Beautiful No-Mow Yards is just what American gardeners need. And you can win it right here

Beautiful No-Mow Yards is just what American gardeners need.  And you can win it right here
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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 grasse, 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.

Meet Evelyn

Readers of Sunspangledgardens are no strangers to this subject (see the many stories in our Lawn Reform category), 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.
  • “Smarter lawns” using fine fescue mixes, carexes, and other low-resource grass types, including where each type works best and what it takes to install and maintain them.
  • Real gardeners and the truth about their attempts to replace their lawns, failures and all.
  • How-to chapters for killing the lawn, designing alternatives, and maintaining them.
  • An illustrated guide to groundcovers by type.

Here’s Evelyn’s quick video introduction to the book.

Just one more photo from the book for now (more coming this afternoon, I hope), and a confession.  That’s my garden on the cover!  And in the photo on the left, both by Saxon Holt.  (Though I suppose I should start saying “former garden,” since I sold it three weeks ago. Sigh.)

Plus, I wrote the foreward, happy to help in any way I could because this book is soooo needed.

So I feel like the proud aunt to Evelyn’s baby. Her beautiful, superbly written baby.  Great job!

Just leave a comment about lawns or alternatives thereto, and I’ll choose one at random.  Entries close Friday at midnight Eastern.

Posted by

Susan Harris
on January 24, 2012 at 6:54 am, in the category Everybody’s a Critic, Lawn Reform.


    • Carri
    • 21st January 2015

    I am slowly removing lawn without my husband’s consent. Obviously he hasn’t noticed it too much…. Haha

    • NancyO
    • 20th April 2015

    I would love this book!

    • Suze
    • 23rd January 2016

    I live on a corner lot one block from an elementary school. Not only do I not want to take care of a traditional lawn in my front yard, but I’ve been hoping that putting in some kind of lawn alternative will help with some of the kids cutting across my yard all the time. (Yes, I’m that “You kids stay the &$#* off my lawn!” lady!)

    • NancyO
    • 5th July 2016

    I, too, would love this book! I’m down to less than 10% grass since we moved in 10 years ago. Still challenged by what to plant instead…. Lots of shade and roots.

    • Thad
    • 6th July 2016

    We have no lawn at the new place that we purchased last year … so, instead of seeding the yard, I am still looking for alternatives for at least a large segment of the yard.

    • Lynn
    • 26th October 2016

    I’m working to change just a few square feet of lawn to something else each year — first, some shade gardens; this year, expanded veggie gardens blended into the landscape. Very rewarding!

    • TP
    • 15th November 2016

    All the lawn that I want is a place for the dog to play … other than that, we will have fruit, veggies, herbs, and flowers!

    • Cathy
    • 15th November 2016

    I need help in this area. I truly want to take out the lawn, but haven’t found something that will work for me. Been thinking about it for years and still can’t find the right answer.

    • Suzanne
    • 15th November 2016

    Please send me this book! I have a large shady area under trees that I don’t know what to do with since grass won’t grow! Help!

    • laurie
    • 15th November 2016

    I am dead between excited/scared to do this on my own corner lot, one block from school. The book looks great, and I’m just excited to have found Evelyn as another resource.

    • Michele Owens
    • 15th November 2016

    Wow, what a beautiful book cover, Susan! And what a tribute to your grading style.

    • Terri Price
    • 15th November 2016

    Beautiful book! We would put it to good use. We are currently de-grassing our front yard and need some new ideas for grass substitutes.

    • Lisa
    • 16th November 2016

    I would LOVE a copy of this book, my whole yard needs a makeover!

    • CM
    • 16th November 2016

    Love the concept of this book and think a no mow solution is just what we need in the backyard.

    • KSCranford
    • 16th November 2016

    My next-door neighbors would love us if we went grass-free; they did it when they moved in a few years ago.

    • Kim Blackson
    • 16th November 2016

    Much needed subject matter. We need to get the word out.

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