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Drought landscaping: 5 inspiring lawn-free yards

Lawn substitute. Once planted with thirsty turf, this dymondia "lawn" in Los Altos offers the same utility - a visually soothing expanse of green.

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Surprisingly nearly as rugged as ordinary grass, Blue Star Creeper (Isotoma fluviatillis) ground cover is fast growing and can take heavy foot traffic. It creates a floral meadow in the spring and summer.

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Corsican Mint ~ Wonderful, mat forming groundcover that features tight green, aromatic foliage. Tiny lavender flowers in summer. Plant as a lawn substitution or between stones so that the gentle scent of mint is released when walked on. Excellent for front entryways and back patios. Will take moist areas as well as normal landscape scenarios and will reseed easily in the garden.

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Thyme Lawn - low maintenance & tough turf alternative

Wooly thyme, among others, makes a perfectly behaved lawn alternative. Sweet smelling, drought tolerant and never needs mowing or fertilizing. What could be better? The feel of it on bare toes is a textural treat, and the look of a happy thyme lawn adds romance and an established feel to the xeric garden. Plant some among pavers too.

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No More Mowing: 10 Grass-Free Alternatives to a Traditional Lawn

No More Mowing: 10 Grass-Free Alternatives to a Traditional Lawn - try a 'no mow grass mix' a blend of red fescue, tall fescue, sheep fescue and others.

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No More Mowing: 10 Grass-Free Alternatives to a Traditional Lawn

Thyme: Establishing a creeping thyme lawn takes a few years but is well worth it when you reap the rewards. Thyme likes hot, dry temperature...

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