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Landscape: No money Just Enthusiasm: Lawn Reduction

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steadycam3
Houston Heights, TX
(Zone 9a)

February 21, 2011
2:24 AM

Post #8383598

I hate to mow the lawn. (Hey, it's hot here, 100* plus 100%). However, I love to grow things, plant, deadhead, plan, take cuttings, grow things from seed so of course I got rid of the turf grass. I collected bags of leaves, raked them and raked them into the configuration I wanted and let them rot there for a year. This killed the grass plus improved the soil. I hauled broken concrete pieces from a demolition site and placed them for the paths...in my baby SUV...many trips! All the plants are rooted cuttings that neighbors gave me or I brought from my apartment living before I moved here. Some of the plants are, Brugmansia, Tradescantia, Azalea, Lantana, Bloodleaf, Plumbago, Asclepias, Bush marigold, Mexican Bush Sage, a giant cherry tomato plant, Cilantro, yellow bearded iris, wax begonias, Mexican Petunias, Wedelia, Coleus, Chinese Tallow tree, Red Maple, Red Tip Photinia. As you can guess, it looks very different now as gardens change every year due to a freeze, a drought, a mistake with sun requirement and other painful lessons learned. I like that about a garden. Not only are the plants alive but the garden itself changes and grows over the seasons. Hope you enjoy.
djrivers
Inman, SC
(Zone 7b)

March 24, 2011
5:32 AM

Post #8446825

What a great job you did. We have a large front yard that we're getting ready to do the "No Mow Grass" thing. Love what you've done here.
steadycam3
Houston Heights, TX
(Zone 9a)

March 24, 2011
9:24 AM

Post #8447254

Thanks, Rivers. Ive done very few things in my life that were as satisfying as that effort. Of course I ve gone onward and upward. Now Im working on transforming my front yard to an edible one. Im planning fruit trees, berry bushes, fig tree, etc. Im also half way thru building a pergola from the directions in a book. It will support grapes and vining beans eventually like scarlet runner bean and perennial pea. Enjoy your project as much as I did and if I can help, D mail me. Cam
jrl1010
Edmond, OK

March 28, 2011
8:52 AM

Post #8455731

I'm trying to find a way to block out my messy neighbor. I'm looking for a tall scrub thats full and grows up. Any suggestiona? I also live in Oklahoma, go it's needs to be able to handle our climate. Thanks!
steadycam3
Houston Heights, TX
(Zone 9a)

March 29, 2011
1:31 AM

Post #8457624

What is your growing zone, jrl?
orkid101
West Chester, PA
(Zone 6a)

April 4, 2011
7:56 AM

Post #8470917

Oh, my, how beautiful! I have been working on a half acre spot in our yard to turn it from the kids' play yard and surrounding lawn to a no grass garden. (My youngest child is 19 and in college.) Last year I pulled out the playground equipment, put in a small gazebo, benches, arbor, fountains, etc. I also planted the specimen trees and a few shrubs. This year will be the rest of the shrubs, perennials, and a few annuals tucked in. I hope it looks as good as yours! Thanks for the photo.
aromatic1
San Jose, CA

April 4, 2011
5:15 PM

Post #8472157

Wow, Cam. That front yard looks just incredible. Love all of the varieties and colors. You mean you're replacing this with edibles after all that work?

I'm working on my back yard and wanting to transform it into my edible and aromatics garden. It's just a big giant square of grass with the typical border for planting (a box within a box). My intent is to unbox it and do something like you did, only with vegies, fruit, herbs and aromatics. I started with a claw foot tub (contains oregano, parsley, Japanese eggplant and cucumber right now, plus two other giant planters for tomatoes and strawberries (the strawberries didn't come in last year; just a couple). I want to do raised bed gardening, which will be easier on my back. I'm on the West Coast, Northern California.

Good luck with your edible garden. Enjoy!
steadycam3
Houston Heights, TX
(Zone 9a)

April 4, 2011
10:26 PM

Post #8472810

aromatic, I have a square-ft garden that takes up all of the space I have in back. The photos I posted are of the front yard where I lost tropical plants (now 2 yrs in a row) from a freeze. Im wanting to replace those things with that which does not freeze. I plan to replace a young tree here and there with a fruit tree. Where there are holes, I will replace with something that bears food, for example, I put in recently a blackberry bush to replace a dead tropical shrub.

I am building a pergola on the Southeast side next to the driveway where I will research and plant a grape that will grow in my region. I will also grow running beans on that pergola. Inside what you saw in those photos was a giant plant of cherry tomato! There is beautiful chard growing in my front yard now. After the posted photos were taken, I actually harvested 12 canteloupes from the front yard.

I will replace a volunteer China berry tree with a peach tree this fall. Im looking carefully at where and when I might be able to add a fig tree. I have read and studied a book called The Edible Front Yard to get a background for how I might move in this direction. To answer your question, no, I will not dig it all up and start over but as I mentioned, the garden changes from year to year. As the author of the book says, fruit trees are deciduous and veggies are usually annuals so in order to have an attractive result there must be a skeletal structure of some things that are evergreen. A lot of planning and research goes into planning such a small space as mine so it necessarily goes slowly. I started with a turf lawn. It has moved in slow steady steps toward what I want even when what I wants changes as I learn.


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