If you've ever toyed with the idea of replacing or reducing your lawn, you will appreciate the practical advice and beautiful photography in Pam Penick's book "Lawn Gone! Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for your Yard."
Penick makes a strong case for exploring alternatives to the traditional American lawn. While a lush green lawn is attractive and provides space for play, there are drawbacks. In addition to the regular watering and mowing required to maintain a lawn, the chemical fertilizers and pesticides that are often used can affect wildlife and streams. The equipment used in lawn care contributes to air and noise pollution. Penick argues that trying to maintain the same landscape in areas with different climates makes little sense. Why not celebrate the individual beauty of your own region?
The book provides real-life examples of projects with before and after pictures, advice on dealing with skeptical neighbors and homeowners associations, and regional plant recommendations. Before you dig up your front yard, consult this book to help plan your project.
For even more inspiration, check out "Beautiful No-Mow Yards: 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives" by Evelyn J. Hadden.
--Jennifer A., Headquarters