Ideas To Upgrade A Small Front Garden With No Grass

A beautiful front garden can lift your heart every time you open your front door, cheer up the neighbourhood and upgrade your home’s kerb appeal. Many people enjoy their yard but do not want the hassle of lawn care. Are you looking for a way to avoid spending your weekends with a lawn mower? Do you need creative and low or no maintenance alternatives to landscape your outdoor space? Some garden boarder ideas, for example? Or perhaps there’s no space for one in your small garden? Keep on reading and get the garden look of your dreams!

Beautiful spring garden in the city shows flower and landscaping with no lawn

Positive aspects of a non-grass front yard

1. It saves you time

Creating a perfectly manicured yard is time-consuming. You would need to spend hours cutting, watering, fertilising, trimming and weeding the grass. And even after all that hard work, it may still not be perfect. It’s hard to keep that lush, green look through ever-drier summers. If you love gardening, you can use your time with many other greenery options, like flower beds and plants in your garden. Hardscape areas need even less maintenance.

Lawn mower on green grass

2. You have more space

Lawn can stuff a small front yard. Having no grass can give you so many alternatives to decorate your yard and reflect your taste. You can get your favourite flowers or create themed corners without having to worry about the lawn. 

3. It is more environmentally friendly

Lawns have a bad reputation for being the cause of polluting water sources. Grass plants have a great demand for specific chemicals such as nitrogen to stay in good shape. Pesticides can be harmful and shouldn’t be taken lightly by homeowners. Choosing to embrace native flowers and plants within the landscape can help create biodiversity and create lush green spaces.

Hands holds plant, eco concept

4. It is more healthy

Pesticides can harm you, your children and pets if not used and stored correctly. Also, un-mown grass is an invitation for ticks and other disease-carrying insects. You can plant flowers that naturally repel insects, such as butter daisy, lavender, dianthus and catmint.

5. It is beautiful

Without regular mows and timely feedings of balanced fertilisers, a lawn will lose its vitality. Some of the most luxurious, green and well-designed yards don’t have a single blade of grass. Many incredible no-mow front garden ideas could forever change your outlook.

Beautiful garden in front of mansion house

6. It saves you money

Either paying a gardener to do the job or doing it yourself, lawn mowing still costs you a fortune. Having a no grass front yard saves you the cost and maintenance of a lawn mower, watering and fertilisers. By planting hardy and reliable plant alternatives or replacing lawn areas with hardscape features, you can create an interesting space to complement your home design.

The golden rules that you should have in mind

1. Match the street scene

You should have in mind that most streets have a standard design for their architectural style and a landscape design rhythm. Front yards can soften the street scene and be functional, incorporating all the basic amenities. Here is what to avoid so you won’t have a negative influence on your street’s character: 

  • Block out sunlight
  • Excessive dominance or diversity
  • Using inappropriate materials
  • Having inappropriate architectonic styles

Residential homes architectural design & garden

2. Keep symmetry

We are sure you don’t want meadows with plants flowing everywhere and amiss brickwork! There are many ways to keep symmetry if you opt for a great look, like well-defined garden beds and substantial planting!  

3. Suitable for all year round

You can always transition your front yard from one season to another, but you can also avoid this time-consuming process. Choose plants and flowers you can take care of during both full sun seasons and cold weather. 

 Photo of front yard of home during the holidays with fresh snow fallen that morning

4. Watch out for planning rules

Many governing rules apply to sheds, pave ways, playhouses and garages, and other ancillary garden buildings. Are you unsure if your planned upgrade ideas fall into the category of ‘outbuildings’ or if planning permission is required? The first place to visit is your local council’s planning department.

5. Considering front yard cost

You can always make small changes to your front yard and get creative with some DIY front yard landscaping ideas with the plants and flowers you can use, redoing your walkway and adding some new colours. But if you’re thinking about hiring a professional, then you are likely concerned with the cost. 

Your front yard landscaping cost can vary, depending on many different variables, like the materials you want to use or the project size. To provide a picture of the price, a front yard landscaping project could start around £300 up to £5.000 depending upon the complexity and the changes you wish to make. 

Close up of strong man in gloves cutting leaves in his garden.

16 stunning ideas to upgrade your front garden

If you don’t have the time, space or energy for a lawn, you don’t have to give up on your dream garden. There are plenty of grassless garden ideas to enjoy over the whole year – YAY!

1. Embrace the cottage-garden look & plant more trees

Do you want to add drama and romance to your landscape design? Go for roses, peonies, or hydrangeas! Flower gardens, some succulents and even a pergola look gorgeous in any house style. Also, don’t forget about the trees. They will provide you with beauty, shade and fresh air, and you will not even miss the lawn a day! Plant an ornamental cherry tree or small crab apple tree in the front yard centre and have an excellent focal point!

When choosing trees for small gardens, it’s essential to do your research. A well-chosen planted tree, positioned effectively, will make a beautiful curb appeal and provide interest throughout the year. Avoid trees and plants such as conifers and large shrubs shrouding the house in darkness and prefer dwarf trees, shrubs, or herbs. Topiary trees and shrubs work well if you want to create beautiful planting areas. Some of the best and more colourful trees for your front garden are: 

  • Espalier apple trees
  • Amelanchier
  • Peaches
  • Styrax obassia
  • Sorbus alnifolia
  • Magnolias
  • Japanese maples
  • Ornamental cherries
  • Hawthorn
  • Hardy palms

 southwest style home with lots of trees

2. Build a walkway

Having a well-designed walkway is a useful and beautiful upgrade, making your home feel warm and welcoming. If you have a straight concrete path, replace it with a contoured walkway made of stone or brick and give your garden a rustic charm. Cut stone paths can be the perfect addition to your landscape if you opt for a more formal walkway. They need to be installed only once and require very little, if not at all, maintenance. Choosing stones and their shapes, designs, and patterns is a matter of personal taste, but here are some ideas you can choose from:

  • Path with a repeating pattern
  • Orderly walkway
  • Diamond-shape pattern
  • Rectangular shapes blend with squares

3. Fake it

If you’ve been dreaming about a lush, green lawn but don’t have space or time for it, you can use artificial turf. Not only it will stay green without any maintenance, but it is also stain-resistant and offers excellent drainage.

Hand of a worker in gloves with a artificial lawn grass. Artificial turf laying process

4. Add outdoor art

Even the most beautiful gardens can be made a little better by adding some outdoor decor. Choose weather-resistant art pieces for the garden entrance to create instant interest. Make sure whatever you choose will complement your home’s natural palette and exterior elements. Some good choices for outdoor decor are:

  • Statues
  • Birdbaths
  • Windchimes 
  • Water sculptures
  • Fountains
  • DIY house numbers

5. Grow a no-mowing wildflower yard

You can create a no maintenance wildflower yard that you can enjoy without worrying about its needs. All you have to do is spread a few packets of such flower seeds and watch your yard transform into a colourful pallet. 

6. Plant a small vegetable garden

What’s a flat, manicured lawn next to an exciting and colourful container garden? If you love gardening or eating fresh fruits and vegetables, you can have your front yard garden. The plantings’ options are endless, and all you need is a simple spade and a watering can. Be sure to position your colourful planters throughout the yard for a welcoming cheer and colour.

Often, the front yard presents a better option for fruit, vegetables, and herbs, because it offers perfect growing conditions. A well maintained vegetable garden is going to look beautiful and can also be a great community builder. No wonder it is a growing trend! Before digging in, it’s best to check your city ordinances, which might have rules about things like how far a garden needs to be from the sidewalk.

Farmer planting tomatoes seedling in organic garden

7. Add garden arbours

Invite visitors to your garden with an enchanting entrance and stylish gate. An arbour or garden arch can be attached to a fence, wall, structure or be freestanding. It can provide shelter, privacy and shade. Since its walls and roof consist of an open framework, it can support colourful and fragrant vines. Get romantic with a white victorian-styled arbour, picket fence and trellis with climbing roses. Pavilions can be constructed from wood or wrought iron and can be a do-it-yourself project. 

8. Go for Gravel

You can choose gravel in the place of a lawn. The tiny stones look modern and architectural and will give an alternative style to your ground cover. Add pots and flowers around and enjoy a beautiful combination of colours.

9. Choose a gorgeous fence

Nothing beats a beautiful picket fence. Choosing the right colour and design will separate your house from the outside world and give you kerb appeal. For that extra flair, add a climbing vine over the fence and colourful flowers, like tulips, in the yard!

Gate, fence and climbing roses. Colorful spring background, home entrance, curb appeal

10. Renew planter beds

  • Get garden raised beds into shape by pulling weeds, pruning growth and planting flowers. Mulching will restore the colour taken away by sunlight and harsh weather and protect the soil from direct sunlight to keep your plants happy. 
  • Edging creates clean, crisp lines between beds and other areas. If your border is old, replace it with a new one. Use stone, brick or concrete for an elegant and long-lasting result.

11. Use organic mulches

You can use organic mulches like cedar or pine bark chips to replace grass quite easily for a rustic ground cover. You should lay landscaping cloth on the bare soil before laying the compost down to prevent weeds from growing to the surface.

You should also consider laying down wood chips to create a nature-provided landscape. It is easy and cost-free to make one by contacting your local tree service business. They’ll have plenty to give you, coming from grinding trees.

12. Use swinging chairs

Who doesn’t love swinging chairs? This is a fun way to make your small front yard a welcoming place. Add cushions to your swinging chairs to make them comfy and colourful. Your visitors, especially kids, won’t want to leave your home!

Two rattan hanging wicker chairs with black pillows in garden, summertime

13. Put in a Patio

You can create a stunning and functional space, even in a small front garden, with a patio. There are many different types of patio surface options you can choose from for designing your outdoor space:

  • Gravel patio
  • Concrete patio
  • Pavement patio
  • Clay Bricks patio
  • Flagstone patio
  • Tile patio
  • Sand patio
  • Cut stone patio

Surround the perimeter with lush ornamental grasses, colourful flowers or well-placed containers and brighten the space. You won’t even miss the lawn!

14. Use stepping stone pavers

A garden design to add detail and create interest is to add one or two parallel lines of square stones. Having no lawn, they will look great all year round. Make sure to frame the path with trees on both sides. Your visitors will enjoy walking in and out of your house more than ever!

15. Light Up Your Front Yard

Do you want to give your kerb appeal a significant boost in the evening hours? A well-lit pathway is both welcoming to visitors and makes walking more secure, too. You can also use outdoor landscape lighting to highlight a retaining wall by washing it or grazing it and offer a modern look. Adding landscape lighting can make your nights magical and add a substantial element of safety and security.

Having your lights on will make your walkway safer to navigate in the dark, and you’ll also deter trespassers from stepping foot on the property. Fairy lights can give an instant touch of magic. String them around a tree, or hang them from a tree, a stone wall or post in the yard, and you’ve got a beautiful, warm canopy of twinkling lights. Start with a walk around your yard at night, envision the result you want, and plan your landscaping lighting. Important landscape lighting areas include:

  • Paths
  • Entries
  • Steps
  • Architectural Features
  • Driveway 

Outdoor lights (lanterns, bollards) in front of an old administration building illuminating a walkway in the garden at night

16. Don’t forget the water feature

A fountain or pond will not only serve as a beautiful addition, but the soothing sounds of the water will also add peace to your space. Water will also encourage pollinators and birds to visit your garden. Add colour with some flowers around it or even goldfish if you have a pond. 

5 Tips to keep it low maintenance

You want your front yard’s small space to look beautiful, but we are sure you don’t want to spend a lot of time and money during the years. Here are some ‘’know-how’’ tips so you can keep your front garden in good shape for a long time. 

1. Plants

Your time is one of the most critical factors you should consider when choosing the plants you want. If you have limited free time, keep plant variety to a minimum, as they require more maintenance. Also, avoid planting many tender plants and prefer drought-tolerant and easy-to-care ones, like hardy succulents. Some of them are: 

  • Shasta Daisy
  • Coneflower
  • Hardy Hibiscus
  • Perennial Geranium
  • Hosta
  • Ferns
  • Catmint
  • Coreopsis
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Sedum

2. Water-wise

Do you want your flowers and plants to look their best with the minimum effort on your part? Keep your landscape plants looking vibrant and healthy with a consistent watering schedule. Just make sure you use a dripper or soak hose systems that send water to plants’ roots. Grouping plants with similar watering needs together also helps avoid wastage.

Drip Irrigation System Close Up.

3. Materials

Most durable materials/components, such as paving stones and thick bricks, are typically low maintenance since they are more resistant to exposure to the elements. Loose materials provide good drainage, preventing flooding. The best way to maintain them is to add fillers or rake them up for a fresh look. Keep in mind that improper installation of any building material will cost its attain in maximum lifespan.

4. Painting

Are you thinking of painting your old fence or door so you won’t have to buy a new one? Better think about it twice! Although it seems like a cheaper solution, colour fades away and needs refreshing regularly. Replacing your fence or keeping its plain and classic wooden colour will be better in the long run. Choose what is best for you.

5. Pots

If you seek pots, choose big containers to combine several plants and reduce the amount of watering required. The garden will look less cluttered, too. If you like to move pots around, invest in some castors.

main entrance stair of the stylish house decorated by colorful potted flowers for autumn holidays season

After adopting one or many of these schemes, you’ll want to celebrate your lack of grass and enjoy your colourful space! We hope now that you are armed with inspiration to find upgrading your no-grass front yard fun and easy!

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