Say NO to Grass!

Ranked #6,222 in Home & Garden, #59,728 overall

The place you call home says so much about you! The lawns or gardens, the colors you choose, the chair on the stoop, everything says something! When I walk through my neighborhood, I like to stop by people’s gardens and admire the work and the display they have put on for me to see and enjoy. Now I know they didn’t do it just for me, but I like to think they wanted to share the beauty or they would not have put it out for display.

Front Yard Gardens by Liz Primeau, is what prompted me to till the front garden at my house and turn it into a mix of perennial and annual plants. My husband was happy because there was less grass for him to mow and less weeding that required his help. Weeding the flower beds fell into my jurisdiction. For him it was a win-win situation and it was for me too! You see I love gardening and I can never get enough plants.

This book was helpful to me because as a Canadian Gardener, we sometimes (like this year) suffer some real difficult weather patterns. Winter is cold and summer can be pretty hot sometimes. I needed information that was relevant to my gardening zone and climate. I also needed information on turning what was a patch of grass, into something that would “WOW” myself and anyone else who happened to stop by!

As the Title of the Book would have you believe, it is all about making your front garden a showpiece in your neighborhood! It goes through all the steps required to make what was grass, a thriving flower bed of mixed beauty, color and fragrances.

I live on a very quiet street, but we have a school very close by! Every morning there are children passing by and they all stop to admire whatever happens to be growing and blooming on any particular day. On one particular day, the kindergarten teacher had the children out for a nature walk. All of the children who knew my garden asked the teacher to take them by my house. I was in the garden when they came by. The teacher could not believe her eyes. The kids (the ones I knew from our morning walkabouts) smiled. The teacher then said to me, The kids have been talking about your garden since the first blooms appeared in the spring. I didn’t believe them when they told me how beautiful it was.

Well, I must tell you all, that morning had me puffed up with pride and kept me smiling for a long time. I have gotten to know most of my neighbors, because they all stop and admire the garden. We chat about the children, the neighborhood and the garden. If asked I freely give advice and sample plants even. This gardener loves to share!

The comments and the joy that the flowers give me, keep me going until the fall and then it disappears again for a few months. Once the snow is melted, the children will come again and stop to see what’s growing in GrammieO’s garden.

Lovely examples of what you can plant!

Making a great front garden requires hardscaping and landscaping.

A beautiful transformation from grass to garden and a lovely walkway.....

Some of the prep work for reclaiming grass to garden.

GrammieO's front side yard!

Do you make use of your front lawn for gardening?

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Comments

If you enjoyed this review, please leave a dirty thumb print right here, it will encourage me to share more with you!

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  • VioletteRose Jul 07, 2014 @ 1:58 pm
    I love flower gardens, but now I have only balconies to plant anything :) I grew up in a place where we had a big yard and so we had many flowering plants, flowering trees and fruit trees!
  • grammieo Jul 07, 2014 @ 7:04 pm
    You can do a lot on balconies too, sometimes though, it depends on your sun and which way you face. It can be done though! I especially like herbs and keep them growing in planter boxes on my deck which is close to the kitchen........
  • WriterJanis May 06, 2014 @ 4:14 am
    I need to do more gardening.
  • grammieo May 06, 2014 @ 6:36 pm
    It's therapeutic, so go for it!
  • adventuretravelshop Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:46 pm
    I'm in the process of sorting out my back yard. It needs a lot of work and I've been looking for ideas -alternatives to grass. Thanks for this lens.
  • grammieo May 05, 2014 @ 7:54 pm
    You are so welcome, I don't have much grass left, just enough for my grandchildren to have a run around.......but they would rather run around the pond anyways,.....
  • bpratt Apr 26, 2014 @ 9:06 am
    We have wild flower mixes out here where you just spread it where you want it and get some amazingly beautiful flowers. I like to use it in places that are especially difficult with weeds or grass. I love the picture of your flowers! Tulips are some of my favorite :)
  • grammieo May 05, 2014 @ 7:58 pm
    Those mixes are great if you have a lot of area to cover, but I worry about them sometimes. The mixes can be full of something that you would rather not have! In open or large areas this isn't a problem, but with a smaller garden, it just might make someone really crazy!
  • lyndamakaracreations Apr 21, 2014 @ 12:24 am
    I think a pretty garden is a lot more interesting than grass. I'm in the process of getting rid of my lawn right now.
  • grammieo Apr 21, 2014 @ 7:18 am
    My front garden has been flowers only for the last 20 years, I don't know that it isn't more work than grass, but it sure looks prettier.....
  • mountainmist Apr 18, 2014 @ 1:37 pm
    Great lens! I did say no to grass in my backyard and xeriscaped. The problems is it's harder to maintain-weeds grow in every nook and cranny, the ravenna grass has made it my own personal jungle here in Colorado.
  • grammieo Apr 18, 2014 @ 1:53 pm
    Yes sometimes this is harder to keep control over, but if you see weeds coming up, when they are young, use white vinegar to kill them before they settle into their crack! It works really well, use it on a sunny day.......
  • smine27 Mar 04, 2014 @ 8:19 am
    Although I don't have a lawn, I do have a mini garden on my balcony
  • grammieo Mar 04, 2014 @ 12:36 pm
    I'm glad you are doing some kind of growing. It doesn't have to be big in order to be beautiful......
  • sha-ron Feb 27, 2014 @ 9:30 pm
    We bought a house with no lawn out the front and glad because it is so dry it is hard to grow anything. But when living in other areas loved my green gardens
  • grammieo Feb 27, 2014 @ 9:36 pm
    Look for plants that are drought tolerant or a nice cactus garden......use your leftover dishwater to give them a little drink once in a while......
  • Frischy Feb 27, 2014 @ 11:50 am
    I have a new front yard to play with this spring. I hope to bring some beauty to my new neighborhood. Thanks for the ideas!
  • grammieo Feb 27, 2014 @ 11:59 am
    You are welcome, come back and show us what you've done!
  • YourHandyHelper Feb 27, 2014 @ 11:44 am
    One dirty thumb up from me!
  • grammieo Feb 27, 2014 @ 11:46 am
    Thank you so much, I love dirty thumbs and fingers and all of those......
  • Sir_Daniel_UK Feb 27, 2014 @ 7:26 am
    I like this.
  • grammieo Feb 27, 2014 @ 10:12 am
    Thanks for your thumbs up......
  • jsr54 Feb 25, 2014 @ 7:32 pm
    What a great review and food for thought! I have a big front and back yard so to incorporate your strategy sounds like a huge job to me but you never know, little by little. Thanks for the inspiration!
  • grammieo Feb 25, 2014 @ 7:46 pm
    You can have the best of both worlds, some hard-scaping would also get rid of some of the grass and not leave you with too much garden! Maybe?
  • LynnKK Feb 23, 2014 @ 9:41 am
    Oh those tulips got me smiling. I am toying with the idea of a herb and perennial garden in the front yard. The city took a big tree down on my boulevard so I will have a lot of sun. But first the 30 or so inches of snow need to go.What a winter!
  • grammieo Feb 23, 2014 @ 11:37 am
    Oh lucky you, the soil may need some amending, a tree with a big canopy will draw out all the nutrients it can as the roots and the canopy can be comparable in size. But yes you will have some room to plant and some light for those plants.
  • randomthings Feb 22, 2014 @ 12:41 pm
    LOVE this!
  • grammieo Feb 22, 2014 @ 2:10 pm
    Me too! I haven't had a grass lawn in years..........
  • siputkaya Feb 22, 2014 @ 7:57 am
    great jobs
  • grammieo Feb 22, 2014 @ 8:04 am
    Thanks for the like and the comments, I love to hear what people think!
  • amenache-mazal Feb 18, 2014 @ 7:43 pm
    pas mal
  • grammieo Feb 18, 2014 @ 7:45 pm
    Merci beaucoup!
  • DaveStone13 Feb 18, 2014 @ 5:47 pm
    What a nice way to dress up your front yard. Flowers are irresistible.
  • grammieo Feb 18, 2014 @ 7:34 pm
    In total agreement here. soon I'll be actually able to see them.... we are starting to warm up!
  • holisticwriter Feb 18, 2014 @ 2:40 pm
    I didn't do anything with my back yard last year...but I just might this year. I don't want to get too ambitious since I don't want a lot of maintenance work :-))
  • grammieo Feb 18, 2014 @ 3:02 pm
    Start yourself off with a raised planter, fill it with herbs or strawberries and some flowers for color and you are good to go!
  • Graceonline Feb 18, 2014 @ 12:08 pm
    Your tulips and grape hyacinth are lovely harbingers of things to come. How lucky those school children to live in a neighborhood with such a garden and to be exposed to such beauty. Thank you so much for sharing your personal story. I enjoyed it immensely.
  • grammieo Feb 18, 2014 @ 1:13 pm
    Thanks Graceonline, if you were close by,you might even have gotten a bouqet for mom....
  • esmonaco Feb 18, 2014 @ 12:00 pm
    Looks like you've put in a lot of work here and I commend you for the creativity, wonderful pictured here Thanks :)
  • grammieo Feb 18, 2014 @ 1:14 pm
    thanks for you kind comments.
  • JPLarson12 Feb 17, 2014 @ 10:05 pm
    While flowers are not something that I enjoy to grow, (I usually prefer to eat what I grow) I cannot but help to admire the effort you put into changing your front lawn into a beautiful space that is the envy of your neigborhood.

    Keep it up
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 10:13 pm
    I have some herbs hiding in there too, I've had strawberries , but the rest is for my eyes. The backyard is for my stomach!
  • Mia-Mia Feb 17, 2014 @ 8:41 pm
    This is a beautiful lens. As a fellow gardener, I really appreciate your energy and work on you yard. Makes me want to do more with mine.
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 8:53 pm
    Thank you Mia-Mia for your comments, and yes that is the problem with loving what grows,....it grows on you! lol
  • cynthia08332 Feb 17, 2014 @ 7:34 pm
    I love flowers myself. Unfortunately my yard doesn't, so I'll just keep admiring yours as often as I can. It's absolutely beautiful.
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 7:36 pm
    I'll share with you! If you've got a shady yard, some hostas would do great! I'll post pictures for you this year.
  • Papier Feb 17, 2014 @ 7:20 pm
    It's quite a gift to the neighborhood to plant gardens in the front yard, both flowers and veggies.
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 7:33 pm
    I love the reactions it gets from the kids, I have sent home many a little bouquet of flowers for mom's waiting patiently for their return from school.
  • DebMartin Feb 17, 2014 @ 4:19 pm
    Good review. I'm slowing filling in the lawn that was planted at my house before I moved in. I'm not so eager to fill in with a lot of flowers because they have their own work, even the perennials. But I love stones, and rocks and bushes and fire pits, and .... I do have a long bed of perennials on either side of the driveway, which is about 200 feet. It looks very dramatic. One thing I'd like to do is plant a garden with all white flowers. I imagine it would be beautiful at night. I envy you your tulips. The deer just eat them up here. Thanks for the inspiration.
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 4:20 pm
    Oh I would so love to see pictures of your growing space. I'm in envy just thinking about it! Thank you for your kind comments!
  • favored1 Feb 17, 2014 @ 3:27 pm
    I would like to see more examples of what others have done in their front yards to give me some ideas. The tulips are a nice touch. What do you plant there during the rest of the year?
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 3:30 pm
    Oh when the tulips are finished the perennials start to show up! There are coneflowers, peonies, bleeding hearts, ferns, alyssums, then I pop in some annuals just for the burst of color they always provide. I love four olcocks, marigolds, zinnias, snapdragons......the list goes on........
  • Brite-Ideas Feb 17, 2014 @ 2:21 pm
    what a treat for the kids to ask to be taken to your yard to view the garden! that's wonderful, a testament to you creative work! congratulations on receiving review of the day :)
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 3:28 pm
    Thanks Brite-Ideas. I love the kids too, it's so much fun, sometimes they even get flowers to take home to mom!
  • ideadesigns Feb 17, 2014 @ 11:55 am
    Your gardening is an inspiration! I love tulips and various other flowers. I will have to do something in my front yard this year!
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 12:03 pm
    Keep and eye on the Weekend Gardeners, we are all about helping to achieve something beautiful. Thanks for your visit.....
  • Steve_Kaye Feb 17, 2014 @ 11:39 am
    We've been talking about replacing our lawn with a drought tolerant collection of native plants. Thank you for publishing this review. This will help.
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 12:03 pm
    I use some draught tolerant grasses in an area of my yard that gets so much sun it's like a little desert! Great idea. Thanks for your visit.....
  • nancycarol Feb 17, 2014 @ 11:30 am
    I live in Nevada where water is like gold. We plant drought resistant plants in our front yard, and we have no grass. It's surprising how some plants can bloom so much with so little water. I love this lens and think it would be a good thing for most everyone to do. Of course, there are those with "black thumbs," hehehe.
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 12:02 pm
    Even black thumbs can get in on this! They just need a little extra encouragement! Thanks for the visit and like!
  • bloomingrose Feb 17, 2014 @ 10:16 am
    Lovely lens and I totally share the sentiment. Bookmarked and linked to my own lens: http://www.squidoo.com/landscapingwithfruitsandvegetables
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 10:17 am
    Thanks bloomingrose! Will have to link yours to mine and then look out world, the gardeners are taking over.......
  • georgepmoola Feb 17, 2014 @ 10:07 am
    A very enjoyable lens.
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 10:18 am
    Thank you glad you enjoyed it!
  • tonyleather Feb 17, 2014 @ 9:42 am
    Great post! I am someone who is loatheful pt the fateful grass, and have none at all in my garden, which during most of the year is a sea of colourful flowers!
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 9:46 am
    A man after my own gardener's heart. Me too, I have a little grass left in the back for my grandchildren to play on, or we go to the park!
  • Susanne_Iles Feb 17, 2014 @ 9:31 am
    Fantastic! I've been a proponent for the ridding of lawns and replacing them with pathways/herbs/edibles/flowers/environ friendly plants etc. etc. etc. Creating a sustainable and beautiful green space beats a water and fertilizer hungry square of green any day.
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 9:47 am
    It is wonderful to have the herbs and things mixed in, the fragrance is fantastic.....and I agree with you, bring on anything but grass!
  • vallain Feb 17, 2014 @ 9:03 am
    Unfortunately our community has a requirement for a certain amount of grass out front. I wish I could have a cottage garden instead.
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 9:48 am
    Time to get on the board in your community and change the laws.......little bit of a renegade here.....lol
    You can add the color in pots instead and make them see how nice flowers are!
  • partybuzz Feb 17, 2014 @ 8:26 am
    Great review! My sister did this same thing when she retired. I have video of her front yard garden. I'm lucky if I get something to grow in a pot, I'd never undertake a whole yard. :) Congratulations on Review of the Day!
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 8:40 am
    Thank you and thanks for liking the review. As for not being able to grow anything....you just haven't found the plant for you yet! Don't give up hope, maybe it's time to do a lens about that!
  • Ladymermaid Feb 17, 2014 @ 8:22 am
    I love the idea of more natural yards and especially ones used as gardens rather than for grass. There is a natural lawn near my daughters home and on the front lawn it has a sign that reads "No pesticides used on this front yard". It is beautiful that variety of plants and flowers that he has growing there. Gorgeous.
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 8:41 am
    Thanks Ladymermaid, a friend of mine outlined her whole front garden and walkways with strawberry plants, you should have seen the people watching those berries ripen..........
  • Merrci Feb 17, 2014 @ 8:09 am
    PS Congrats on Review of the Day!
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 8:42 am
    Thanks Merrci, I was pleased as punch.........
  • Merrci Feb 17, 2014 @ 8:09 am
    Wonderful review Grammieo! I can picture you out there, even smell the lovely soil. And what a great idea to have less lawn to mow! Makes me feel like planting.
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 8:43 am
    I can hardly wait to get to the soil, alas it is still under 2 ft of snow....:(
  • Umanitea-T-4Life Feb 17, 2014 @ 7:30 am
    Thank you for sharing your love of gardening. When I was young, in my urban neighborhood, there was this really mean lady we called the "Witch"...who had all of these green things and colorful looking objects all around her yard...up the pathway around her door...she was always out there watering away and if you dared to step on her lawn...she'd swear that she'd eat you! That's why we called her the "Witch"...and totally disliked her for that and all that green stuff. But as I grew older..I would see her watering away...with her little watering can...not paying us any attention anymore...and I began to see "Her" and her love..and I began to see the beauty of her craft. Her Garden. She no longer had the beautiful flowers because she could no longer maintain them...but the greenery..the vast and different plants growing were beautiful...I began to talk to her and began to appreciate her..her thumb..she was a woman...living alone...and her plants were her life "In her Front Yard"...it was her pride. Her name: Mrs. Holly. Thanks Mrs. Holly for the Most beautiful Front Yard on our block. And thank you writer for sharing these photos...it took me back. Maybe one day I will have a front yard of flowers to water.
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 7:52 am
    Oh, there must have been some deep, deep hurt, in that lady! Most gardeners are very happy people and yes we shower lots of attention on what's growing right there in front of us! Thank you for your lovely comments and your growing insights into Mrs. Holly, and what made her tick!
  • Umanitea-T-4Life Feb 17, 2014 @ 8:04 am
    You are welcome! Great article! Altogether...it helped me to appreciate the green thumb. And you know what? You are probably right. She appeared to be mean...but when you got to know her...she was wonderful...just probably over protective of her life's work.
  • grammieo Feb 17, 2014 @ 8:43 am
    Yes, for sure, those were her babies growing out there......
  • FreshStart7 Feb 16, 2014 @ 7:27 pm
    Lovely lens, grammieo! You really brought out your love for gardening here.
  • grammieo Feb 16, 2014 @ 7:42 pm
    Thank you, look forward to more on these topics, spring is right around the corner you know!
  • Susan52 Feb 16, 2014 @ 5:09 pm
    How inspiring! I could use some help with our front yard right now. Glad I saw this review!
  • grammieo Feb 16, 2014 @ 7:42 pm
    There are many ways to transform a front yard into a show stopper! That picture is just a small portion of my front yard. If you need encouragement just let me know!