What Can You Do to Replace Your Lawn?

Get rid of your lawn and create welcoming habitat for wildlife

Yesterday I was invited to participate in the Anti-Valentine Lawn Project, and I wrote a Love Letter to Wildlife, talking about how each of us could create a love letter to wildlife in our gardens by reducing or eliminating our lawns and adding welcoming habitat for the birds, butterflies and other critters to share our spaces with.

The Anti-Valentine Lawn Project was a virtual blog tour to celebrate the release of Evelyn Hadden’s new book Beautiful No-Mow Yards: 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives.

Beautiful No-Mow Yards is full of wonderful ideas to have a beautiful garden without lawns. And the photography is amazing! As I page through this book I get so many ideas to add to my wildlife garden.

The American lawn care industry is a 32 billion dollar a year, profit making enterprise. This industry maintains these huge profits because they have convinced us that we are less than perfect neighbors if our lawns are not as green or weed-free as are the lawns of our neighbors.

But we as wildlife gardeners know that a lawn provides very little habitat for wildlife, and the resources it takes to maintain this state of green perfection is not at all sustainable.

So what can we do to replace our lawns? I have several ideas, some of which Evelyn Hadden beautifully illustrates in her book Beautiful No-Mow Yards:

Install a Wildlife Pond

You can have a beautiful no-mow yard by eliminating some of your lawn by installing a wildlife pond where you’ll attract Dragonflies and Damselflies, frogs and toads, and so much wonderful wildlife that you won’t need tv anymore. Just pull up a chair and watch all of the amazing things that will be happening in your pond.

Plant a Wildflower Meadow

Native grasses and wildflowers are a much better use of lawn area for beautiful no-mow yards. You’ll be attracting butterflies, native bees and other pollinators, birds, and so many other critters. A native meadow helps to reduce stormwater runoff from your property in addition to creating something beautiful for you to enjoy.

Create a Rain Garden

Instead of struggling with those areas of your yard that seem to collect water every time it rains, why not plant a rain garden for a beautiful no-mow yard? A rain garden is a beautiful addition to any garden, and lawns don’t like those wet areas anyway. Rain gardens attract pollinators and butterflies, allow the rainwater to seep slowly into the ground instead of running off and flooding streets and eroding streambanks, and provide you with a gorgeous area of your garden.

These are just three ideas that I share with Evelyn Hadden about ways to get rid of your lawn, and there are so many more that we could discuss and that are illustrated in Beautiful No-Mow Yards, but my question for you is, how are you getting rid of your lawn? What have you added to your wildlife garden to reduce the amount of lawn in your garden?

We’d love to hear your ideas, too. Please tell us all about it in the comments below!

This post is one of a group of Valentine’s Day Tributes to Lawn Alternatives by different garden writers. Visit them all:

I’m so thrilled that working on this project has distracted me from my very cold house!

Carole Sevilla Brown lives in Philadelphia, PA, and she travels the country speaking about Ecosystem Gardening for Wildlife. Check out her new free online course Ecosystem Gardening Essentials, 15 free lessons delivered to your inbox every week.

© 2012 – 2014, Carole Sevilla Brown. All rights reserved. This article is the property of BeautifulWildlifeGarden.com We have received many requests to reprint our work. Our policy is that you are free to use a short excerpt which must give proper credit to the author, and must include a link back to the original post on our site. Please use the contact form above if you have any questions.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Join the Wren Song Community

Wren Winter Singing crop

Free Exclusive Content and Member's Forum

Sign up for a free membership in the Wren Song Community and you'll have access to a lot more valuable information published exclusively for our members.

Meet other passionate wildlife gardeners from around the country. Share your successes. Learn from your failures. Discover the best resources to help you create welcoming habitat for wildlife in your gardens with native plants so that you will attract more birds, butterflies, native pollinators, and other wildlife to your garden.

Learn more about the Wren Song Community


  1. Sonya Sykes says

    I’m going to put a rain garden in our backyard this coming spring but I’m afraid the bermuda/zoysia grass will creep into it like it has in the front bed. This grass is horrible once it takes hold it’s almost impossible to get rid of. Should I just have a large border where I can keep an eye on it. How do you deal with bermuda & zoysia grass? I guess I need to keep a hawks eye on it.


  1. […] What makes a diversified garden/yard better than a monoculture? There are many things – sustainability, pest and disease resistance, providing food for many types of insects, birds, wildlife and people, feeding the “soil web”, better use of water resources, and little to no dependence on fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides. Waterwise gardens are far easier to take care of on a slope than trying to mow grass! […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge