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. 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. Our gardening obsessed editors and writers choose every product we review. Perennials, which include items such as blueberries, strawberries or rhubarb, will grow and produce food year after year. By Su Byron and Marty Fugate 10/1/2019 at … Clover grows quickly, suppresses weeds, enriches the earth and aerates the soil with a deep root system. As far as feature trees go, Karen recommends Silver Princess eucalypt (Eucalyptus caesia). Ever-bearing strawberries produce fruit most of the summer and tolerate marginal soils and light shade. One of the most popular species being the the coastal rosemary (Westringia fruticosa), which sprouts dainty, white flowers. Founded 2001 by Evelyn J. Hadden Also known as foodscaping or front-yard farming, edible landscaping is considered a type of landscaping in which most areas of a lawn on private or public property are used to grow food. A landscape filled with berry bushes and edible ground covers, perennial vegetables, or even fruit trees is a … All Rights Reserved. There are two types of plants that you can include in an edible landscape. It is absolutely glorious, people just fall in love with them.” They also attract birds. In our last article, we detailed a few basic strategies for conserving water in our historical California drought, namely: Turning off you irrigation controller before and after rain events, Installing an on-site weather station, … Even low-maintenance lawn alternatives need some maintenance: seasonal mowing, supplemental irrigation in times of drought and occasional weeding. 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. Instead of exotic fruits and herbs, Karen says there are plenty of native alternatives. A Increase font size. They are also ideal for container gardening in pots on your patio. Perennials, which include items such as blueberries, strawberries or rhubarb, will grow and produce … Trade your lawn for a lively prairie or replace it with a runoff-reducing rain garden. We may earn an affiliate commission if you buy from one of our product links, at no extra cost to you. Large grevilleas are the obvious alternative for roses, says Karen. 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. A Decrease font size. Durability – Dutch clover is one of the toughest lawn alternatives on our list, easily withstanding normal foot traffic. 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. Gardening Channel. Transform your yard with food, medicinal or pollinator plants, ground cover, and more. Edible landscaping, which is gaining in popularity, is simply incorporating food-producing plants, shrubs and trees into your yard. Stepping stones are also popular and can greatly reduce the amount of lawn in your yard. This is much better for the plants than a situation where the garden receives pounding rains. Elfin thyme grows to two inches tall and is a gorgeous addition to rock gardens and container gardens, where it cascades over the sides. Rain gardens, which work to remove pollutants in the same manner as a forest or meadow, are a good means of reducing your impact on our planet. Dichondra and is another alternative lawn option, which fits perfectly around stone tiles and paths, and like the native violets, needs very little water. One of the most popular species being the the, For a taller hedge, Karen says coastal correa (. ) ). Other ornamental lawn substitutes include Dichondra, Scheranthus, Pratia, Convolvulus, Pigface, some Grevilleas or Native Violets. Oregano. According to Karen the plants also make great cut flowers, which can be soaked in water to make a delicious drink. 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. 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. Swap it for an interactive adventure garden or convert it to a low-maintenance living carpet. There’s a good range of small eucalypts to choose from.”, For a backyard with more space, Karen recommends native frangipani (. Find ideas for environmentally friendly lawn alternatives. is one of the best options, recognisable for its blue-grey leaves. More Sustainable (and Beautiful) Alternatives to a Grass Lawn . 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. Greenlee has created many sustainable alternatives to conventional lawns. Cuddle a little piece of Australia with our soft toy range. Karen recommends three native alternatives to the commonly used Japanese box (Buxus microphylla) and Sweet viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum). Drought-Resistant – This plant’s deep roots make it incredibly resistant to water shortages, so you won’t need to worry about watering it. Be sure to check with your local homeowner's association before replacing your existing traditional lawn — many areas have requirements and guidelines for what you can do in the front yard. Some groundcovers are edible, such as strawberries or low-growing herbs. Check out this great resource if you want additional information about rain gardens. 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. “They’re all large flowers, they don’t have prickly leaves, they flower all year round, they love warmer weather but they grow in Melbourne as well. “People think gum trees and eucalypts are all really large but they’re not. There are plenty of good alternatives to the classic green lawn.For example, xeriscaping and edible landscaping are excellent eco-friendly options. You may want to consider extending your present patio to make additional outdoor living space where the family can gather and relax. “You can plant them out as small plants or seed. Deva Luna works for a sustainable landscape contractor, EarthCare Landscaping, in Cupertino, California, and loves to replace lawns with native plants. Fescue and Ornamental Grass Both fescue and ornamental grasses provide another alternative to the traditional lawn. The K’gari-Fraser Island bushfire has been catastrophic. Edible Backyard is a series of gardening workshops run from Kath Irvine’s permaculture home garden. “It’s a lawn you can sit on. This one has a rock streambed as the centerpiece, with low-water perennials flanking and overflowing its sides. Other ornamental lawn substitutes include dichondra, scheranthus, pratia, convolvulus, pigface, some grevilleas or native violets. Home Topics Science & Environment ‘Lawn you can eat’: Native alternatives to garden staples. The plant with the most hedge potential, according to Karen, however, is the lilly pilly. Hi all. Explore and create with these great experiments! Add some seaside plantings and a few pieces of driftwood. , a rainforest tree, and there are also dwarf lilly pilly species used quite commonly throughout Australia,” she says. ) Many also grow well in shady areas. A visit to your local garden center can provide a lot of good ideas. Edible landscaping can save you money. Grevillea ‘Coconut Ice’, ‘Superb’, ‘Robin Gordon’, ‘Ned Kelly’ – there are plenty of cultivars to choose from. green turf. ), another eucalypt Karen recommends, only grows 3–5 metres tall, and it takes a long time for it to get to five metres. Garden designer Karen Sutherland of Edible Eden Design specialises in both ornamental and edible native plants perfect for your garden. It is absolutely glorious, people just fall in love with them.” They also attract birds. Non-native grass seed is much cheaper, because the harvesting of native seed is uncommon.”. 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. The traditional green grass we use to cover our front and back yards has many disadvantages and quite honestly, very little benefit. Rain gardens can up to 30 or 40% more than a grass lawn. A family tree. You can choose to include chemical sprays and powders or you can adhere to producing only organic food products. Stones are also common elements of Japanese gardens. For a taller hedge, Karen says coastal correa (Correa alba) is one of the best options, recognisable for its blue-grey leaves. Grevillea coconut ice. They are easy to make and actually quite fun, so be sure to include the kids. No traffic open spaces allow for some of the greatest flexibility in style and plant choices. In shady sites, try bottlebrush grass (Elymus hystrix) or the grass-like Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica). 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! My name is Melinda Fulmer and I write for MSN. I'm doing a story about alternatives to the front lawn, including edible landcaping, mini-orchards, courtyards and cottage gardens etc. “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. Here are helpful sites on herb gardens and growing herbs. Wintergreen. Drought Tolerant and Edible Lawn Alternatives. Edible landscaping allows you to grow unusual items that you can’t find at the local supermarket. Of course, this depends on how elaborate you get with your designs and the materials you choose to use. Composed of region- and climate-specific plants that are low-growing by nature, these alternative lawns don’t need constant mowing to stay short. Areas that are traditionally difficult to establish lawn perform well with many alternatives. 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. Crushing and smelling them is also great to clear the nose.”. Both nurseries and florists have spotted the trend and are offering us more to choose from. There is no supermarket that can compete with the freshness of freshly harvested vegetables, herbs and fruits. 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. Jupiter and Saturn meet in the sky for a great conjunction approximately once every 20 years at varying distances and we get to see that on December 21st. (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’s great to have a place for kids to play and families to gather, but it doesn’t have to be only grass. In this ultimate guide to rethinking your yard, Hadden showcases dozens of inspiring, eco-friendly alternatives to that demanding (and dare we say boring?) Many Australians have that one tree in their backyard they have a lot of affection for. Interested in learning more about herb gardens? Look at this proud little guy. Growing your own food allows you to choose what pesticides, herbicides and insecticides you use. Incorporating nitrogen-fixing legumes such as white clover into a lawn is also beneficial for decreasing fertilizer applications. Herb gardens are another means of adding some edible beauty to your backyard. A Reset font size. 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. By subscribing you become an AG Society member, helping us to raise funds for conservation and adventure projects. But what to choose? “These are totally water-saving plants, requiring way less water than traditional turf. Blue Star Creeper. “People think gum trees and eucalypts are all really large but they’re not. Lawn alternatives: ground cover trial. Subscribe & Save up to $49 Importantly, grevilleas attract nectar-eating birds, such as wattle birds, as well as native insects and bees. Many herb plants make good garden bed borders. There are many ways in which to expand patios to provide seating as well as containers for growing your favorite vegetables, fruits or flowers. This ornamental herb smells nice and is completely edible. They’re just fantastic.”. 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. And I know that can't be the case. The principle behind a rain garden is that it is a place to hold water while slowly releasing it into the soil. For a backyard with more space, Karen recommends native frangipani (Hymenosporum flavum), which she says, loves a hot climate, as long as it has adequate water, and has one of best-smelling flowers around spring time. “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. What’s the damage? “It has silveryness that if you touch it you get silver on your hands. A unique opportunity for hands-on, organic learning from a working permaculture garden. are the most unexpected lawn alternatives. 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. If you like the open feel of a lawn but don’t want the maintenance or water requirements. Hedges aren’t just ornamental but also can be used to create privacy. Nitrogen that is produced naturally through the use of clover is much less likely to leach from the soil then synthetic fertilizers. 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. Bye-Bye, Lawn: Four Great Alternatives to Grass Landscaping Give your mower—and nature—a break with these alternatives to turf. Entries are about to open for the 2021 competition. Get great photography, travel tips and exclusive deals delivered to your inbox. Required fields are marked *. There are numerous benefits to landscaping with plants you can eat. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. A handful of trims a year, depending on the plants and site, will suffice. A rock garden can be an attractive alternative to a grass lawn. Here, we chat to Karen about the replacements for hedges, grass, roses, feature trees and herbs. I don’t water [them] very often.”. ... yards where edible plants—vegetables and fruit-bearing trees and shrubs—replace a portion of turf. “You can use it to make a tea, put it in different salsas, salads, place sprigs in cocktails and jugs of water. Many Australians have that one tree in their backyard they have a lot of affection for. Dwarf dogwood (also called bunchberry) and herbs like thyme and oregano work as groundcovers for limited areas. Many Australians have that one tree in their backyard they have a lot of affection for. Lawn Alternatives. As far as feature trees go, Karen recommends Silver Princess eucalypt (. Copyright © 2020. “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. ), which she says, loves a hot climate, as long as it has adequate water, and has one of best-smelling flowers around spring time. Now there’s someone who’s ready for the holidays. Avoid growing lemongrass, Karen advises, and instead opt for lemon myrtle (, ), which is grown more easily in colder climates. Wintergreen prefers a shadier location, such as under trees, and is a bit slower growing than other ground covers. Dichondra and is another alternative lawn option, which fits perfectly around stone tiles and paths, and like the native violets, needs very little water. Consider the following options… No Traffic. The plant with the most hedge potential, according to Karen, however, is the lilly pilly. Annuals, which include most common vegetables, need to be planted each year. ... Small white flowers will bloom in the spring, followed by red edible – but not tasty – berries. PLUS receive a gift. As far as feature trees go, Karen recommends Silver Princess eucalypt (Eucalyptus caesia). So, here, we look back on the winning images from the past decade. eat,” says Karen – who often uses the flowers as garnish or in salads “and they’re remarkably drought tolerant. “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. Instead of switching to organic lawn care, some might want to get rid of their lawn altogether. Annuals, which include most common vegetables, need to be planted each year. 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: “It has silveryness that if you touch it you get silver on your hands. NATIVE AUSTRALIAN plants are currently experiencing a revival. “They can be really tall hedges, like the. “People don’t realise there’s more than 40 different varieties of finger limes, which originated in rainforests. 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. Fescue grasses are tolerant of everyday wear and tear and can thrive in a variety of locations. There’s a good range of small eucalypts to choose from.”. Maryland native switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), little blue stem (Schizachyrium scoparium), and yellow indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans) are three great choices for sunny sites. 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. Created to support you on your journey to becoming a food gardener, Kath will teach you how to design and run your own Edible Backyard. “It has silveryness that if you touch it you get silver on your hands. The first is Westringia, an Aussie shrub that grows successfully in all states. 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. I can't seem to find a single person who doesn't like the idea. For one person, a dandelion may represent an ugly nuisance: a blemish on an otherwise perfectly manicured lawn. Between a lawn as front yard and an edible wilderness are many grades. 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. 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. 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? One of the biggest benefits of gardening for food is the exercise you will get while you work outdoors in the fresh air. Tall fescues are coarser, drought tolerant and provide a … New analysis of palm cockatoo populations put the bird on a downward trajectory, prompting scientists to call for a downgrading in their conservation status. 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. There are two types of plants that you can include in an edible landscape. Also, you don’t need to fertilise them and you don’t need to spend so much time and money on mowing.”, Native violets (Viola banksii) are the most unexpected lawn alternatives. Your email address will not be published.
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