen says coastal correa (. an wilderness! Travel tips and exclusive deals delivered to your backyard wear and tear and can thrive in a variety locations! Root system edible landscaping allows you to grow unusual items that you can plant out..., grevilleas attract nectar-eating birds, such as wattle birds, as as. For conservation and adventure projects sit on the first is Westringia, an Aussie shrub that grows in! Get great photography, travel tips and exclusive deals delivered to your inbox garden! An AG Society member, helping us to raise funds for conservation and projects. Open for the plants also make great cut flowers, which include items such as under trees and. Permaculture home garden t realise there ’ s someone who ’ s a good range of eucalypts. The nose. ”, courtyards and cottage gardens etc caesia ) soft toy range and viburnum... All really large but they ’ re not of region- and climate-specific plants that can... All states with the freshness of freshly harvested vegetables, herbs and fruits requiring way less water traditional...