10 great alternatives to a grass lawn

Natural grass is an attractive landscaping feature, but there are plenty of affordable, low-maintenance alternatives. Rachael from Bunnings Greenlife Projects has some great ideas, which can help save on water bills and reduce your impact on the environment, while still creating a beautiful outdoors.

Artificial, synthetic and fake grass

If you still want the look of grass, synthetic turf is a great option. Ideal for areas where kids or pets play, it’s just like the real thing without the ongoing hassle of mowing and watering; and you can install it yourself. Taking care of it is easy with just a quick vacuum, sweep or hose down. It’s also durable and long-lasting, so you can enjoy the benefits of a lush lawn all year round. 

Stones

Rock-based ground cover, such as pebbles, is an easy, cost effective way to improve the look of any outdoor area. There are plenty of options available in different colours and sizes, which are perfect for driveways, paths or even borders. They’re easy to maintain with just a rake and can help prevent weed growth.

Moss

If your yard has plenty of shade, moss makes a great alternative to grass. A low-growing ground cover, there are plenty of varieties from attractive smoother textures to eye-catching grass-like options. It basically looks after itself and grows best in shade.

Herbs

If you don’t want grass but still want the lawn effect, there are plenty of herbs  that cover large areas and offer more in return. You can grow a fragrant and edible lawn with oregano, thyme, mint types or even lawn chamomile. They’re also very effective in high traffic areas when planted around paving, or gravel pathways; creating a lush carpet of green in between. Other ornamental lawn substitutes include Dichondra, Scheranthus, Pratia, Convolvulus, Pigface, some Grevilleas or Native Violets.

Vegetable garden

Setting up a raised garden to grow vegetables will not only save you money on grocery shopping but also makes a great landscaping feature that will take pride of place in your backyard. It’s an easy project you can do together as a family and a great way to teach your kids about how food is grown. 

Patio

Whether you’re paving or using stamped concrete, a patio is a great way to utilise yard space. Patios are perfect for entertaining, relaxing at the end of the day, or setting up an outdoor kitchen. Easy to clean, they make a great functional design feature, which can potentially add value to your home. 

Gazebo

Installing a gazebo creates a space for entertaining or just unwinding with a good book. Incorporate it into your overall landscaping plan along with other ground covers, like a patio or flowerbeds. 

Fire pit

With a fire pit, you can create a space that’s useful while also adding a touch of style to your yard. Build a patio around it, add some pebbles or install some seating to entertain guests or just spend quality time with your family. 

Hopefully these ideas have given you some ideas in planning your garden with or without natural grass. Before you make your decision, visit our guide to choosing the best lawn type for your home.

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Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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