Monday, June 1, 2020

This Month in the Garden: Sustainable Gardening-Design of a Lawnless Landscape

This Month in the Garden: Sustainable Gardening-Design of a Lawnless Landscape 
Welcome to This Month in the garden! With today’s busy lifestyles and overwhelming schedules, many homeowners prefer to forego a lawn, yet still desire a functional and welcoming landscape. This could be a challenging task, but with careful planning, the goal can be achieved with optimum results.
Front Garden Before
I received a request for such a garden a couple of years ago from a client that no longer wanted the challenge of having to mow a lawn every week or hire someone else to do it. The client wanted to achieve a garden that could be enjoyed and also desired a place where seasonal vegetables and strawberries could be grown. As a designer, the planning of the garden took several steps and my job was to incorporate both hardscape and plantings into a functional, yet aesthetically pleasing garden. 
Front Garden After
The process started with the clearing of a large tree that was very close to the house and had overgrown its space. Afterward, environmental conditions were noted and careful measurements were taken of the site. Landscape flags were used to lay out curving bed-lines and list of desirable low maintenance evergreens, flowering shrubs and perennials was compiled along the the client. 
Front Garden After
Once the area for the garden beds was marked, I imagined a “lawn” composed of pea gravel with irregular bluestone stepping-stones, which would serve the purpose of guiding visitors from the front driveway to the main entrance, to an adjacent pond area and then towards the backyard. In the backyard, raised vegetable planters would be positioned in a central region allowing for easy access with plantings along the perimeter. Additional stepping-stones were used to access the raised beds. The lack of lawn also would create a more sustainable landscape with less watering needed.
Back Garden Before
The front gardens consist of various evergreens, such as holly, euonymus, Skip Laurel, Blue Globe Spruce, Hinoki Cypress and Japanese Garden Juniper with flowering shrubs such as Magic Carpet Spirea and Hydrangea. Various long-blooming perennials such as Salvia ‘May Night', Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ and Daylily ‘Stella D Oro’ were added for summer color into fall. Evergold Sedge and Variegated Liriope were incorporated to a add a low maintenance grass-like element to the garden and pond area.
Conceptual Rendering
The back gardens consist of Emerald Green Arborvitae and Skip Laurel along the perimeter, giving a sense of privacy, along with various flowering shrubs such as Little Lime Hydrangea, Double Knock Out Roses, Crape Myrtle and Tree Hydrangea. Assorted perennials were also added for continuous color throughout the growing season. Above is a computer generated conceptual layout of the backyard design.
Back Garden After
The area comprising the "lawn area" in both the front and back yards was cleared and prepared with a compacted RCA base. Paths were constructed of landscape fabric and edging with a 2-3 inch thick layer of 3/4" pea gravel with Pennsylvania irregular bluestone inserts added for walking. Two Railroad Tie Planter Boxes (approximately 3.5 x 7 x 26”H) were each constructed with open gravel filled bases for drainage. Drip Irrigation lines were run in preparation for plantings.
Pennsylvania Irregular Bluestone Walkway in Pea Gravel Base
Pennsylvania irregular bluestone on a pea gravel base with landscape edging makes for an informal and inviting walkway.
Back Garden After
The completed project turned out to be a huge success and created both an enjoyable and functional atmosphere to be enjoyed by the homeowner for years to come.
Front Garden 1 Year Later
 Here is the front garden one year later. As you can see, the plantings are already starting to mature...
Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit'
 and here is a view of  Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit' that the homeowner sent me. 
This Month in the Garden: Sustainable Gardening-Design of a Lawnless Landscape 
I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden for June. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. of each month for This Month in the Garden, as I share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! Linking with: Floral FridaysMacro Monday 2Friday Photo JournalImage-in-ing Weekly Photo Link-Up and Dishing It & Digging It.

Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2020. All rights reserved.

10 comments:

  1. So interesting! Thanks for the idea.

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    Replies
    1. You are welcome Endah. Every so often I come across a project that is a little more challenging. I enjoyed the whole process of thinking out of the box and creating a lawn-less landscape that would also be aesthetically pleasing.

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  2. What a lovely garden!
    Thank you so much for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2020/06/more-quarantine-baking.html

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  3. Your garden is beautiful!

    Happy Tuesday!

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    1. It's actually my client's garden Veronica, but thank you! The project was a great success and the homeowner is enjoying her new gardens. We keep in touch, and she sends me photos, so I can see how the garden is maturing over the years!

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  4. How beautiful! People get very creative here in Florida with lawns that are easy to care for. I'm glad we have St. Augustine grass though. It's getting a nice rain today and looks beautiful! Enjoy your day!

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the post. There are many who prefer not to mow, but the St. Augustine grass that you have in Florida is so thick and weed free that I hear it is a pleasure. I have seen many a lawn-less landscape in Florida, Texas and Arizona and some of the end results are beautiful!

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  5. I like your garden design. Very beautiful path. So everything is ideally located. Super!

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    1. Thank you. There was a lot of thought that went into the project to create a look of gardens and path without lawn. With the garden filling in over the years, it is providing the homeowner with lots of colorful shrubs, flowers and planter boxes to grow vegetables. Both she and I are happy!

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Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!

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