The timing of the cut is important: spring meadows are left uncut until mid-summer, whereas summer meadows are mown to 10cm in spring then left to flower and seed before cutting again in the autumn. And if you are keen on photography or painting you’ll have plenty of subject matter. Choose a paving material that flatters the style, period and materials of your property, but also one that complements that of the flooring indoors if you want to create an indoor outdoor link. It can feed you and your family, and maybe generate some extra income if you decide to sell your produce. This lawn alternative is more than just decorative. Our offices are closed for the festive period, our first delivery day is 7th Jan 2021. Choose a diameter of 5-20mm so that it’s easy to walk on – rounded gravels are better for children, and larger angular gravels are best where cats are a problem. Ground Cover Alternatives to Grass: Synthetic Grass Synthetic grass, also known as artificial grass or turf, is viable as an alternative to grass lawns. First, lay sheets of heavy-duty, semi-permeable landscape fabric (from DIY stores), to stop weeds coming through. Millboard composite decking, Garden House Design, This season, serve up this Grinch cocktail that will make you more festive than Whoville, By Brittany Romano • Find out how to install decking to cut down on cost, too. For a thyme tapestry effect, plant each variety in large teardrop-shaped drifts and mix them up throughout the design. The alternative is to sow a special meadow mix instead (try MAS Seeds). In many cases, simplifying the shape of a real grass lawn to minimise maintenance, sowing a mini-meadow or making a gravel garden instead is a more natural, wildlife-friendly, not to mention cheaper, alternative. A wildflower area brings colour and interest to a garden and makes for great alternative lawns. But if you want to keep the plants bushy, trim after flowering with shears, or if you have a lawn mower with a height setting, use this carefully. A large lawn can be transformed into a meadow. Learn more about sedum matting for ground use. Prepare the ground thoroughly before sowing – you can’t simply sprinkle meadow seed over an existing lawn, so unfortunately you will need to start from scratch. Microclover. Opt for paving for a smart finish that's durable, too. Overlap each edge by 30cm and fix down securely using 10-25cm U-shaped wire staples. Porous resin-bound gravel is useful where a hard surface would work better, and it’s cheaper than paving. September 30, 2016 Mary Talbot Artificial turf also saves on time and garden storage space – with no need to mow, there’s no need to store a lawnmower. All offer exciting garden design opportunities. Areas near the house can be cut as normal, with paths made with a mower through longer grass in areas that aren’t used regularly. Not every plot can support a lawn, but there are some green alternatives. ), By Brittany Romano • Looking for alternatives to grass? If you love the look of a lawn, but hate the hard work, or want to create a child-friendly garden, consider artificial turf. Want to create a patio or outdoor living area in a small courtyard garden? Want to design a bathroom on a budget? Above: Clovers … Remember that blades of real grass aren’t all the same size or colour, so consider this when looking at those on offer. Of course, not all the lawn has to be left to grow long. Also use a specialist contractor, as it’s not a DIY job. Clover was once considered a weed in the grass, but it’s surprisingly beneficial as a lawn plant. Perfect grass alternatives for a front garden or for a sloping garden. In fact, walking through these aromatic plants will actually trigger their pleasant … This cozy set is $24.99 is a complete dupe and perfect to curl up to this cold-weather season, Wayfair's End of Year Clearance Sale has everything to revamp your home for 2021, Best Shark vacuum: 5 top options with Anti Hair Wrap, DuoClean or Lift Away tech, Editor's picks: the 9 best items to add to your shopping cart this week, 25 bathrooms on a budget – affordable ways to transform your space. Most meadow mixes fall into two categories. If the soil is prepared properly, thyme grows fast, too. Wildflower Meadow. For example, poppies don’t like thick clay, but knapweed does. Planting a moss bed couldn’t be simpler, and you won’t need to mow or water your moss bed, provided you choose an … Fed up with muddy kids? For years, grass seed has benefited from the addition of clover, which fertilizes soil by … 2020-12-23T21:52:37Z, I don't want this cozy set from Amazon, I absolutely need it (and all 8 available colors! The beauty of a turf lawn has been admired for centuries, but really came into its own with the invention of the mechanical lawn … One of the biggest gripes of lawn owners is the need for regular maintenance. However, this article is looking at all the possible alternatives to a grass lawn, real plants, hard landscaping and more. Follow this expert advice from garden designer Matt James on creating a practical open space without grass. Gravel is an ideal lawn alternative, being easy to use and suitable … Whichever option you choose, paths made from paving, gravel or timber sleepers are essential throughout, so you don’t crush the planting when you walk. Sedums won’t tolerate frequent foot traffic and so are not suitable for children’s play areas. Letting lawn grass grow long doesn’t automatically mean masses of wildflowers will appear, however; grasses will dominate. On the downside, it will probably need topping up every 3-4 years but that’s still less work than mowing the lawn once a week! And if so, what will you replace it with: gravel, decking, paving or even fake grass? Don't want to have a lawn and need alternatives to grass? On a large scale, this is the most sensible option, since replacing the lawn with anything else will be prohibitively expensive – or back-breaking work. 2020-12-23T21:59:33Z, This NYE, curl up into these 7 cozy pieces are so comfortable and cozy, you'll wear them on repeat, By Brittany Romano • Bark mulch drains well, nourishes soil microbes and makes a practical play surface for children and pets when used as a ground cover alternative to grass. Sweet Woodruff. Natural products are always good for the environment. Sedum mats, commonly used on green or living roofs, are good ground cover, if given enough sun. Clover is often planted by gardeners as an eco friendly soil conditioner. However, replacing a large lawn in the garden of a suburban semi with a sea of gravel is rather boring, and impractical for families with children. If you don’t need to walk on parts of the lawn at all, seas of weed-smothering ground cover plants such as bugle (Ajuga), pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium), self-heal (Prunella), and even ivy work well. Or maybe you simply have a small plot and nowhere to store a lawnmower? Or the shade from trees or a trampoline make it hard to grow? 2020-12-23T21:51:54Z. Maintenance consists of no more than applying a feed once a year and clearing away autumn leaves. Traditionally this meant stripping off the rich topsoil beforehand (wildflowers love poorer soils), but there are now lots of blends available for all soil types and situations. It also appeals to a wide range of minibeasts and will attract the birds who feed upon them. We specialise in transforming back gardens with the highest quality … Annual mixes are quick to flower, but need re-sowing each spring for best results. The Derwent Artificial Grass from Carpetright (below) subtly combines different shades of green and brown for a realistic look, and is fabulously soft underfoot. Perennial meadows last a lot longer, but need TLC and time to establish, so don’t expect an attractive display until at least two years after sowing. Spreading gravel isn’t just a case of splitting the bag and pouring it out. Here are some of the benefits of a natural lawn. For a natural look, expect to pay £25 to £40 per square metre. Suppliers such as Easigrass can recommend local fitters. An increasingly popular option, a meadow can be created by simply allowing existing lawn grass to grow longer than usual, and cutting it only once or twice in summer. Moss is one of the easiest low-maintenance lawn alternatives around. Some are wildlife-friendly substitutes; others can cut maintenance time in half. It’s permeable, and the crunch factor makes for a useful security measure, too. Avoid using multiple materials in a small space, such as a courtyard garden, to prevent it from looking too busy. Woodchip makes a great play surface – and you won’t need to negotiate your way around toys with the lawn mower! Use all year round, whatever the weather, and it needs nothing more than occasional hosing. Plants are essential for interest, though, so always aim for a healthy ratio of two-thirds plants to one-third gravel. 2020-12-23T21:56:14Z. robbiae), Siberian bugloss (Brunnera), white wood aster (Aster divaricatus), dusky cranesbill (Geranium phaeum) and lungwort (Pulmonaria) are tough and need no maintenance once established. This isn’t an easy-care option, however, and some knowledge of planting design is important, unless you hire an experienced garden designer. A typical wildflower lawn is cut only once or twice per year. Use our guide to create your own luscious wildlife garden. The following plant sellers offer the widest selection of lawn alternatives mentioned in this article. Creeping thymes and camomile (non-flowering 'Treneague' is best) make excellent lawns for well-drained sunny … Enviromat sedum matting was developed for use on commercial green roofs because is so self-sufficient. Grass tends to struggle in lawns overhung by trees and shrubs, so a no-grass lawn is a great alternative. 1 Bee heaven . Bradstone and CED have a large range, and Stone Warehouse has a handy online calculator to work out how much you need. It may require more of an up … These shade-loving plants offer subtle rather than bright colours. If you go for low-growing varieties such as Thymus serpyllum ‘Snowdrift’ or ‘Pink Chintz’, you shouldn’t need to trim them either. Lots of people opt for lawn as the obvious choice – it’s relatively cheap to install and it’s soft enough to lay on, or kids to play on. These low-growing perennials are an indispensable part of any well-well designed garden and are perfect for replacing areas of lawn… You can’t beat living plants for the benefits they bring but if plants are not for you, a bark mulch surface is an OK no grass lawn alternative. But to many, plastic grass is less comfortable underfoot and monotonous to look at, even though technological advances mean the ‘astroturf’ look synonymous with football pitches is long gone. Easi-Belgravia Easigrass, £1,680 for a garden measuring 24m2, including installation and optional 1.8cm shock pad (as shown), Easigrass. Gravel is an ideal lawn alternative, being easy to use and suitable for both traditional and contemporary garden designs. 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