Learning how to landscape a backyard without grass can be done in a number of ways, and each method can create a drastically different look.
If you live in an area that gets little rainfall, you may be thinking about planting a new landscape in your backyard. But how can you do this without grass? Many people love the look of grass, so they want to install it regardless of the weather. This article will go over 10 different landscaping ideas that can help your backyard look great, even if there’s no grass involved!
1) Decorate With Stones
While lots of people envision an outdoor space with a green lawn as one of its main features, it’s perfectly possible to have a great outdoor space without grass. The following ideas are suitable for people who don’t want to maintain or mow lawns but still want greenery in their backyards.
Instead of grass, you can use natural materials that won’t need much maintenance and will provide attractive landscaping over time. A stone path can be one of your first steps toward creating an easy-to-maintain backyard design that doesn’t include any grass. Keep reading for more ideas!
Having a no-mow backyard or no lawn backyard can reduce the amount of time you’ll be spending on lawn maintenance every summer. Mowing the lawn every couple of days can end up creating increased gas bills and lawnmower maintenance that you might not want to be spending your time on.
2) Let The Ground Tell Its Story
The grass is one of those things that we’re told we need but few of us actually want. It takes up space, it’s boring and if you’re going for an eco-friendly garden, it’s a no-no. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways to make your yard look good without grass. Be sure to talk with your landscaper about what your options are in terms of replacing grass with another material like pavers or bark chips.
3) Extend Your Outdoor Room
Getting rid of grass may seem like a lot of work, but it’s not as hard as you think. As long as you have dirt, you can grow any number of beautiful plants and flowers in your backyard. The best part is that most no-grass landscaping options are easy on your budget.
In fact, some ideas—like stepping stones and decorative pavers—cost less than dirt (literally). If you’re ready to take back your outdoor space, here are 10 great ways to do it without grass or an expensive lawnmower.
4) Embrace Small Plants
A no-grass backyard doesn’t have to be an eyesore. Sure, you might miss that lush grassy feeling when you look out your window, but there are plenty of great plants—like ferns and succulents—that thrive in arid conditions and can add texture, color, and interest to any landscape.
And if your yard isn’t paved over or covered in mulch (and if you live in a climate where it’s safe for plants), try planting some grasses and flowers. Not only will they liven up your space (and brighten your day), but many can also grow without much water.
Getting creative with plants around the lawn and garden can increase the aesthetic appeal tremendously.
5) Include Plants, Bushes, And Flowers In Various Sizes
This can be done in small spaces. And when you do need grass for an area, there are ground covers like sedum and mosses that work well. You can also try planting tall herbs and flowers in containers or window boxes; they look great and help keep weeds at bay. There’s no one way to landscape a backyard without grass, but here are ten ideas to get you started.
6) Use Topiary As Vertical Interest
One of my favorite no-grass landscaping ideas is using topiary as vertical interest. Topiaries (plants that have been trimmed into shapes like spheres, cylinders, pyramids, and more) are an easy way to add curb appeal and pizazz to your landscaping without having to make a big commitment.
If you’re strapped for cash, invest in your friendliest-looking trees—trees with character and personality that are on-brand for your yard. Then get creative and start clipping them into fun shapes; even basic topiaries can look very elegant in certain parts of your yard. I’m especially fond of pyramids as they make excellent focal points in any space!
7) Add Things That Are Unique To You
If you’re going to landscape your yard without grass, do it in a way that’s unique. The point of doing something like landscaping your yard without grass is to make your house stand out from all of your neighbors’ houses—you don’t want it to look like everyone else’s house.
There are tons of different ways you can decorate or design around a lack of grass; think about what interests you and what makes sense for your house and backyard. Consider adding some flowers or herbs if you don’t have room for full-blown gardens.
8) Explore Lighting And Water Features
If you have no grass in your backyard, or even if you do, investing in well-placed lighting and water features is an easy way to make your outdoor space feel brighter and more relaxing. Look for lights that cast soft light, especially around seating areas. (We’re big fans of solar-powered lights for their environmental impact.)
Water features can be as simple as a trickling fountain, or as complicated as fountains that play music! No matter what type of water feature you choose, they’ll add brightness and tranquility to your landscape. Sometimes light placed in certain areas can reflect off the lawn very uniquely.
9) Turn Your Yard Into An Art Gallery
While an outdoor space can be used for outdoor activities, it can also be one more place for you to express yourself creatively. If you aren’t into planting flowers or building rock gardens, consider creating an art gallery in your backyard. A cinder block wall, some plywood, and some paint are all you need to bring your unique vision to life. The best part about turning your yard into an art gallery is that you won’t have any neighbors telling you what should or shouldn’t go on it!
10) Add Wood Chips
Thinking of cheap no grass backyard ideas requires some creativity, but you won’t have to worry about cutting the lawn again. You don’t need grass for a beautiful backyard. You can add texture and color to your no-grass backyard by adding wood chips, mulch, or gravel.
Just make sure that whatever you choose has been treated so it won’t leach harmful chemicals into your soil, as many mulches and wood chips are made from pine—be sure they are labeled as green, which means they were kiln-dried rather than chemically treated. Avoid using bark products, like cypress mulch or cedar chips, because they repel water and can compact down over time, making them unusable.
Try Artificial Grass
If you live in an area that doesn’t allow grass or has heavy restrictions, landscaping your backyard without grass may be for you. Artificial grass offers a great alternative and can provide exactly what you need to landscape your backyard. You can purchase several different types of artificial grass from places like Home Depot and Lowes; keep in mind that some are better suited for certain climates than others. Do your research before buying!
Start A Garden
While grass is pretty and all, it requires lots of water and maintenance to keep it looking good. A great alternative is to start an easy garden that requires no mowing and practically no watering at all.
It doesn’t have to be flowers; any plant that can grow in your area will work just fine. And if you live in an apartment complex or condo, don’t worry about finding a place for your garden—it can go on your balcony! Here are some of our favorite low-maintenance options for backyard landscaping ideas without grass
Consider Using Pavers
Pavers are an excellent way to make your backyard look classy, while also keeping it low-maintenance. Since they’re already set in place, you don’t have to worry about grass dying or struggling with weeds.
If you want your backyard landscaping without grass and without extra expenses, pavers may be for you. Using pavers is a great way to do backyard landscaping without grass. No grass backyard ideas can also include things like moss.
Moss seems to be everywhere these days—on t-shirts, walls, even jewelry. But did you know that moss is actually one of the most efficient water-retaining plants around? When it comes to watering your garden, using moss can be as much as 20 times more efficient than using grass!
For that reason alone, it’s worth trying for your no-mow backyard. We’ve rounded up some creative uses for moss and how-to guides so you can make any patch of ground feel like an oasis in no time. So say goodbye to those unwanted weeds and hello to some functional art! Before you know it, all your neighbors will want their own no-mow backyard too!
While starting a new design for the garden, lawn, or backyard might be quite difficult at first, it’s a fun experience that can be made easier by hiring a landscaping company. And for more design and interlocking ideas feel free to visit our blog post about the best interlocking ideas 2023.