These Front Yards Don't Need Water

In these eco-friendly scapes, the grass is gone — for good.

Natural Front Yard With Wildflowers

Environmentally-Friendly Wildflower Landscaping

This eco-friendly front yard from HGTV magazine features a mix of wildflowers and plants instead of traditional grass.

Photo by: Courtesy of Native Edge Landscape

Courtesy of Native Edge Landscape

Imagine never mowing your lawn again — because you don’t have one!

More and more homeowners are ditching grass in favor of xeriscaping: eco-friendly landscaping that reduces water use by up to 75%. Allison Messner, CEO of Yardzen, the country’s largest residential landscaping company, said she saw a 66% increase in requests for low- and no-water yards last year, “and we expect that number to soar.” Some municipalities even offer a rebate for removing grass. In its place, homeowners are planting biodiverse pollinator gardens, hardy ground covers and unfussy native plants. Take a look.

Herbs Under Foot

The ground cover in this Brighton, Colorado, yard looks lush and grassy, but it’s actually a non-edible variety of thyme. “It feels like moss and thrives in dry climates,” says Kyle Trembley of Environmental Designs. He filled the rest of the yard with native plants and ornamental grasses, like sunset hyssop and dwarf fountain grass, arranged in clumps to give the effect of how they grow in nature.

This environmentally-friendly landscape from HGTV Magazine uses non-edible thyme as ground cover instead of traditional grass.

Eco-Friendly Backyard With Ground Cover

This environmentally-friendly landscape from HGTV Magazine uses non-edible thyme as ground cover instead of traditional grass.

Photo by: Rosy Heart Photo

Rosy Heart Photo

Smart Succulents

A stream-like bed of stones edged with succulents of different heights and other low-water plants sets a zen tone in this Laguna Beach, California, yard by Creative Atmospheres Inc. “Using different textures and variations of color makes this interesting year-round, even when plants aren’t flowering,” says designer Monday West. Some of the stylish succulents seen here: Angelina sedum and sunburst aeonium.

Stone and Succulent Garden

Front Yard Succulent Garden

This eco-friendly front yard from HGTV Magazine features stones and succulents instead of traditional grass.

Photo by: Monday West, Creative Atmospheres, Inc.

Monday West, Creative Atmospheres, Inc.

Wild Things

Dillon Tuttle of Native Edge Landscape knew his clients in Georgetown, Texas, wanted a natural look, but they didn’t have the budget for mature native plants. His solution: planting loads of wildflower seeds. In the mix: white brush, lemon bee balm and clasping coneflower. “We had to be patient, but it was worth it,” Dillon says. “People stop to take pictures, and the homeowners even get fan mail.”

This eco-friendly front yard from HGTV magazine features a mix of wildflowers and plants instead of traditional grass.

Modern Black House With Natural Landscaping

This eco-friendly front yard from HGTV magazine features a mix of wildflowers and plants instead of traditional grass.

Photo by: Courtesy of Native Edge Landscape

Courtesy of Native Edge Landscape

Foolproof Turf

This plush, perfectly groomed lawn? It’s artificial. William Betz, founder of Long Island, New York-based Turf Tek USA, installed it for clients who wanted a low-maintenance, manicured yard. Faux turf never needs to be watered or mowed, and it doesn’t need pesticides or herbicides, either.

Environmentally-Friendly Turf Lawn

Manicured Turf Yard

This eco-friendly backyard from HGTV Magazine uses turf instead of a traditional grass lawn.

Photo by: Courtesy of Turf Tek USA

Courtesy of Turf Tek USA

Recycled Rain

Most rain barrels look pretty drab, but for his client’s side yard in Milford, Michigan, Brian Kazak of Landforms Inc. found one with real style. The giant faux-terra-cotta urn is hooked up to the gutters to catch storm water. A hose attached to the bottom is used for watering plants.

This environmentally-friendly landscape from HGTV Magazine uses a stylish rain barrel that uses recycled rain to water the plants.

Eco-Friendly Yard Using Recycled Rain Water

This environmentally-friendly landscape from HGTV Magazine uses a stylish rain barrel that uses recycled rain to water the plants.

Photo by: Brian Kazak, Landforms Inc.

Brian Kazak, Landforms Inc.

Easy Ways to Kick Your Hose Habit

If a no-water yard isn't right for you, you can still create a more enovironmentally-friendly landscape with these water-saving tips.

  • Use native plants. They’ve evolved to thrive in your area, so they need less water and are not as susceptible to pests.

  • Shrink your lawn. One square foot of grass requires nearly a gallon of water each week. Swapping out even a small area can make a big difference.

  • Buy a rain barrel. These vessels capture water from your roof and hold it for later use on gardens or indoor plants. Some towns give them out for free.

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