A lush, green lawn is both practical and gorgeous. But it has its disadvantages: it needs constant watering, frequent fertilizing, and regular mowing to stay looking nice. With all of the maintenance, it can start to feel like owning a lawn is less relaxing than it should be.

These lawn-free landscapes are just as lovely as grass turf, with a fraction of the maintenance needs and a lot more color, texture, and design oomph. Take a look, and get inspired to revamp your lawn this year, so you can finally start enjoying your yard.

1. Go native

For a landscape that looks gorgeous with minimal effort, take a cue from nature and plant native varieties. Plants that are adapted to their native environment will need little to no watering and fertilization, and will look beautiful with surrounding wildlife.

2. Calm down

Rock gardens, stony paths, and containers planted with succulents replace a bland lawn with visual interest and mellow places to wander. Choose green plantings rather than bright flowers for a subtle, calming ombré palette.

3. Build up

If you have a sloped yard, try planting flowering shrubs and trees among large-scale boulders. The boulders will lend structure to the sprawling plants, and the two will work together to prevent flooding and erosion.

4. Find your path

A lawn-free yard doesn’t mean you have to give up places to stroll. By placing large plantings on either side of wandering a pea gravel path, you can make a place where it’s more beautiful than ever to take a walk.

5. Soften up

A grass sidewalk transition is neither exciting nor easy on the eyes. Replace yours with fragrant, colorful shrubs such as lavender, California lilac, or heather. These plants’ clumping habits and bright flowers will welcome guests and soften the transition between the inside and outside of your home.

6. Turn up the contrast

Getting rid of traditional turf means that you can mix up fresh groundcovers, such as sharp, tall sedge and low, soft creeping thyme. Placing contrasting textures next to one another in the landscape adds visual interest and makes the space seem larger than it is.

7. Go romantic

You’ve always wanted a fountain, a kitchen garden, and a patch of beautiful cutting flowers. When you take the lawn out of the equation, there’s room for garden features that add romance and delight to your outdoor space.

8. Grow your own

Not ready to give up all of your grass lawn? Start small by adding space for raised garden beds where you can grow the foods your family loves to eat. make sure to leave room for a dry, warm path for easy picking.

9. Find your edge

There’s no hard and fast rule that says that landscapes have to be green. If your style steers you towards the modern, consider a hardscaped yard that’s artful, as well as practical.

10. Build a foundation

Foundation plantings and paths visually extend the footprint of your home, making it seem low-slung and expansive. Instead of grass that goes to the wall, try densely-planted shrubs and a paver and pea gravel path.

11. Turn down the water

Turn down your water needs by landscaping with native grasses and colorful flowers such as black-eyed susans and coneflowers. Together with patches of natural stones and gravel, these plants make a colorful collage with no sprinkler system needed.

 12. Make room for color

Giving up your green lawn means welcoming a gorgeous palette of unexpected color. Hot orange, emerald green, frosty seafoam and spicy yellow are just some of the new hues that you can work into your lawn-free landscape with flowering aloe, ice plant, and desert spoon.

Jason Lee Design Studio, Inc. - lawn free yardsTop Image Credit: Gelotte Hommas

13. Go Synthetic!

If you want to reduce maintenance but keep the look and feel of a grass lawn, consider installing synthetic grass. Artificial grass lawns offer a flawless, symmetrical aesthetic without watering, pesticides, & mowing.

Top Image Credit: American Greens

Are you inspired by these lawn-free landscapes to change up your outdoors? Will you replace your lawn this year?