Tuesday, March 20, 2012


"Where did our love of  grass come from? Why are we so obsessed with lawns?"
Liz Primeau takes a fascinating journey back in time to arrive at the answer. But more importantly, she gives us over 23 examples of beautiful and creative front gardens sans lawn. A patch of lawn can be wonderful and in between my garden areas I have some lawn. But there's so much more!
With hundreds of inspiring photos, this is a book I often refer to. I also like the fact that half of the gardens are from Canada and the other half from the U.S.  It's not often we get a glimpse of those beautiful Canadian gardens, so I get very excited when we do.
A portion of my front garden ~ Summer 2010

A sampling of the chapters include:
Why we mow/ Lawn at What Cost?/ Cottage Gardens/ Small City Gardens/ Minimalist Gardens/ Natural Gardens/ Secret Gardens/and Overcoming Obstacles

View of our backyard ~ Summer 2011

Liz covers every detail including what others might think of your alternatives to a lawn. Remember, this is the FRONT yard we're talking about.
Here's a quote:
"Prepare your neighbors. Tell them you plan to take out all or some of your grass and describe the kind of garden you expect to put in. Assure them you'll clean up at every stage. This way your front yard won't look  like a construction zone instead of the beautiful garden it will eventually become."

Book title: Front Yard Gardens: Growing More than Grass
Author: Liz Primeau
A Firefly Book
203 photographs of gardens ranging from Prince Edward Island cottage style to Texas minimilist.
23 garden stories with illustrations and plant lists.
I highly recommend this book to both veteran and beginner gardeners.
There are plenty of opportunities for gardening. Just be creative and break out of the mold! :0)

For more excellent garden books, visit our wonderful host, Holley at Roses and Other Gardening Joys.
She's the brains behind the roses and our book reviews.
Thanks for stopping by.


  1. I'm lucky not to have neighbors that worry about my front yard, but I understand the reluctance to go against the traditional look of a lawn. I think that's why most people have all their gardens (and their personality) in the backyard. I applaud you for having the gumption to remove your lawn, especially as you replaced it with xeriscape plants. For people that use chemicals and excessive water for a grass lawn, I think this is a beautiful and welcome idea. Thanks for a book that could help make that a possibility. Interestingly, CasaMariposa did a book review in favor of lawns. I think it's wonderful that the trend for a lawnless front garden is becoming so acceptable, that we can all decide what type of garden is best for the gardener that lives there. Thanks for joining in!

  2. This sounds like a great book. A grass only lawn doesn't appeal to me. It always looks like it needs a real garden; flowers, food, maybe even a couple of chickens. That last photo of a garden starved community is quite pitiful.

  3. David, I also have this book. I just reread it a few weeks ago. I think I loved it more than ever during this last reading. It is a great book on so many different levels. I highly recommend it as well.

  4. Very interesting book...and helpful, too! I did take out my front lawn at my last house, and I received many compliments. I wish more and more people thought of a yard as more than a lawn. I like how the chapters in this book are arranged.

  5. I will always have rough lawn that can be cut closely and wide grassy paths. It's the nature of where I garden. Snakes crawl here, poisonous snakes. I want to see them. Our lawns are not fertlized.

  6. Hi David, great book review! We have a small front yard with only a little bit of lawn, but I am thinking of taking it out. So your book seems to be the one for me :-)!

  7. I need to read this book since I am trying to garden (both front and back) with everything included, including grass.

  8. Looks like a good book review. Our front garden was 95% gravel when we moved in, is now 90% gravel ... I'm working slowly towards 0% gravel (suspect neighbours are less concerned about gravel being replaced by plants than lawns though!!)

  9. Hey, there's a picture of my subdivision on your blog! If I had less dogs, I'd have less lawn. I like the garden+ small lawn combo. The grass is a great visual resting place. But this book looks cool, too. Actually, I always like your book choices. They have a way of ending up in my Amazon shopping cart. :o)
    Have you ever stuck ivory bar soap in the microwave for your students? It's a great way to explain various easy peezy scientific principles. But eating piece won't help them fart bubbles, unfortunately. Fun!

  10. I've fallen in love with your garden, just beautiful. I am envious that you can grow all these beautiful plants that would struggle here in the UK

  11. Hi, Liz Primeau is a popular garden writer in Canada. She used to be editor of a very good gardening magazine. It was a sad day when she left.

  12. This is a workable solution for the stadium owners, team pride to make the stadium look luxurious look self propelled lawn mower lowes


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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