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So fed up of my lawn. Alternatives?

(22 Posts)
YourHandInMyHand Thu 04-Jul-13 14:00:47

Have a fairly big rectangle of lawn, about 3.5 x 8 meters. I'm sick of mowing it, green thumb come and weed treat it for me, and a couple of months ago I got a dog and she's slowly adding brown patches to it.

I love the artificial lawns but suspect I can't afford one.

What do MNers suggest? Are there any downsides to things like gravel, wood mulch stuff, decking?

Garden is a large rectangle with paved area, then the lawn with a paved path and then a flower border between the right side of the lawn and the fence. Behind that is concrete on which my bins, shed and trampoline live. Hard to describe on MN!

Whatever I put down needs to be dog and child friendly.

SanityClause Thu 04-Jul-13 23:11:28

I'd love a grass free lawn.

ppeatfruit Fri 05-Jul-13 12:12:10

I've learnt to love weeds if you keep them short, they're green, the daisies and violets are pretty.I leave the clippings on my lawns for mulch thus saving work and weeds are also hardier than grass (so will withstand the dog wee grin. I hate pesticides etc. they are not child or insect friendly they are unnecesary IMO and E.

whatkungfuthat Fri 05-Jul-13 12:13:32

I have the same problem with an area that nothing grows in due to a high hedge, so watching with interest. I would avoid decking as I read on here that its basically a rat hotel

ppeatfruit Fri 05-Jul-13 12:15:18

Sorry sanity you are completely right (i didn't click on your link before I posted!!).

YourHandInMyHand Fri 05-Jul-13 16:43:42

Hmm I like the look and the idea of the grass free lawn, but would it mean constant weeding? I really want low maintenance. Before I got green thumb in my lawn was more dandelions and HUGE spiky weeds than grass. Weeds seem to grow there better than anything else. :-/ Would the plants in a grass free lawn be damaged by my dog's wee in the same way the grass is?

Decking = rats. shock Bleurgh!!! [shudder]

ppeatfruit Fri 05-Jul-13 17:47:11

Well if you keep it trimmed the weeds don't grow tall and it withstands flooding, parching etc. much better than those old fashioned bowling green type lawns. I LOVE my 'natural' lawn sometimes I get things like camomile self seeding in it then I cut round it and the daises and violets of course!

PestoSwimissimos Fri 05-Jul-13 17:52:32

Could you fit in a

current swimming pool ?

They're only small grin

PestoSwimissimos Fri 05-Jul-13 17:53:18


PestoSwimissimos Fri 05-Jul-13 17:54:15

[[ current swimming pool]]

PestoSwimissimos Fri 05-Jul-13 17:54:33

current swimming pool

PestoSwimissimos Fri 05-Jul-13 17:55:05

3rd time lucky grin

GrimmaTheNome Fri 05-Jul-13 17:56:07

I suspect if you had a lot of dandelions and spiky weeds in a grass lawn, you'd have them in a grass-free lawn too but wouldn't be able to use herbicides so easily to kill them.

They do say that adding some tomato juice to dog food helps stop the brown spots, don't know if it works.

My MILs lawn wasn't deliberately grass-free but it ended up as a mix of grass, clover and other low-growing 'weeds' - it looked nice but very popular with bees which I'm not sure is too child friendly. It was kept short by mowing... if you hate mowing and can afford it, get someone in to do it.

YourHandInMyHand Sat 06-Jul-13 20:38:11

I hate mowing. Can't really justify paying someone to mow either. :-/ Although if I win the lottery it's on my hired help list along with ironing, treating the garden fence, washing the pots, and having to tell DS he needs to brush his teeth!

lol at the pool - if only. grin

Hmm I still don't know what to do.

Relaxedandhappyperson Sat 06-Jul-13 20:42:39

Paving, with some beds for plants, works for me. Garden is a bit smaller than yours (only 4m by 4m), but brilliant as you only need to "do" garden stuff a few times a year, and that's mostly pruning the climbing plants.

ZolaBuddleia Sat 06-Jul-13 20:44:31

That grass free lawn is lovely, but how do you maintain it? Surely if you walk on the flowers they look rubbish?

RayofSun Sat 06-Jul-13 20:48:28

Some neighbours near us laid down an artificial lawn that looks amazing!!! I was completely sold. And then we visited some friends who had done the same. Low maintenance, nice looking, win win.

YourHandInMyHand Sat 06-Jul-13 22:37:45

Yep DS's child minder has a fake lawn, I think it looks fab.

The measurements I gave are just for my lawn. I am considering just paving the whole garden but at the moment it's nicely broken up into sections eg paving, paved path, lawn, flower bed, hard standing from old garage with trampoline and shed on it.

I do like the look and idea of the lawn free lawn but think mine would just be overtaken by dandelions and spikey weeds, interspersed with dog poo.

Showtime Sat 06-Jul-13 23:22:35

Bought this house for the mainly gravelled back garden, being unable to manage mowing and given up on gardeners, but it does look a bit grim.
Looked into artificial lawn, which is indeed very expensive for the good stuff, and you'd have to pick up poo and hose area unless dog's trained to use else-where, which is really best idea if possible.
I'd keep very small area for lawn and extend all others I think.

funnyperson Sun 07-Jul-13 03:31:26

Some of the gardens at the <ponce alert> Chelsea flower show this year had very little lawn, but to make up for it they had flower beds edged with trimmed box hedging, raised beds, herb wheels, water features and the like. This can work really well as the box hedges can keep dogs out and it does mean your garden remains eco friendly and pleasant.
This sort of thing
or this

funnyperson Sun 07-Jul-13 03:35:15

or this
or these
there are sites which will send you celtic knot patterns and the box hedge to plant them

YourHandInMyHand Sun 07-Jul-13 09:43:27

Thanks for all those links funnyperson, I do like the idea of the box hedges. They'd add greenery, break the garden up so it's not a big plain oblong, etc. DS loves a box hedge maze we have nearby. Hmm yes this might be what I'm looking for. That site that provides the pattern and the hedges sounds fab. Off to pick DS up from his nanna's but will look properly at it later.

If I planted the box hedges in a pattern I could put in things like lavender, mint, thyme in some of the corners/spaces - then it would be nice and sensory too. (DS has autism), You may be onto something! smile

Showtime that's just it, I don't want a plain grey rectangle of paving and gravel really, but I don't want to be mowing the lawn forever either. I hate that job with a passion!!

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