Replacing your lawn with pavers
If a front garden of yellow Lantana or a boxwood maze sounds
a bit over the top for you, consider using pavers to replace
your lawn and space them widely enough to allow drought
tolerant plantings in between. Depending on the size and
shape of the space, set pavers between 6 and 18 inches
apart. If they are set close together, it ends up looking
like a front yard patio -- which is, of course, another
alternative for you, but a very hot hot one. Pavers, like
stone mulch, can reach temperatures of 150 degrees
Fahrenheit on hot summer days.
In the spaces between pavers, plant
fragrant herbs such as
Woolly Thyme (Thymus
Creeping Thyme (Thymus
Two other durable plants to install
between pavers are the dark green
(Ophiopogon japonicus) or the Great Plains native
Buffalo Grass (Buchloe dactyloides.)
Dwarf Mondo grass is, in fact, a lily and stays green year
'round. Buffalo Grass, a fine grass that is very
drought-tolerant, grows from 5 to 10 inches high and dies
back in cold weather. One historic note: Buffalo Grass sod
was used by pioneers for their sod houses.
Consider the architectural style and
color of your home when selecting pavers for this project.
Price can also be an issue. Red sandstone pavers are
expensive but quite beautiful, particularly with a single
story ranch style home. You should be aware that red
sandstone erodes fairly rapidly especially if water is
sprayed on it regularly. The sandstone that looks fabulous
when installed, may appear quite worn in a very few years.
More durable and less expensive
concrete pavers can be an excellent choice. Some now have
textured surfaces so realistic that they look like stone. If
you choose gray concrete pavers they can be stained in a
variety of colors fairly easily and quickly to match the
exterior color of your home. Ask the staff your local home
improvement center how to do this.
We also suggest that you do not used
pavers from one edge of your property line to the other. It
looks a bit strange. Create wide borders on both sides of
your front garden and install drought tolerant shrubs or
perennials in the borders.
Replacing Part of Your Lawn
One variation on pavers as a lawn
replacement is to remove squares the same size of the pavers
from the grass in your front yard along the sidewalk to your
front door. Then install pavers in the square areas, leaving
your lawn in between. We are not certain, however, that this
will make your water bills smaller.
Replacing your lawn
-- read this for what NOT to do
lawn with perennials
Replacing your lawn with ornamental grasses
your lawn with ground covers
your lawn with mazes and knot gardens
the lawn in your parking strip