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Lawn Alternatives Using California Native Plants

Lawns may be green and "beautiful," but in our water conscious and eco-friendly world they are wasteful of water and heavy polluters from fertilizer and herbicide runoff. If you are ready to remove your lawn and turn it into a sanctuary for birds, bees and butterflies, here are some design ideas.

Also, be sure to read our help file on an easy way to "remove" your lawn prior to planting. Lawn "Removal" Basic Steps

Lawn Replacement #1: Ground covers and grasses

Ground Covers and Grasses

Planting a broad area with one or two varieties of groundcover Manzanita or Wild Lilac will look great year round with minimal watering and maintenance.

Lawn Replacement #2: Meadow with small grasses and colorful perennials

Meadow with Small Grasses and Colorful Perennials

One of the most popular options is choosing to transform a water hungry, relatively sterile lawn into a native meadow garden. Plant a low area of grasses, with annual and perennial flowers mixed in.

Lawn Replacement #3: Meadow with ground cover and habitat shrubs

Meadow with Ground Cover and Habitat Shrubs

A small area of grasses and wildflowers is surrounded by groundcover with some larger shrubs near the border. This hybrid approach increases the diversity of plants and habitat niches, so if gardening for wildlife is a priority for you, this is probably the best approach.

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