There has been a shift lately in regard to lawns; no longer does the quintessential square patch of immaculately mown green, take pride of place in the average front yard. With water restrictions and the amount of maintenance and fertilising that’s required, it has become increasingly difficult to keep turf looking good.
There is the option of paving or perhaps pebbles but these aren’t ideal for kids and there is something quite tranquil about the colour green. There are many alternatives to lawn that can recreate that green space with minimal maintenance!
Native violet - Viola hederaceae
This is a great free-flowering ground cover for shaded areas that does tolerate full sun. It is not suitable for high-traffic areas, however it is fast growing, provided it has reliable moisture.
Kidney weed - Dicondra repens
This is popular turf substitute with small attractive leaves. It is best in areas with low to medium traffic in a well drained soil. Make sure you have garden edges in place as it can be invasive. It can be mown 4 to 6 times a year. The variety ‘Silver falls’ has beautiful contrasting grey foliage.
Mondo and dwarf mondo grass - Ophiopogon japonicus
This hardy tufting grass is slow growing, but its dark attractive leaf is an attractive feature. It can also be divided to plant elsewhere in the garden. Particularly good around crazy paving(sandstone flagging) or stepping stones. It grows in both sun and shade.
Baby’s tears - Soleirolia soleirollii
Is native to the Mediterranean Island of Corsica and forms a soft, velvety-emerald carpet to 2cm high. It doesn’t like hot sun and is best kept moist. It is also frost sensitive.
Creeping thyme - Thymus serpyllum
This fragrant herb is good for smaller areas but needs to be cut back to prevent it becoming woody. It has small dark pink flowers and of course releases its delicious scent with every footstep.
Chamomile - Chamaemelum nobile
Another herb used as a ground cover in cooler climates is the sweet smelling chamomile. This soft, fern-like herb stays under 10cm in height. It also has charming small white flowers with yellow centres that can be used to make tea. It is more for the light traffic areas.
When it comes to synthetic grass, there have been many improvements made in its texture and appearance. Blades emulate particular varieties, some thicker like buffalo, some shorter and finer like couch. There are also many shades of green used. It is a great alternative to lawn with little to no maintenance! For $85m2, the ‘meadow’ can be installed. This price includes removal of your existing turf, a preparation base layed and the new ‘grass’ installed!
* Some groundcovers can still be mown for a neater appearance
* Chamomile is not only a great groundcover it also makes a relaxing tea
* Groundcovers can be invasive so make sure you have garden edging in place
www.tigerturf.com.au - (synthetic grass)