Landscaping Projects that Help Decrease your Lawn Size

Written by David S.

Many people are looking at their sprawling lawns, and the amount of water they use, plus the expense of upkeeping them and deciding a smaller lawn is a better investment. This blog discusses ideas for landscaping and little projects that can fill in the gaps when people want to get rid of their lawn or make it smaller.

Flower Beds 
Who doesn’t love flowers? Adding flower beds to your yard is a fantastic way to use some space where a lawn has been. Depending on the project, you can use a small amount of space to replace a vast section of the lawn with projects like a formal rose garden. 

Another option is raised flower beds or themed flower beds. The possibilities are incredible. If you have a favorite color, make a color-themed flower bed. If you love the modern and linear look of architecture, bring those crisp lines into your yard with hardscape and flowers. 

Another option is shade gardens, which pair amazingly with small patios or sitting areas. These can range from modern to rustic. 

Garden Beds 
A big trend in urban areas is to replace the lawn with a food forest. Homeowners across the country are installing garden beds where their lawns once sprawled. A food forest is a large garden that produces as much food as possible on a year-round basis. The idea is to grow as much of your yearly food supply organically. 

Seasonal gardening is a big topic in food forests, as are techniques such as successive gardening, no-till gardening, and permaculture. 

You can also go small and grow a few vegetables and fruit that you love. Adding garden beds to places where the lawn was, is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint. Not only are you growing your food, but you are using fewer resources and water. 

Products that help gardens grow to include:
 Drip irrigation with smart controllers that may feature soil humidity monitors, so plants get water when the soil humidity reaches a specified percentage. 
 Shade cloth to protect fragile plants from the intense Southern California sun.
Shade cloth is reusable and easy to store in bags. 
 Bulk organic fertilizers that mix up in small batches. 
 Soil mixes and products that allow you to create specific growing environments such as water-absorbing or fast draining. 

If you plan to install garden beds, stop by and check out the garden kits and massive selection of plants. Our garden experts are available to help answer your questions and point you towards products that help make your growing adventure more successful. 

Ponds are an impressive structural element you can add to your yard. Well-designed ponds add value to your property and create beautiful places to sit, relax, and socialize. Pair ponds with outdoor living spaces so you can enjoy the beauty of the pond and the outdoors. 

Ponds come in all sizes and range from classic koi ponds to small barrel ponds. A  common theme is wildlife ponds which can be a beautiful addition to your yard and an educational opportunity for children. Animals that love ponds include dragonflies, which are semiaquatic, birds, mammals, including hummingbirds and butterflies. 

Green Thumb Nursery offers pond kits in a range of sizes and shapes. There is also the option of exploring beautiful water plants such as lotus flowers. 

Patios are another option for outdoor living space that can replace a lawn. Patios have a range of uses, from outdoor dining areas to places where you can sit and relax. In addition, you can add features to patios that give them shape, such as a pergola. 

Patios are also an opportunity to create outdoor shaded areas and places where you can sit with friends and enjoy a cup of coffee or read a book. Design the use of the space around your downtime or for seasonal opportunities. For example, an outdoor grilling area or kitchen makes a wonderful retreat during the warm summer evenings, and because you cook outdoors, you are not warming up the house. 

Patios are also a wonderful place to add container gardens as borders. Beautiful ceramic pots filled with exotic flowers or even a small formal rose garden can be a fantastic addition. Aromatic flowers and herbs are another option for creating a living border on a patio. 

Formal Landscape and Hardscape 
Beautiful courtyards add a lovely touch of luxury to a home. Water fountains are available in all sizes, from massive centerpieces to statuary or tabletop waterfalls designed for smaller spaces and outdoor sitting areas. 

Pergola and gazebos are another option and tool to create beautiful landscapes and sitting areas. Climbing roses and vining plants, including grapes, are an excellent addition to pergola. If you work from home, an outdoor office is another option. Create a place where your beautiful yard becomes the place where you work. A gazebo is an easy way to create a work area, or you can convert an outdoor shed into one of the best office spaces in town. 

The Takeaway 
Getting rid of a lawn or downsizing it is an excellent way to:
 Increase the usability of your yard as an outdoor living area
 Create specialized areas that elevate the quality of your life
 Add value to your property 
 Create habitats that benefit wildlife and the environment. 
 Grown your food 

Another good focus is on creating usable spaces that match your lifestyle. Those can range from quiet sitting areas to places where you entertain. The massive space that a lawn requires can transform a yard into an outdoor paradise. 

At Green Thumb Nursery, we make it easier to bring garden and landscaping projects to life. We like to think of ourselves as more than a place where you pick up plants. Instead, we like to be where you come when you need answers about your project or where you want to see the options; you have to choose quality plants, beautiful containers, and DIY kits that fit your projects. 

What kind of oasis is waiting to emerge in your yard? How much of your lawn do you want to remove? What kind of projects do you want to install? The beautiful thing about these questions is that they can become small projects that take a day or a week. They don’t have to become a massive renovation that disrupts your life for the next month.  

Please stop by any of our five Southern California locations and check out the plants, products, and kits to see what inspires you. While you are here, chat with our plant and garden experts. They are happy to answer your questions and show you products that may benefit your projects.

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