To celebrate the release of Pam Penick’s new book, Lawn Gone! Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard, you’re all invited to attend her Lawn Gone Book Party – with some very cool party prizes! Six garden blogging friends and I are hosting 7 great giveaways this week, all related to the theme of – drumroll please – lawn alternatives.

Lawn Gone! is, of course, about alternatives to the traditional lawn: all kinds of ground-covering plants, functional and appropriately scaled hardscape, and fun features to draw you outside.  If any of you are re-thinking your lawn, you will appreciate this book not only for the amazing inspirational photos, but also for the thoroughness in which it addresses the nitty-gritty details of how to move forward with your landscaping project.

One of my favorite chapters deals with the various detailed methods of removing the lawn, listing the pros and cons of each.  This is always the area where so many of my DIY clients have the most questions and I’m thrilled I now have this book to recommend.  You’ll also learn how to determine which type of hardscaping to use for pathways and how to install it, how to deal with potential conflict with HOAs and/or complaining neighbors, ways to avoid unintended visitors (ie: deer, rodents and ticks) as well as a list of hardy regional plant picks.  Overall, a most impressive book to add to your gardening library!

As many of my regular readers may know, I’m a huge fan of designing gardens where I either reduce or replace an unused existing lawn. Here are a few before and afters of some of my favorite projects (a few of which are even featured in Pam’s book):

1.  Mixed-Fescue Meadow

(more pics here)

2.  Low-Water Succulent Garden

3.   Dymondia ‘lawn’ vs. Threadbare lawn

(more pics here)

4.  Vegetable Beds replace a boring front lawn

(more pics here)

5.  Goodbye front lawn!

(more details here)

Okay, okay – you get the point.  I’m definitely a proponent of removing any part of your garden that isn’t being used to its fullest potential – and it just so happens that lawns are generally the first area that comes to mind.


Ready to join the Party?  Here’s how to play.  There are 7 bloggers participating in this fabulous giveaway, each offering a different prize.  Just leave a comment on each participating blog for a chance to win that specific prize.  The more blogs you visit, the more chances to win! Please note that because of shipping costs, most giveaways are restricted to residents of the continental U.S.  My prize, however, will be shipped to those living in the US as well as Canada, so all you Canadians out there – enter away!!  🙂

The giveaway runs through Sunday March 10th at 11:59 pm. The winner will be announced on Monday the 11th.

UPDATE:  Congratulations Kathy Kruer!  You’re the winner of the 5-lb bag of Eco-Lawn Seed!  Just send me your address and I’ll make sure the seed is shipped to you right away!


Here at Gossip, I’m giving away a 5-lb bag of   Eco-Lawn seed (valued at $55), donated by Wildflower Farm in Ontario, Canada.  I’ve seen several Eco-Lawns in person and let me just say they’re a stunning lush, beautiful and sustainable turf alternative consisting of fine fescues (they rarely needs mowing, too!).  Perfect for milder climates. This giveaway is available to readers in Canada as well as the U.S.

plant delightsLoree Bohl of Danger Garden is giving away a $50 gift card from Plant Delights, a mail-order nursery that’s a plant lover’s dream. Since 1988, Plant Delights Nursery has been the choice of serious gardeners and plant collectors looking for the best and rarest perennial plants. They have an enticing selection of groundcovers, ornamental grasses, and small perennials, all of which make excellent substitutes for lawn grass.cobra headTo dig out grass or to weed your new garden, you’ll want a nice set of tools, and Dee Nash at Red Dirt Ramblings is giving away a fantastic tool package from CobraHead: a CobraHead Weeder and Cultivator, a CobraHead Long Handle Weeder and Cultivator, and a set of 15 BioMarker weatherproof plant markers (valued at $115). CobraHead is a family-run business that produces and sells “The Best Tools In Earth.”moss rocksAs a nod to cultivating a moss “lawn” in lieu of grass, Meems at Hoe & Shovel is giving away an adorable Moss Rock in a medium/Cobble size and Toadstool color (valued at $30). Moss Rocks are living sculptures and zen moss gardens all rolled into one. Donated by Moss and Stone Gardens, a design firm in Raleigh, N.C., specializing in moss landscapes.Genevieve Schmidt at North Coast Gardening is giving away a $50 gift certificate to the charming and tempting online nursery Annie’s Annuals. Annie’s specializes in rare and unusual annual and perennial plants, including cottage garden heirlooms and native wildflowers. They also have a wonderful selection of grasses and succulents, which make great substitutes for lawn.Ready to seed a No Mow lawn? Benjamin Vogt at The Deep Middle is giving away a 5-lb. bag of No Mow Lawn seed mix from Prairie Nursery (valued at $35). Prairie Nursery’s specially designed blend of fine fescue grasses is an ecological alternative to a traditional, high-energy-input lawn. No Mow grows in sun and shade and also performs well as a footpath or border with moderate traffic. With deep roots, it’s drought tolerant and well suited to regions with temperate to average summers.Author Pam Penick, at Digging, is giving away the only patch of lawn you may ever need – a tongue-in-cheek, 13×13-inch “grass” pillow (valued at $60) from Potted, a stylish Los Angeles garden shop and online store. Made from a high-quality synthetic grass, with Sunbrella fabric on the back, these pillows stand up to life out-of-doors beautifully. And doesn’t it look comfortable? Plus you’ll never have to mow this bit of lawn.

Oh, and please know that I love all of your comments, but can’t respond to them during a giveaway as it’ll mess up the random number generator used to pick a winner.   Best of luck, everyone!!

47 Responses

  1. I love reading your postings in the early morning. I start the day with inspiration. Even the shape of the front lawn and walkways in one of your pictures looks like mine (last picture). Will this be the year I get rid of it all? Stay tuned. Thanks for telling us about this great new book.

  2. If those fabulous before and after pictures don’t inspire people to get rid of the lawn, I’m not sure what will. I loved them all, but particularly liked the veggie conversion. Just shows, you can be stylish and grow food too.

  3. In my virtual world my lawn is already long gone, but in reality my front yard is still a patchwork of assorted weeds left there to provide diversity for pollinators instead of a monoculture of well-tended grass. Next is adding beneficial plantings until the lawn is finally crowded out! The Lawn Gone book would be a great step in that direction!!!

  4. This post couldn’t have come at a better time as we are planning on tearing out our front yard this Spring and replacing it with a combination of low water usage plants and veggies. Hoping to inspire the neighborhood!

  5. I do love your after shots~they are inspiring! I have a lovely native front garden lawnette of Danthonia spicata and Lyreleaf sage that makes me happy, but there’s a small area in the back that needs to be replaced~so here’s hoping I win the Eco lawn!

  6. I am very excited about reading this book. We are in the SLOW process of removing our lawn one bed at a time. The garden pictures you posted above are lovely. I really like the vegetable garden. Warm and welcome with out straight rows.

  7. I wonder what my chickens would think of eco-lawn? They loved the clover I overseeded my “meadow” with.

  8. All the examples on this post are great. I love the idea of removing lawn to add veggie gardens. “removing any part of your garden that isn’t being used to its fullest potential” This is exactly what I have been doing over the last 3 years. Wow! has it been that long already. Baby steps…that is how it starts.

  9. Sign me up for the give-away. We keep whittling out lawn down but I would love to try seeding with the Eco-Lawn. We do grow fescue lawns here in North Carolina but nothing as lush and green as the pictures of the Eco-Lawn. I love Pam’s website. Having just moved from the Austin area I am long familiar with her blog. She was my go to person for gardening until the drought finally pushed us to move to a cooler, wetter climate.

  10. My husband and i are at a point in our lives that we are not able to comfortably keep up a lawn. Something beautiful that takes minimum care once installed is just what we need! Please sign me up for the give-aways.

  11. Hoping to buy a house this year & I can’t wait to rip out the lawn and replace it with prettier & more useful plants!

  12. Love the photos and look forward to picking up a copy of this new book for some backyard inspiration! (Front yard is now maintenance free.)

  13. I just talked to someone at Wildflower Farms about using Eco-Lawn! Incredibly friendly & knowledgeable…she helped me figure everything out! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  14. Hello Rebecca! All these photos are so inspiring to get out in the garden and start digging! Right now I don’t have any lawn but I’m thinking of adding a small patch of grass so my 14 year old doggie will be more comfortable when he’s in the garden with me. Eco lawn sounds like the way to go. Thank you!

  15. I am working on getting my lawn gone! These photos of different lawns are really inspiring. I’d love to try the eco-lawn as I’d like to leave a grassy area for my dogs to romp in 🙂

  16. Hi! Please enter me in the give away! My neighbors could tell you how much my yard is in need of this! Thank you!

  17. I’ve laid down a cardboard mulch over the winter, now I’m ready to plant. I could use some help. I’d be delighted to win the Gift Certificate from Annie’s Annuals!

  18. Redoing my entire Austin yard this spring so bought Pam’s book for inspiration! BTW your site has great before and after pictures of yards!

  19. A big fan of reducing lawn areas!! Just moved to a 6 acre lot in MD and am starting with a blank canvas!

  20. please enter me in your drawing — having just purchased a home — i KNOW we’re going to be doing a substantial amount of gardening this spring and summer. this seed would be very helpful.

  21. We bought a new home early last year and our entire yard is ugly brown crabgrass, so I’ve been looking into alternative lawns for the last few months. Awesome prizes, and thanks for offering the giveaway! I love the lush, wavy look of the mixed-fescue meadow.

  22. Wish I could grow this grass here in North Florida! But it will not survive the hot summers here. Thanks for participating in the give-away tho 🙂

  23. I have lived here in Austin (in the same house) for about 40 years and am a retired Landscape Architect. I have always enjoyed having lush, green lawns and a well maintained yard, but now am changing to a more water efficient, and less maintenance prone landscape myself. My wife and I are retired and want to travel, leaving less time for landscape maintenance. We plan to replace our lawn with decomposed granite gravel, native stone, drouth resistant shrubs and trees, and as little grass as is necessary. If we use grass, it will be Thunder turf or some other buffalo blend with curly mesquite, grama, etc. grasses that require little maintenance. I look forward to reading your book. I really like the desert environment and plan to use these plants in my yard.

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