Stone landscaping with rock water fountain

What do you think of when you imagine a beautiful yard? More than likely, the image of freshly cut green grass is the first thing that comes to mind. However, while natural grass lawns remain widely popular across the United States, many homeowners are beginning to ditch these “traditional” lawns for lower-maintenance alternatives. 

With this in mind, a beautiful yard doesn’t always have to have grass! In fact, there are a number of potential lawn alternatives that require less time, maintenance, water, and overall cost. Could any of these be right for you?

Considerations Before Choosing a Lawn Alternative

Before you decide on a grass alternative for your lawn, there are some things to keep in mind. Firstly, consider whether your outdoor space is mainly for looks or if it serves another functional purpose. For example, you’ll want to think about whether your yard needs to accommodate pets and/or children

Having a good idea of how you plan to use your outdoor space will ultimately help you select the right lawn alternative to suit your needs and lifestyle.

Grass Alternatives

So, what are some of these popular grass alternatives to consider? Explore a few options below to inform your decision!

Wildflower Meadow

Beautiful flowers surrounding a pot water fountain and pool

If you desire a yard full of natural plants but without the care and maintenance requirements of grass, consider a wildflower meadow as an alternative. Wildflowers are extremely easy to grow, and you can find seeds at your local gardening store. These seeds will provide beautiful flowers for the blooming season and are great for areas such as slopes, rocky areas, and other parts of your yard that may have uneven terrain.

If you’re thinking about wildflowers as a grass alternative, just be aware that these will need to be reseeded every few years. You’ll also need to do regular weeding to keep them looking nice. Unfortunately, wildflowers don’t hold up well to traffic, so they may not be an ideal solution for those with dogs or small children who spend a lot of time in the yard.

Vegetable Garden

Another option to consider is a vegetable garden, which can be a great addition to any yard while also serving as an eye-catching landscape feature. Not only can growing a vegetable garden save you money on your produce needs, but it can also be a fun project to take on with other members of your family. And of course, it is a much more functional use of your yard space than grass!

Before you start a vegetable garden, be aware that most plants will require regular weeding and watering. There’s also a good chance you’ll need to replant many of them season after season.

Artificial Grass

Maintained backyard with green grass and flowers

If you want the look of grass without the maintenance, synthetic turf (also known as artificial grass) can be a great choice. This option creates a lush, green yard with minimal effort on your part. It is also a viable option for those that have pets and children because yards with artificial turf can be used in the same way as a “traditional” grass yard.

Keep in mind that installation costs for turf can be quite high, so the up-front expenses may add up quickly. You will also need to exercise a little care to keep your turf clean, especially if it will be used by dogs/pets. 

Patio or Outdoor Living Area

Hardscaping features (such as a patio) can also be used to create a gorgeous outdoor living space that avoids the hassle of grass. From outdoor living rooms and kitchens to outdoor dining areas and more, a patio can be combined with other outdoor features (such as pools) to create a truly enjoyable outdoor entertainment and relaxation space.

Likewise, patios are very low-maintenance and are generally easy to clean. And with options such as paving stones and even stamped concrete, you can achieve the look you desire while adding to the potential resale value of your home. 


Adding a gazebo to your yard gives you an attractive, shaded area to relax all year round. They can be incorporated with patios and flowerbeds to make the most of your outdoor living space.

If considering a gazebo, you’ll want to be aware that these can have higher upfront costs. You’ll also need to stay on top of some basic maintenance, such as painting or staining the wood as necessary. 

Rock Garden

Rock river water feature

A variety of rocks and gravel in various sizes can be used to create a beautiful garden with plenty of unique textures and colors. Rock gardens require little to no maintenance and can drastically enhance curb appeal. And because they require no care, they can be installed anywhere on your property regardless of weather patterns, shade, and other factors. If you have children, just be aware that small rocks can be a choking hazard, so you’ll want to plan accordingly.

Need Help Creating Your Perfect Grass-Free Living Space?

No matter what type of grass alternative you have in mind for your yard, the team at Landscape By Design is here to helpContact us today to book your free landscape consultation.