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Let my yard be your canvas :)

Posted by bells4her Zone 3b - Ontario (My Page) on
Tue, May 13, 14 at 15:05

Hi Everyone,

My partner and I purchased our teeny, tiny, starter-home roughly 2 1/2 years ago (see picture). Since then, our front lawn has gotten worse and worse and is now at the point where it's literally all brown and dead with nothing but dandelions growing.

We've now decided to completely remove the grass and replace with anything BUT grass (ie, flowers, shrubs, trees).

A few additional points, I'm hoping to do this with as little money as possible, I'd prefer to use perennials as opposed to annuals if possible, and finally, I'd like to incorporate some sort of a walkway.

So please, suggest away! I look forward to your wonderfully creative ideas

Thanks in advance,

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Let my yard be your canvas :)

by adding some soil, you could get rid of those two bottom steps for a better looking, easier entrance experience.

Some planting ideas...
(drawing revised)

This post was edited by Yardvaark on Wed, May 14, 14 at 15:44

RE: Let my yard be your canvas :)

That's fine for the close areas near the house. But, the OP wants to eliminate the entire grass area.

I'm a lawn person (and have lots of it) so that's my bias. While deciding, keep up with a grass cutting program to prevent the dandelions from blooming and setting their seed. There's also digging and use of weed & feed. I use my compost as a topdress as well as alfalfa pellets that I get in 50# bags from a feed & grain store. A healthy lawn crowds out weeds.

Or there's also the knot garden - those can be as elaborate or as simple as the budget and imagination allows.

RE: Let my yard be your canvas :)

Admittedly, I forget OP said remove all grass.

But Bells, do you think that growing a variety of other things in lieu of grass is going to be easier and more success-prone than grass? If you can't grow a simple lawn, it's likely that the "garden" you put in in its place is going to end up as a half or wholly dead weed garden. It takes a little effort to grow anything, but a lawn is the easiest because it only takes a little water, fertilizer and in your case, 10 minutes of mowing per week. To get it to be weed free requires a little more effort, but likely not as much as a variety garden of other plants. If I were to do away with the lawn, I would just extend the groundcover -- the lowest possible one -- for where the grass is.

RE: Let my yard be your canvas :)

Thank-you for the suggestions!

After doing a bit of investigating, I believe our grass died off due to an insufficient amount of soil beneath (our yard is pretty much all clay, and it appears as though the previous owners laid down minimal, if any, soil before laying the sod, so it's not surprising our grass died off).

My intent is to rip up all the dead sod and lay down some clean fill and start from scratch. It's not a matter of being easier to take care of, I just prefer more environmentally friendly alternatives to grass (sorry, not trying to be offensive here :) ). Also, the amount of water required to keep a south-facing lawn replenished in summer is remarkably high. Thus, incorporating some shade-providing trees will most likely be a must.

Thanks again, if you have any additional ideas, please feel free to add them ;)

RE: Let my yard be your canvas :)

"(sorry, not trying to be offensive here :)"

No need to apologize. Many people -- myself included -- wish to have alternatives to grass. (However, your yard is small, so I don't think you'd be responsible for much damage to world if you wanted grass!)

Don't know if you saw, I revised the sketch, adding another tree, some shrubs or perennials below and some groundcover.

RE: Let my yard be your canvas :)

Do you have enough useable space in the back for what you need? Do you have an active and close neighborhood? I'm trying to ascertain if you can or might want to use some of the front for a porch or sitting area, or for garden beds or some other use other than just decorative.

What is in your line of sight from inside -- do you need to put a tree to block, or plan a nice feature to view? What about environmental conditions? Need windbreaks? Water drainage? If you want to use less water, do you know where your water is going, and does it need to be directed toward plantings? Just some things to consider.

RE: Let my yard be your canvas :)

Ripping out the grass is a lot of work and then there is the problem of disposal.
Kill the lawn with glysophate (RoundUp) and then cover with topsoil and plant away. I like Yardvaark's plan for starters.

RE: Let my yard be your canvas :)

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