Monthly Archives: November 2011

REVOLT – Alternative to a Lawn, Step 3 – All grown up!


Remember what the new Ivy groundcover looked like just after planting last May?


 The groundcover, Hedera helix ‘Baltica’ (English Ivy) showing results in late August.


Although 1/3 of the starter plants died, plenty of Ivy sprigs have thickened into lush plants, setting roots as they spread.

Areas with more shade grew much faster.                 

We added more Flatstones to connect the front & side paths and seperate the ivy from the shrubs and perennials at the house foundation.

The Ivy contrasts nicely with surrounding perennials and shrubs.

It’s amazing how quickly the Ivy has grown from those small sprigs in flats into a lush carpet of evergreen groundcover in our front yard. By next spring it will look like it’s always been there. With as little as 10 minutes of weekly weeding and supplemental watering only twice this season, it is decidedly the way to go for low maintenance and water conservation.

Now we just sit back, relax and wear ear plugs while the neighbors continue to mow their lawns – that weekly ritual they all secretly dread.

More lawn alternative ideas – 

Drought tolerant Thyme, perennials and shrubs work well in this sunny, narrow entry garden.

Thyme and Vinca are very effective in this narrow border to a driveway I saw on Martha's Vineyard this summer.

An herb garden on a slope was a creative solution seen on a local garden tour.

A field of Lupine adds color and a natural look to this property line planting.

Mixing trees, shrubs, perennials and gravel to create an alternative backyard look.

Ornamental grasses are used in this public space, creating a focal point in a large lawn area.

Groundcovers, perennials and flowering shrubs are combined for texture, color variation and year-round interest in my backyard shade garden.

Ferns at Garden In The Woods, Framingham, MA

 It’s not too early to plan for the next growing season and challenge yourself to create your own lawn alternative, even if you start with just a small area at a time. Learn more…

 Reinventing The Lawn

 Reducing the Lawn – Meadows…and other Lawn Alternatives

Suggested reading:

The Wild Lawn Handbook: Alternatives to the Traditional Front Lawn, by Stevie Daniels

The American Meadow Garden: Creating a Natural Alternative to the Traditional Lawn, by John Greenlee

Covering Ground, by Barbara W. Ellis