Avoid growing lemongrass, Karen advises, and instead opt for lemon myrtle (, ), which is grown more easily in colder climates. Subscribe & Save up to $49 Fescue grasses are tolerant of everyday wear and tear and can thrive in a variety of locations. “It has silveryness that if you touch it you get silver on your hands. Areas that are traditionally difficult to establish lawn perform well with many alternatives. 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. In shady sites, try bottlebrush grass (Elymus hystrix) or the grass-like Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica). Garden designer Karen Sutherland of Edible Eden Design specialises in both ornamental and edible native plants perfect for your garden. Add some seaside plantings and a few pieces of driftwood. They are easy to make and actually quite fun, so be sure to include the kids. Stepping stones are also popular and can greatly reduce the amount of lawn in your yard. 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. Other ornamental lawn substitutes include dichondra, scheranthus, pratia, convolvulus, pigface, some grevilleas or native violets. A family tree. A unique opportunity for hands-on, organic learning from a working permaculture garden. According to Karen the plants also make great cut flowers, which can be soaked in water to make a delicious drink. 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. A landscape filled with berry bushes and edible ground covers, perennial vegetables, or even fruit trees is a … 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. “It has silveryness that if you touch it you get silver on your hands. The K’gari-Fraser Island bushfire has been catastrophic. Bye-Bye, Lawn: Four Great Alternatives to Grass Landscaping Give your mower—and nature—a break with these alternatives to turf. One of the biggest benefits of gardening for food is the exercise you will get while you work outdoors in the fresh air. They’re just fantastic.”. “People think gum trees and eucalypts are all really large but they’re not. “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. Incorporating nitrogen-fixing legumes such as white clover into a lawn is also beneficial for decreasing fertilizer applications. “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. Instead of switching to organic lawn care, some might want to get rid of their lawn altogether. “People think gum trees and eucalypts are all really large but they’re not. For one person, a dandelion may represent an ugly nuisance: a blemish on an otherwise perfectly manicured lawn. Maryland native switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), little blue stem (Schizachyrium scoparium), and yellow indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans) are three great choices for sunny sites. Even low-maintenance lawn alternatives need some maintenance: seasonal mowing, supplemental irrigation in times of drought and occasional weeding. Deva Luna works for a sustainable landscape contractor, EarthCare Landscaping, in Cupertino, California, and loves to replace lawns with native plants. PLUS receive a gift. Dwarf dogwood (also called bunchberry) and herbs like thyme and oregano work as groundcovers for limited areas. Perennials, which include items such as blueberries, strawberries or rhubarb, will grow and produce … Many herb plants make good garden bed borders. There’s a good range of small eucalypts to choose from.”. As far as feature trees go, Karen recommends Silver Princess eucalypt (Eucalyptus caesia). There are two types of plants that you can include in an edible landscape. It is absolutely glorious, people just fall in love with them.” They also attract birds. A visit to your local garden center can provide a lot of good ideas. 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. Between a lawn as front yard and an edible wilderness are many grades. Composed of region- and climate-specific plants that are low-growing by nature, these alternative lawns don’t need constant mowing to stay short. Drought Tolerant and Edible Lawn Alternatives. Many Australians have that one tree in their backyard they have a lot of affection for. 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. Gardening Channel. New analysis of palm cockatoo populations put the bird on a downward trajectory, prompting scientists to call for a downgrading in their conservation status. All Rights Reserved. This one has a rock streambed as the centerpiece, with low-water perennials flanking and overflowing its sides. Dichondra and is another alternative lawn option, which fits perfectly around stone tiles and paths, and like the native violets, needs very little water. Hi all. Fescue and Ornamental Grass Both fescue and ornamental grasses provide another alternative to the traditional lawn. 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: Entries are about to open for the 2021 competition. 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. 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. 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. Karen recommends three native alternatives to the commonly used Japanese box (, The first is Westringia, an Aussie shrub that grows successfully in all states. 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. 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. Home Topics Science & Environment ‘Lawn you can eat’: Native alternatives to garden staples. Annuals, which include most common vegetables, need to be planted each year. Edible landscaping allows you to grow unusual items that you can’t find at the local supermarket. A rock garden can be an attractive alternative to a grass lawn. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Wintergreen prefers a shadier location, such as under trees, and is a bit slower growing than other ground covers. Now there’s someone who’s ready for the holidays. Elfin thyme grows to two inches tall and is a gorgeous addition to rock gardens and container gardens, where it cascades over the sides. Rain gardens can up to 30 or 40% more than a grass lawn. A Reset font size. Explore and create with these great experiments! If you like the open feel of a lawn but don’t want the maintenance or water requirements. But what to choose? Instead of exotic fruits and herbs, Karen says there are plenty of native alternatives. By subscribing you become an AG Society member, helping us to raise funds for conservation and adventure projects. ). Other ornamental lawn substitutes include Dichondra, Scheranthus, Pratia, Convolvulus, Pigface, some Grevilleas or Native Violets. 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. My name is Melinda Fulmer and I write for MSN. Edible Backyard is a series of gardening workshops run from Kath Irvine’s permaculture home garden. Annuals, which include most common vegetables, need to be planted each year. Growing your own food allows you to choose what pesticides, herbicides and insecticides you use. Herb gardens are another means of adding some edible beauty to your backyard. There are two types of plants that you can include in an edible landscape. There is no supermarket that can compete with the freshness of freshly harvested vegetables, herbs and fruits. Trade your lawn for a lively prairie or replace it with a runoff-reducing rain garden. Of course, this depends on how elaborate you get with your designs and the materials you choose to use. Founded 2001 by Evelyn J. Hadden 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. The plant with the most hedge potential, according to Karen, however, is the lilly pilly. Perennials, which include items such as blueberries, strawberries or rhubarb, will grow and produce food year after year. is one of the best options, recognisable for its blue-grey leaves. Grevillea coconut ice. Clover grows quickly, suppresses weeds, enriches the earth and aerates the soil with a deep root system. Stones are also common elements of Japanese gardens. Edible landscaping can save you money. ), which she says, loves a hot climate, as long as it has adequate water, and has one of best-smelling flowers around spring time. A handful of trims a year, depending on the plants and site, will suffice. Here, we chat to Karen about the replacements for hedges, grass, roses, feature trees and herbs. 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. ... yards where edible plants—vegetables and fruit-bearing trees and shrubs—replace a portion of turf. Transform your yard with food, medicinal or pollinator plants, ground cover, and more. Lawn Alternatives. 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. Get great photography, travel tips and exclusive deals delivered to your inbox. Swap it for an interactive adventure garden or convert it to a low-maintenance living carpet. Greenlee has created many sustainable alternatives to conventional lawns. Grevillea ‘Coconut Ice’, ‘Superb’, ‘Robin Gordon’, ‘Ned Kelly’ – there are plenty of cultivars to choose from. Crushing and smelling them is also great to clear the nose.”. eat,” says Karen – who often uses the flowers as garnish or in salads “and they’re remarkably drought tolerant. are the most unexpected lawn alternatives. Find ideas for environmentally friendly lawn alternatives. By Su Byron and Marty Fugate 10/1/2019 at … “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? 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. Non-native grass seed is much cheaper, because the harvesting of native seed is uncommon.”. Karen recommends three native alternatives to the commonly used Japanese box (Buxus microphylla) and Sweet viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum). The plant with the most hedge potential, according to Karen, however, is the lilly pilly. In this ultimate guide to rethinking your yard, Hadden showcases dozens of inspiring, eco-friendly alternatives to that demanding (and dare we say boring?) “These are totally water-saving plants, requiring way less water than traditional turf. You can choose to include chemical sprays and powders or you can adhere to producing only organic food products. Your email address will not be published. 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. We may earn an affiliate commission if you buy from one of our product links, at no extra cost to you. A Increase font size. “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. You may want to consider extending your present patio to make additional outdoor living space where the family can gather and relax. I don’t water [them] very often.”. 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. Ever-bearing strawberries produce fruit most of the summer and tolerate marginal soils and light shade. NATIVE AUSTRALIAN plants are currently experiencing a revival. Lawn alternatives: ground cover trial. This is much better for the plants than a situation where the garden receives pounding rains. 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. Edible landscaping, which is gaining in popularity, is simply incorporating food-producing plants, shrubs and trees into your yard. Durability – Dutch clover is one of the toughest lawn alternatives on our list, easily withstanding normal foot traffic. ), another eucalypt Karen recommends, only grows 3–5 metres tall, and it takes a long time for it to get to five metres. There are many ways in which to expand patios to provide seating as well as containers for growing your favorite vegetables, fruits or flowers. Check out this great resource if you want additional information about rain gardens. 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. More Sustainable (and Beautiful) Alternatives to a Grass Lawn . Hedges aren’t just ornamental but also can be used to create privacy. It’s great to have a place for kids to play and families to gather, but it doesn’t have to be only grass. “You can use it to make a tea, put it in different salsas, salads, place sprigs in cocktails and jugs of water. , a rainforest tree, and there are also dwarf lilly pilly species used quite commonly throughout Australia,” she says. ) There are plenty of good alternatives to the classic green lawn.For example, xeriscaping and edible landscaping are excellent eco-friendly options. Nitrogen that is produced naturally through the use of clover is much less likely to leach from the soil then synthetic fertilizers. It’s better suited to smaller areas. “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. Interested in learning more about herb gardens? Tall fescues are coarser, drought tolerant and provide a … “It’s a lawn you can sit on. (Image credit: Jaytee/Shutterstock), The native seed is a lot more expensive than the non-native seed, as it’s more widely produced. As far as feature trees go, Karen recommends Silver Princess eucalypt (. Drought-Resistant – This plant’s deep roots make it incredibly resistant to water shortages, so you won’t need to worry about watering it. One of the most popular species being the the, For a taller hedge, Karen says coastal correa (. ) Consider the following options… No Traffic. Importantly, grevilleas attract nectar-eating birds, such as wattle birds, as well as native insects and bees. I'm doing a story about alternatives to the front lawn, including edible landcaping, mini-orchards, courtyards and cottage gardens etc. Wintergreen. 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, … 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. Required fields are marked *. Cuddle a little piece of Australia with our soft toy range. Both nurseries and florists have spotted the trend and are offering us more to choose from. 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. green turf. “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. The edible lawn alternatives decade, scheranthus, pratia, convolvulus, pigface, grevilleas...: a blemish on an otherwise perfectly manicured lawn fescue and ornamental grasses provide another to! Work outdoors in the spring, followed by red edible – but not tasty – berries shrubs—replace a of... Great to clear the nose. ” tall hedges, grass, roses, says Karen eucalypts all. Insecticides you use grow and produce food year after year for roses, says Karen – who uses. 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Good alternatives to the traditional green grass we use to cover our front and back yards many! Grevilleas or native violets are helpful sites on herb gardens are another means adding. Alternative lawns don ’ t water [ them ] very often. ” $ 49 receive! Plant them out as small plants or seed the replacements for hedges, like the feel! Them out as small plants or seed lawn.For example, xeriscaping and edible native plants perfect for your garden back. Silver Princess eucalypt (. the K ’ gari-Fraser Island bushfire has been.. Three native alternatives to the traditional lawn don ’ t realise there ’ s a lawn don.