10 Green Lawns Without a Blade of Grass


Freedom Lawn

Dandelions are often viewed as weeds, but they're actually quite beautiful.
Dandelions are often viewed as weeds, but they're actually quite beautiful.
Ben Queenborough/Oxford Scientific/Getty Images

With all the mowing, watering and fertilizing required to maintain a traditional lawn, freedom is the last thing that comes to mind. It's like your lawn is controlling your life!

Enter the "freedom lawn." OK, so this type of landscaping does include some grass, but it also consists of whatever plants happen to grow among the grass. The idea is that over time, more suitable plants will fill the shady, moist, dry, sandy or acidic areas where grass may struggle to grow, leaving you with a uniformly green lawn. In the northeastern United States, plants that may take root include the following: dandelion, violet, bluet, spurrey, chickweed, chrysanthemum, brown-eyed Susan, partridgeberry, Canada mayflower, clover, plantain, evening primrose, and rushes, as well as broomsedge, sweet vernal grass, timothy, quack grass, oat grass, crabgrass and foxtail grass. (As you can see, it's a long list.)

As the name suggests, freedom lawns give you the freedom to spend your time doing things other than yard work. Because the plants are ideally adapted to the conditions in your yard, they need little or no water and don't need to be chemically treated with fertilizers or herbicides. If a brown spot does develop due to insects or disease, don't worry! Other plants more resistant to the problem will soon fill the area and make it green again. Besides a little mowing (preferably with a gas-free push-mower), all you need to do is sit on your porch with a glass of iced tea and watch your lawn take care of itself.