What is the best alternative to grass

Garden without a lawn | 15 alternatives to grass

Monotonous green spaces have had their day as a key element for creative garden design with no alternative. A garden without lawn promises less maintenance and more quality of life in the green realm. Home gardeners who are close to nature are on the lookout for a decorative alternative for the benefit of insects, birds, hedgehogs and other creatures in the garden. We invite you to take a stroll through 5 alternatives to grass.

Ground cover as a substitute for lawns

Ground cover are plants with low, creeping growth that predominantly conquer their territory in width. If a ground cover has other properties in the bag, such as step resistance and evergreen foliage, it comes into focus as the perfect alternative to grass. In combination with pretty flowers, the most beautiful variations make the garden without a lawn a feast for the eyes and swarmed bee pasture. Low growth and adequate step resistance of the following alternatives to grass go hand in hand with reliable weed suppression. What you have to work hard on lawns with weekly mowing, annual scarifying and repeated aeration, is done naturally by ground cover. As soon as the creeping tendrils unite to form a dense network, brazen weeds are left behind. The following overview presents the top 10 for ground cover as a lawn substitute in alphabetical order:

English Lawn Chamomile 'Treneague'(Anthemis nobilis)

The English lawn chamomile does not have flowers, has a pleasant smell and does not need to be mowed. Many home gardeners value these advantages in order to make a garden without a lawn beautiful and easy to care for. The 'Treneague' variety takes root quickly, has an aromatic smell and is hardy.

  • Spread: 15-30 cm
  • Height: 3-10 cm
  • Flowering time: not applicable

Feather pads(Cotula dioica)

You cannot see from a single plumage plant in a pot what potential it has as a lawn alternative. Planted as a group with 10 to 20 specimens, a dense, well-stepped cushion of pretty leaflets forms within a short time.

  • Spread: 10-30 cm
  • Height: 3-5 cm
  • Flowering period: June to August

Golden strawberry(Waldsteinia ternata)

There are convincing arguments in favor of golden strawberries

ideal substitute for lawn. With creeping tendrils, the native perennial covers the ground with a dense cushion of evergreen, shiny leaves. In spring, yellow bowl blossoms perch above the green carpet, which the first bees, bumblebees and butterflies really appreciate.
  • Spread: 30-60 cm
  • Height: 10-15 cm
  • Flowering period: April to June

Hazel root(Asarum europaeum)

The local shrub is there to solve problems if you want to green a spot with little light in the garden without any gaps. Hazel root masters damp, calcareous earth with flying colors and slowly but surely stretches out its long tendrils.

  • Spread: 20-25 cm
  • Height: 5-15 cm
  • Flowering period: March to April

Low fat man(Pachysandra terminalis 'Compacta')

Where fat men gather in flocks of 10 specimens per square meter, you will not long mourn a lawn in the garden. With epic long, evergreen shoots, the frugal perennials form opaque mats. In early spring, white flower spikes shimmer discreetly and shyly from between the evergreen leaves.

  • Spread: 30-40 cm
  • Height: 8-12 cm
  • Flowering period: April and May

Upholstery thyme 'Golden Dwarf'(Thymus x citriodorus)

Upholstery thyme transforms the lawn without a lawn into a feast for the senses. The premium variety 'Golden Dwarf' covers small and large areas with a solid carpet of gold-green decorative leaves, which exude a seductive lemon scent. In late summer, purple flowers join in, which contrast picturesquely with the foliage. The sunnier the location, the more numerous the flower symphony of light purple panicles. Nobody likes to destroy so much floral splendor with a lawnmower.

  • Spread: 25-30 cm
  • Height: 5-15 cm
  • Flowering period: July and August

Roman chamomile(Anthemis nobilis v. Ligulosa)

One of the best alternatives to grass is Roman chamomile, aptly referred to as lawn chamomile. As a lawn substitute, the fragrant ground cover easily tolerates occasional stepping on.

Occasional mowing with the cutter bar high is sufficient for a well-groomed appearance.
  • Spread: 15-25 cm
  • Height: 10-20 cm
  • Flowering period: June to August

Sand thyme, field thyme(Thymus serpyllum)

Are you on the lookout for an alternative to grass that shows its best side in full sun, sandy-dry location? Then please turn your attention to sand thyme. As the plant name suggests, the herb plant has a weakness for gritty, sandy and dry conditions. In contrast to classic conspecifics, field thyme has decided in the course of its evolution to grow with creeping shoots.

  • Spread: 20-25 cm
  • Height: 8-10 cm
  • Flowering period: June to August

Tip: The sod cutter comes in handy when it comes to creating space for a garden without a lawn. The motor-driven device peels off old lawn with rotating knives in strips. All you have to do is roll up the peeled grass strips and dispose of them. The practical lawn peeling machine can be rented cheaply for a day in well-stocked hardware stores or machine rentals.

Star moss, awl fattening herb(Sagina subulata)

When fluffy green cushions invite you to walk barefoot, star moss is useful as a picturesque alternative to grass. The light conditions at the location are irrelevant to the evergreen ground cover. Pfriemen-Mastkraut plants any sunny to shady area, provided the soil has enough moisture to offer. A planting density of 15 young plants per square meter is recommended so that a compact, walk-on, green carpet that does not have to be mowed quickly forms.

  • Spread: 20-25 cm
  • Height: 3-5 cm
  • Flowering period: June to August

Carpet verbena(Phyla nodiflora 'Summer pearls')

Are you in the mood for a walk-in sea of ​​flowers as a substitute for lawns? Then we would like to recommend the wonderful carpet verbena 'Summer Pearls' to you. The perennial shines as a flowering ground cover, preferably in a sunny location. Annoying mowing is a thing of the past, as is regular irrigation during summer drought.

  • Spread: 30-40 cm
  • Height: 5-7 cm
  • Flowering period: May to October / November

DANGER: The downside of the coin is that none of these 10 ground cover can come up with the resilience of a sports and play lawn. The attribute step resistance means occasional stepping on. Playing children and exuberant dogs leave unmistakable traces within a short time, even on premium alternatives to grass. A good reason to look into the other alternatives to weed, which this guide presents to you below.

Japanese garden

The fascination of Japanese gardens is based on a harmonious combination of stones, plants, water and design elements. Even in the smallest of spaces, a Japanese garden serves as a creative alternative to grass. The following overview summarizes the main components:

  • Stones: Gravel spread over a large area and raked in a wave shape, solitary boulders as symbols for turtles or kites
  • Plants: Conifers such as thuja, deciduous shrubs such as rhododendrons, flowers such as peonies and irises
  • Water: Stream, pond, biotope and swimming pond for large areas, water-filled stone pots in the allotment garden

As design elements, the focus is on decorative items that demonstrate a recognizable reference to the Asian gardening philosophy. These include stone lanterns, pagodas, benches and steles. A Japanese fire basket on gravel ground invites you to linger where a lawn used to be.

Zen garden

Those who want to stay true to the clear lines of a lawn garden should look to the zen garden as an alternative to grass. The Far Eastern concept goes back to the 6th century and means "dry landscape" in translation. The leitmotifs of the Asian Zen doctrine are expressed in a puristic garden design that dispenses with plants and grass. The reduction to the essentials succeeds with stones and sand as well as moss as the only concession to the flora.

Boulders and stone sculptures serve as focal points. In the spaces in between, undulating surfaces made of gravel and sand adorn the zen garden. It is up to your individual decision to determine the relationship between sand, gravel and moss areas. Important for the growth of moss is a partially shaded to shady and damp and cool location.

Cottage garden

If the lawn in the garden is to give way to blooming romance and living gardening tradition, you cannot ignore the historic cottage garden. As the epitome of rural nostalgia, the traditional garden concept combines healthy vegetables with colorful flowers, tasty herbs and juicy fruit. The following design cornerstones characterize a cottage garden as an opulent alternative to grass and leave room for contemporary variations:

  • Basic structure: 4 square or rectangular beds with crossroads as access
  • Planting plan: 3 beds with vegetables, 1 bed with herbs and local crops
  • Enclosure: Wooden fence with berry bushes or mixed hedge with local flowering and fruit trees
  • Centerpiece: Rose rondel, fountain, pavilion, fruit tree or black elder

If you want to consistently do without grass, cover the paths 6 to 8 centimeters high with bark mulch. Decorative elements stylishly round off the romantic charm of the cottage garden. A bench, a rustic, planted wheelbarrow or a self-built barbecue made of burnt bricks make the viewer dream of the good old days without wasting a thought on monotonous lawns.

Water worlds

Water worlds in various sizes and design variants refer lawns to the design substitute bench.We have compiled the most beautiful alternatives to grass with water for you below:

  • Natural pond: different water depths, varied planting, wooden footbridge, stream for the water supply
  • Swimming pond with natural clarification: 60% plants and 40% swimming area, waterfall as additional bathing pleasure
  • Stream: ideal for the hillside garden without lawn with flowering bank planting instead of grass

Water worlds as alternatives to grass are not a question of the size of the property. If there is not enough space for a pond and stream, lively water features replace the former lawn. A multi-level rock fountain, which is framed by a round of gravel, appears close to nature. Steel figures with catch basins, with a pavement made of natural stone slabs at their feet, are elegantly presented.