This summer I had the pleasure of being part of an awesome project. My neighbour decided she was tired of “feeding the grubs” that were destroying the grass in her front yard each year. When I told her of my plan to retire from the healthcare industry to start up a gardening company, she enlisted my help to design and plant a grass-free yard.
Slow Process in a Grass-free Yard
Although the sweltering heat slowed us down a bit, we persevered, slowly creating our masterpiece. Many curious neighbours walked and drove by, stopping to admire our progress, especially when their yards were slowly turning a crispy yellow with the heat and drought. The finished product is stunning, and since I live across the street, I enjoy the best view!
Inspiration for a Grass-Free Yard
To get some design inspiration, my neighbour and I drove around looking at and taking pictures of other grass-free yards in our area. This step helped us visualize what we wanted and also what we didn’t want in our design. We then took measurements of her yard, working with the existing landscaping features she planned to keep, such as the stone garden wall installed several years ago, the neighbour’s garden and grass, the driveway, the road etc. Slowly, but very methodically, we created a design on paper of what would be soil/plants/mulch and what would be rock.
The project was a “team” effort with many heads and hands involved.
Next, we called on Sean Fagan and his crew from Shamrock Painting and Finishing to remove the sod, which would have been a back-breaking and time-consuming job for us. When the sod was gone, we transferred our design to the dirt surface so Sean and his team could then position and install the edging between the sections, and shovel the soil and two different sizes of river rock into the designated areas.
While Sean’s team was working on the hardscaping, perennials and shrubs were chosen to be featured in the garden. I must admit to being a plant shopaholic, so picking out and purchasing plants was right up my alley! A variety of bloom and foliage colors, shapes, sizes, and bloom times was selected, with a mixture of evergreen and deciduous plants, so that the garden would look great from all angles as well as all year around. We also dug up, divided, and moved many existing plants, incorporating them into the plan. Plants were spaced well apart so when fully grown they will not be overcrowded. The finishing touch was a layer of black cedar mulch to prevent the soil from drying out and to keep the weeds from taking over. The black color is beautiful, like freshly watered soil, contrasting nicely with the green plants.
The project was so successful, the smaller patch of lawn between this home and the neighbouring driveway was designed to match.
Photos below are before, during, and after the completion of this grass-free yard:
Grass-free yards are becoming increasingly popular these days, we were way ahead of the trend! I have since created a few more, contact me if you require advice or help.