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Beautiful No-Mow Yards: 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives Paperback – March 6, 2012
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"... an abundance of beautiful and inspiring photos that clearly illustrate all of the author's suggestions. Readers who are intent on eliminating the traditional lawn will be delighted by the endless possibilities they will find in this timely publication." (Allan Becker, BookPleasures)
"A well-written book, appealing and generous with information, and worth adding to the library." (Jill Billington, Gardens Illustrated)
"Beautiful No-Mow Yards showcases numerous eco-friendly alternatives to that voracious green turf... With drought and the likelihood of hosepipe bans forcing many of us to reconsider our gardening strategies, this book is a useful addition to our library." (Sarah Milliken, Garden Design Journal)
From the Author
Part 1 offers design inspiration, with a chapter devoted to each of the following: shade gardens, living carpets, prairie and meadow gardens, patios, rain gardens, play areas, ponds, xeric gardens, stroll gardens, edible gardens, and smarter lawns. In these chapters you'll meet gardeners from coast to coast and learn from their successes.
For instance, Marte planted a different groundcover under each of her trees. Tom and Karen dine outdoors all summer with a lively prairie garden as the floor show. Jay fills his woodland garden with nonstop color, and showy natives bloom under Michelle's mature maple trees. Lisa replaced her whole back lawn with a pond. Julie's family built a patio for pennies. Roy and Rosadelia grow food in their elegant front yard. Ann and Roger's low-care lawn uses half the water of standard turfgrass, while Peggy only mows hers once a year.
You may mow to give your kids a place to run, but for healthy brains and bodies, they also need to climb, to make their own dens, and to interact with plants and animals. Learn from the experts how to find and make creativity-boosting play areas for your kids.
Now that you're inspired, Part 2 shows you how to get there, helping you convert your lawn to topsoil, add life to your design, and make sure that mother nature does more of the work than you do. It even gives tips for making your lawn more self-sustaining. Part 3 introduces 100 choice ground-layer plants, with clues to their behavior to help you site and combine them successfully.
Not all the plants, designs, or strategies presented throughout the book will work for every site or region, but you'll find enough information to make more educated choices about what might work best for your particular site and your style of gardening.
The message of this book, in a nutshell, is that no-mow yards support more life -- not only wildlife, but your family's life outdoors. That's my wish for all of us.
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
In the last year or so, we're hearing that there are better uses for our land than turfgrass, that unless it's needed for sport or play, you can save on resources and probably your labor, too, by switching to an array of alternatives - meadows, vegetable gardens, native grasses, and so on.
All good! Well, mostly good - because that well-intentioned advice isn't easy to actually implement, without a LOT more information. Which groundcovers? Which native grasses - and native to where, anyway? How much do the alternatives cost, can they be walked on, and how much work does it really take to maintain them?
My mixed reviews of much of the lawn-free cheering has me wildly cheering the thoroughly researched and honestly reported definitive book about reducing or eliminating lawns by Evelyn Hadden. Beautiful No-Mow Yards contains exactly the kind of info that's needed, and its gorgeous photographs (most by Evelyn and the wonderful Saxon Holt, too) are deeply inspirational to anyone looking to make their yards more interesting, more beautiful, and more wildlife-friendly.
Readers of GardenRant are no strangers to this subject, but may not be familiar with the author. Well, Evelyn is THE original lawn reformer, having written Shrink Your Lawn and created the Less Lawn website back in 2001. She's a pioneer whose cause has caught on.
What's in Beautiful No-Mow Yards
Photos and stories about gardens sunny and shady, flat and hilly, a "shockingly simple meadow garden", a "patio for pennies", rain gardens, edibles, ponds, terraces, hellstrips and more.Read more ›
Hadden begins by talking about living carpets, plants that will form a thick groundcover and give that same open look that a lawn does, while growing tall enough to suppress weeds. She then moves into talking about shade gardens, meadow and prairie gardens, and rain gardens, giving some solutions for each type of space.
Her section on patios includes some helpful photos which give inspiration on some different styles for designing the patio, as well as a lot of practical tips for designing that most people wouldn't think about until AFTER they made a design mistake with unfortunate maintenance or aesthetic consequences. I also really liked her section on play areas, which included some unusual natural spaces that would encourage kids and grown-ups alike to want to be outdoors.
In her section on ponds, Hadden cleverly points out that "a pond can outperform a lawn as a low, open expanse to look across from your home or patio, bringing light, movement, wildlife, and possibilities for play into your garden." This is something that I've seen in my own landscape design practice. In small or skinny areas where maintaining a small lawn can be a real chore, a pond, either natural or in a geometric shape, can instantly add a huge amount of design appeal, yet takes about the same amount of time each month to maintain as a lawn. Most people don't even think of a pond as a lawn alternative, yet it is an elegant and dramatic one.Read more ›
If I had unlimited resources and space, I would have kept the book but since limited funds and didn't see as how-to resource to reference regularly had to retun. Would purchase as ebook if price was right!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great starter guide, with some marvelous pictures for encouragement. Good listing of plants.Published 1 month ago by NatureNut
Not what I expected........I returned it and appreciated the easy return from Amazon.
Not as many photos as I would have liked and most of the plants and ideas weren't... Read more
Tempting idea especially on those 90 degree days, but no. The lawn areas need to be cut to three inches and edged.Published 7 months ago by Howard K. Pfeferman
The homeowners dream....to never have to mow again. This book gives ideas on how to reduce and ultimately eliminate a "yard". Read morePublished 9 months ago by Martha Jones