GrammieOlivia profile image

Say NO to Grass!

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.

Lawn Gone!: Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard
Lawn Gone!: Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard

More than ever, front yards are becoming the new flower gardens, to be enjoyed by all.

 
Beautiful No-Mow Yards: 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives
Beautiful No-Mow Yards: 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives

Hundreds of ideas that can be adapted to wherever you garden.

 
Taunton's Front Yard Idea Book: How to Create a Welcoming Entry and Expand Your (Taunton Home Idea Books)
Taunton's Front Yard Idea Book: How to Create a Welcoming Entry and Expand Your (Taunton Home Idea Books)

Turning the front yard into a garden does not require that all of the garden be grown, you can do other things there as well. Try this Idea Book, I'm sure it will spur you on!

 

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!
GrammieO's front side yard!

Do you make use of your front lawn for gardening?

  • No, I have enough to do in my backyard!
  • Yes, I love the look of flowers everywhere!
  • I don't have a yard!
See results without voting

 Last updated on February 16, 2014

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If you enjoyed this review, please leave a dirty thumb print right here, it will encourage me to share more with you! Thanks! 86 comments

SusanDeppner profile image

SusanDeppner 7 months ago from Arkansas USA Level 7 Commenter

How inspiring! I could use some help with our front yard right now. Glad I saw this review!


Heidi Vincent profile image

Heidi Vincent 7 months ago from GRENADA Level 7 Commenter

Lovely lens, grammieo! You really brought out your love for gardening here.


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@SusanDeppner: 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!


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Heidi Vincent: Thank you, look forward to more on these topics, spring is right around the corner you know!


Umanitea-T-4Life profile image

Umanitea-T-4Life 7 months ago

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.


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Umanitea-T-4Life: 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 profile image

Umanitea-T-4Life 7 months ago

@GrammieOlivia: 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.


Merrci profile image

Merrci 7 months ago from Oregon's Southern Coast Level 8 Commenter

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.


Merrci profile image

Merrci 7 months ago from Oregon's Southern Coast Level 8 Commenter

PS Congrats on Review of the Day!


Lady Lorelei profile image

Lady Lorelei 7 months ago from Canada Level 6 Commenter

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.


Faye Rutledge profile image

Faye Rutledge 7 months ago from Concord VA Level 5 Commenter

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!


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Faye Rutledge: 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!


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Lady Lorelei: 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..........


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Merrci: Thanks Merrci, I was pleased as punch.........


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Merrci: I can hardly wait to get to the soil, alas it is still under 2 ft of snow....:(


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Umanitea-T-4Life: Yes, for sure, those were her babies growing out there......


Virginia Allain profile image

Virginia Allain 7 months ago from Central Florida Level 5 Commenter

Unfortunately our community has a requirement for a certain amount of grass out front. I wish I could have a cottage garden instead.


Susanne-Iles profile image

Susanne-Iles 7 months ago from Ireland

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.


tonyleather 7 months ago

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!


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@tonyleather: 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!


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Susanne-Iles: 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!


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Virginia Allain: 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!


georgepmoola2 profile image

georgepmoola2 7 months ago Level 3 Commenter

A very enjoyable lens.


Gypzeerose profile image

Gypzeerose 7 months ago Level 4 Commenter

Lovely lens and I totally share the sentiment. Bookmarked and linked to my own lens: http://www.squidoo.com/landscapingwithfruitsandveg...


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Gypzeerose: Thanks bloomingrose! Will have to link yours to mine and then look out world, the gardeners are taking over.......


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@georgepmoola2: Thank you glad you enjoyed it!


Nancy Hardin profile image

Nancy Hardin 7 months ago from Las Vegas, NV Level 7 Commenter

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.


SteveKaye profile image

SteveKaye 7 months ago from Placentia, CA, USA Level 5 Commenter

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.


ideadesigns profile image

ideadesigns 7 months ago from Central USA Level 3 Commenter

Your gardening is an inspiration! I love tulips and various other flowers. I will have to do something in my front yard this year!


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Nancy Hardin: Even black thumbs can get in on this! They just need a little extra encouragement! Thanks for the visit and like!


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@SteveKaye: 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.....


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@ideadesigns: Keep and eye on the Weekend Gardeners, we are all about helping to achieve something beautiful. Thanks for your visit.....


Brite-Ideas profile image

Brite-Ideas 7 months ago from Toronto, Canada Level 7 Commenter

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 :)


favored profile image

favored 7 months ago from USA Level 7 Commenter

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?


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Brite-Ideas: Thanks Brite-Ideas. I love the kids too, it's so much fun, sometimes they even get flowers to take home to mom!


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@favored: 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........


DebMartin profile image

DebMartin 7 months ago Level 3 Commenter

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.


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@DebMartin: 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!


lesliesinclair profile image

lesliesinclair 7 months ago Level 4 Commenter

It's quite a gift to the neighborhood to plant gardens in the front yard, both flowers and veggies.


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@lesliesinclair: 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.


cynthia08332 7 months ago

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.


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@cynthia08332: 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.


MariaMontgomery profile image

MariaMontgomery 7 months ago from Central Florida, USA Level 5 Commenter

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.


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@MariaMontgomery: Thank you Mia-Mia for your comments, and yes that is the problem with loving what grows,....it grows on you! lol


JPLarson profile image

JPLarson 7 months ago

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


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@JPLarson: 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!


esmonaco profile image

esmonaco 7 months ago from Lakewood New York Level 7 Commenter

Looks like you've put in a lot of work here and I commend you for the creativity, wonderful pictured here Thanks :)


ecogranny profile image

ecogranny 7 months ago from San Francisco Level 7 Commenter

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.


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@ecogranny: Thanks Graceonline, if you were close by,you might even have gotten a bouqet for mom....


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@esmonaco: thanks for you kind comments.


TerriCarr profile image

TerriCarr 7 months ago Level 5 Commenter

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 :-))


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@TerriCarr: Start yourself off with a raised planter, fill it with herbs or strawberries and some flowers for color and you are good to go!


David Stone1 profile image

David Stone1 7 months ago from New York City Level 7 Commenter

What a nice way to dress up your front yard. Flowers are irresistible.


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@David Stone1: In total agreement here. soon I'll be actually able to see them.... we are starting to warm up!


amenache-mazal 7 months ago

pas mal


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@amenache-mazal: Merci beaucoup!


siputkaya 7 months ago

great jobs


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@siputkaya: Thanks for the like and the comments, I love to hear what people think!


randomthings lm profile image

randomthings lm 7 months ago

LOVE this!


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@randomthings lm: Me too! I haven't had a grass lawn in years..........


Lynn Klobuchar profile image

Lynn Klobuchar 7 months ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota Level 6 Commenter

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!


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Lynn Klobuchar: 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.


JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

JoanieMRuppel54 7 months ago from Keller, Texas Level 3 Commenter

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!


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@JoanieMRuppel54: 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?


Sir Daniel UK profile image

Sir Daniel UK 7 months ago Level 2 Commenter

I like this.


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Sir Daniel UK: Thanks for your thumbs up......


HandyHelper profile image

HandyHelper 7 months ago

One dirty thumb up from me!


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@HandyHelper: Thank you so much, I love dirty thumbs and fingers and all of those......


Frischy profile image

Frischy 7 months ago from Kentucky, USA Level 2 Commenter

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!


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Frischy: You are welcome, come back and show us what you've done!


sha-ron profile image

sha-ron 7 months ago Level 3 Commenter

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


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@sha-ron: 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......


smine27 profile image

smine27 7 months ago from Tokyo, Japan Level 7 Commenter

Although I don't have a lawn, I do have a mini garden on my balcony


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 7 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@smine27: I'm glad you are doing some kind of growing. It doesn't have to be big in order to be beautiful......


Donna Cook profile image

Donna Cook 5 months ago from Denver, Colorado USA Level 6 Commenter

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.


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 5 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Donna Cook: 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.......


Lynda Makara profile image

Lynda Makara 5 months ago Level 3 Commenter

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.


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 5 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Lynda Makara: 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.....


bpratt lm profile image

bpratt lm 5 months ago Level 2 Commenter

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 :)


Adventuretravels profile image

Adventuretravels 5 months ago from London UK Level 7 Commenter

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.


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 4 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@Adventuretravels: 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,.....


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 4 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@bpratt lm: 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!


WriterJanis2 profile image

WriterJanis2 4 months ago Level 5 Commenter

I need to do more gardening.


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 4 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@WriterJanis2: It's therapeutic, so go for it!


VioletteRose LM profile image

VioletteRose LM 2 months ago Level 4 Commenter

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!


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 2 months ago from Toronto Hub Author

@VioletteRose LM: 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........

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