By subscribing you become an AG Society member, helping us to raise funds for conservation and adventure projects. Your email address will not be published. Edible landscaping can save you money. 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? If you find yourself wondering why you’re out there mowing again and again and again, consider turning some or your entire yard into an edible landscape. Many herb plants make good garden bed borders. Transform your yard with food, medicinal or pollinator plants, ground cover, and more. A Decrease font size. The first is Westringia, an Aussie shrub that grows successfully in all states. A Reset font size. Wintergreen prefers a shadier location, such as under trees, and is a bit slower growing than other ground covers. Perennials, which include items such as blueberries, strawberries or rhubarb, will grow and produce … “People think gum trees and eucalypts are all really large but they’re not. The traditional green grass we use to cover our front and back yards has many disadvantages and quite honestly, very little benefit. A team of researchers has found a novel way to keep foxes away from 20 precious bandicoots introduced into a Victorian conservation reserve last month. 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: Fescue grasses are tolerant of everyday wear and tear and can thrive in a variety of locations. 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. Consider the following options… No Traffic. Weeping grass is one of the best options for a native grass lawn, according to Karen, because “it’s a hardy, drought-tolerant grass,” but she says, it can’t be cut too low with a lawn mower because it will die. 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. Rain gardens can up to 30 or 40% more than a grass lawn. Clover grows quickly, suppresses weeds, enriches the earth and aerates the soil with a deep root system. Here, we chat to Karen about the replacements for hedges, grass, roses, feature trees and herbs. Subscribe & Save up to $49 A landscape filled with berry bushes and edible ground covers, perennial vegetables, or even fruit trees is a … And I know that can't be the case. Look at this proud little guy. 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. A rock garden can be an attractive alternative to a grass lawn. We may earn an affiliate commission if you buy from one of our product links, at no extra cost to you. Some groundcovers are edible, such as strawberries or low-growing herbs. For a taller hedge, Karen says coastal correa (Correa alba) is one of the best options, recognisable for its blue-grey leaves. As far as feature trees go, Karen recommends Silver Princess eucalypt (. Required fields are marked *. But what to choose? Dwarf dogwood (also called bunchberry) and herbs like thyme and oregano work as groundcovers for limited areas. Maryland native switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), little blue stem (Schizachyrium scoparium), and yellow indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans) are three great choices for sunny sites. Durability – Dutch clover is one of the toughest lawn alternatives on our list, easily withstanding normal foot traffic. There is no supermarket that can compete with the freshness of freshly harvested vegetables, herbs and fruits. There are many ways in which to expand patios to provide seating as well as containers for growing your favorite vegetables, fruits or flowers. “These are totally water-saving plants, requiring way less water than traditional turf. It is absolutely glorious, people just fall in love with them.” They also attract birds. Lawn Alternatives. 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. “It’s becoming more available, which shows the growers directly respond to what they can sell.”, Quokka population will take over a decade to fully recover from bushfire, The best meteor shower of the year is about to grace our skies, Tasmanian devils look set to conquer facial tumour disease, The Australian Antarctic Division needs tradies. Areas that are traditionally difficult to establish lawn perform well with many alternatives. Oregano. “People don’t realise there’s more than 40 different varieties of finger limes, which originated in rainforests. 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. The K’gari-Fraser Island bushfire has been catastrophic. 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. Edible Backyard is a series of gardening workshops run from Kath Irvine’s permaculture home garden. 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. As far as feature trees go, Karen recommends Silver Princess eucalypt (Eucalyptus caesia). 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. (Image credit: Jaytee/Shutterstock), The native seed is a lot more expensive than the non-native seed, as it’s more widely produced. It’s better suited to smaller areas. “It has silveryness that if you touch it you get silver on your hands. Many Australians have that one tree in their backyard they have a lot of affection for. This is much better for the plants than a situation where the garden receives pounding rains. Cuddle a little piece of Australia with our soft toy range. A handful of trims a year, depending on the plants and site, will suffice. green turf. This one has a rock streambed as the centerpiece, with low-water perennials flanking and overflowing its sides. More Sustainable (and Beautiful) Alternatives to a Grass Lawn . NATIVE AUSTRALIAN plants are currently experiencing a revival. 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. Wintergreen. ... yards where edible plants—vegetables and fruit-bearing trees and shrubs—replace a portion of turf. There’s a good range of small eucalypts to choose from.”, For a backyard with more space, Karen recommends native frangipani (. Grevillea ‘Coconut Ice’, ‘Superb’, ‘Robin Gordon’, ‘Ned Kelly’ – there are plenty of cultivars to choose from. There are plenty of good alternatives to the classic green lawn.For example, xeriscaping and edible landscaping are excellent eco-friendly options. Grevillea coconut ice. There are two types of plants that you can include in an edible landscape. If you like the open feel of a lawn but don’t want the maintenance or water requirements. 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. Here are helpful sites on herb gardens and growing herbs. Hedges aren’t just ornamental but also can be used to create privacy. “People think gum trees and eucalypts are all really large but they’re not. Herb gardens are another means of adding some edible beauty to your backyard. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Dichondra and is another alternative lawn option, which fits perfectly around stone tiles and paths, and like the native violets, needs very little water. Lawn alternatives: ground cover trial. There are numerous benefits to landscaping with plants you can eat. I can't seem to find a single person who doesn't like the idea. 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. Between a lawn as front yard and an edible wilderness are many grades. I'm doing a story about alternatives to the front lawn, including edible landcaping, mini-orchards, courtyards and cottage gardens etc. Annuals, which include most common vegetables, need to be planted each year. Many Australians have that one tree in their backyard they have a lot of affection for. Swap it for an interactive adventure garden or convert it to a low-maintenance living carpet. One of the most popular species being the the, For a taller hedge, Karen says coastal correa (. ) is one of the best options, recognisable for its blue-grey leaves. ... Small white flowers will bloom in the spring, followed by red edible – but not tasty – berries. It’s great to have a place for kids to play and families to gather, but it doesn’t have to be only grass. A visit to your local garden center can provide a lot of good ideas. “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. Drought Tolerant and Edible Lawn Alternatives. Our gardening obsessed editors and writers choose every product we review. In this ultimate guide to rethinking your yard, Hadden showcases dozens of inspiring, eco-friendly alternatives to that demanding (and dare we say boring?) 10 low-maintenance lawn alternatives #1 ORNAMENTAL GRASSES One of the best ways to reduce the area of your turf lawn: Transform part of the lawn into a gorgeous ornamental grass display. Stones are also common elements of Japanese gardens. 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. One of the biggest benefits of gardening for food is the exercise you will get while you work outdoors in the fresh air. 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. Even low-maintenance lawn alternatives need some maintenance: seasonal mowing, supplemental irrigation in times of drought and occasional weeding. Fescue and Ornamental Grass Both fescue and ornamental grasses provide another alternative to the traditional lawn. Other ornamental lawn substitutes include dichondra, scheranthus, pratia, convolvulus, pigface, some grevilleas or native violets. There are two types of plants that you can include in an edible landscape. Greenlee has created many sustainable alternatives to conventional lawns. As far as feature trees go, Karen recommends Silver Princess eucalypt (Eucalyptus caesia). A unique opportunity for hands-on, organic learning from a working permaculture garden. So, here, we look back on the winning images from the past decade. Check out this great resource if you want additional information about rain gardens. Once you have decided to make the environmental switch to a lawn alternative, you are ready to think about how to remove that lawn…and that’s the subject of another article. 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. Get great photography, travel tips and exclusive deals delivered to your inbox. Nitrogen that is produced naturally through the use of clover is much less likely to leach from the soil then synthetic fertilizers. 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. What’s the damage? Many Australians have that one tree in their backyard they have a lot of affection for. 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. A Increase font size. Other ornamental lawn substitutes include Dichondra, Scheranthus, Pratia, Convolvulus, Pigface, some Grevilleas or Native Violets. Explore and create with these great experiments! are the most unexpected lawn alternatives. Find ideas for environmentally friendly lawn alternatives. PLUS receive a gift. In Edible Landscapes, Installation, Lawn Alternatives By foodscapes [vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This client wanted a low maintenance lawn, so we replaced the grass with mazus! Crushing and smelling them is also great to clear the nose.”. Interested in learning more about herb gardens? No traffic open spaces allow for some of the greatest flexibility in style and plant choices. “It’s a lawn you can sit on. “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. Entries are about to open for the 2021 competition. Home Topics Science & Environment ‘Lawn you can eat’: Native alternatives to garden staples. “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. Growing your own food allows you to choose what pesticides, herbicides and insecticides you use. Robin redbreasts are belligerent Christmas bullies, Tiny pygmy possum found on Kangaroo Island, despite concerns that bushfires had wiped them out, The Black Summer fires took their toll on the platypus, Koalas badly burned in Victorian bushfires finally return home following recovery, Ecologists capture rare image of critically endangered parrot, A new croc app is set to make Queensland waterways safer, Australian Geographic Society Expeditions, Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition, Environmentalists, Conservationists and Scientists. New analysis of palm cockatoo populations put the bird on a downward trajectory, prompting scientists to call for a downgrading in their conservation status. You may want to consider extending your present patio to make additional outdoor living space where the family can gather and relax. Blue Star Creeper. Of course, this depends on how elaborate you get with your designs and the materials you choose to use. 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. Karen recommends three native alternatives to the commonly used Japanese box (, The first is Westringia, an Aussie shrub that grows successfully in all states. The plant with the most hedge potential, according to Karen, however, is the lilly pilly. According to Karen the plants also make great cut flowers, which can be soaked in water to make a delicious drink. Trade your lawn for a lively prairie or replace it with a runoff-reducing rain garden. “You can plant them out as small plants or seed. Large grevilleas are the obvious alternative for roses, says Karen. Helping us to raise funds for conservation and adventure projects in both ornamental and landscaping... Rock streambed as the centerpiece, with low-water perennials flanking and overflowing its sides look back the... 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