Grass free lawn?

I know this sounds like an oxymoron, but I've been looking at my (small, about 10m^2) lawn over the summer and the fact it (a) needs regular mowing and (b) has no benefit to nature at all means I'm thinking of an alternative.

One idea I was looking at was the "Tapestry Lawn", a bit like this:

http://www.grassfreelawns.co.uk/articles.html

They used to provide a list of the exact species on this page:

http://www.grassfreelawns.co.uk/section694629.html

But that was removed, perhaps as I think the creator is vying for a commercial product, however there is no delete button on the internet so I got the full list of low growing plants from here:

http://web.archive.org/web/20140625125300/http://grassfreelawns.co.uk/section694629.html

Here is the full list:

Acaena buchanii, Acaena inermis 'Purpurea', Acaena magellanica, Acaena microphylla 'Copper Carpet', Achillea millefolium 'Aureum', Ajuga reptans 'Burgundy Glow', Ajuga reptans 'Chocolate Chip', Ajuga reptans 'Multicolour', Ajuga reptans 'Variegata', Anthyllis vulneraria, Argentina anserina, Bellis perennis (wild form), Bellis perennis (mixed cultivars), Campanula cochlearifolia, Campanula rotundifolia, Cardamine trifoliata, Chamaemelum nobile 'flore pleno', Chrysanthemum weyrichii, Dianthus deltoides ‘Flashing Lights’, Erodium x variabile, Erodium castellanum, Fragaria vesca 'Golden Alexandria', Geranium pyrenaicum, Geum urbanum, Glechoma hederacea, Glechoma hederacea 'Variegata', Houstonia caerulea, Houstonia caerulea 'Millard’s Variety', Leontodon saxatilis, Leptinella dioica, Leptinella dioica minima, Leptinella squallida, Leptinella squallida 'Platt’s Black', Lobelia angulata, Lobelia oligophylla, Lobelia pedunculata, 'Alba Super Star Creeper', Lobelia pedunculata, 'Blue Star Creeper', Lobelia pedunculata 'County Park', Lotus corniculatus 'Plenus', Lotus formosissimus, Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea', Mazus reptans, Mentha requenii, Nierembergia repens, Oxalis adenophylla, Oxalis corniculatus, Oxalis magellanica 'Nelson', Parachetus communis, Phylla nodiflora, Pilosella aurantiacum, Pilosella maculatum 'Leopard', Pilosella officinalis, Pilosella tardans, Polygala vulgaris, Potentilla neumanniania nana (P.verna), Potentilla reptans, Primula - Wanda hybrids, Prunella grandiflora, Prunella vulgaris, Ranunculus repens, Ranunculus repens 'Buttered Popcorn', Ranunculus repens 'Gloria Spale', Sagina subulata var. glabrata aurea, Selliera radicans, Taraxacum pseudoroseum, Taraxacum rubrifolium, Thymus serpyllum, Trifolium pratense 'Susan Smith', Trifolium repens 'Garnet', Trifolium repens 'Son of William', Trifolium repens 'Chocolate Splash', Trifolium repens 'Purpurescens Quadrifolium', Trifolium repens ‘Dragons Blood’, Veronica armena, Veronica austriaca 'Ionian Skies', Veronica officinalis, Veronica prostrata 'Goldwell', Veronica prostrata 'Mrs Holt', Veronica prostrata 'Lilac Time', Veronica prostrata ‘Nestor’, Veronica repens, Veronica repens 'Sunshine', Veronica spicata 'Dwarf Blue', Veronica spicata 'Dwarf Pink', Viola hederacea, Viola labradorica, Viola odorata, Viola sororaria.

 

Has anyone had any experience with this type of lawn? I like the idea, but I'm not sure I'm ready for the look of it, a bit patchy. One idea I did have was just to kill off all the grass and plant lots of Armeria Maritima (Thrift) plugs. This forms a grass-like blanket and produces flowers throughout the year. Best of all I'd never need to cut it as the 'grass' bit grows to a certain length then stops.

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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 15,299

    If you were to put them all in together it would look like a rockery gone nuts combined with some weeds.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Here's one in action, I think I could get used to the look:

     

    http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/grass-free-lawns/files/2013/05/Avondale-planted-reduced.jpg

     

    But I do like this "Armeria Lawn"

    http://www.landscapestandards.com/images/b/b2/LawnAlt12.jpg

     

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 15,299

    How long would it stay looking neat and tidy?

    Most people come to the forum asking how to rid themselves of Oxalis corniculatus and here it is being suggested as a dinky little blob in a sea of other plants. Bellis perennis is the common daisy. Common as in it seeds itself everywhere.

    Who is going to act as referee when the heavyweights want to swamp the bantamweights?

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 26,957

    Do you mean your plot is 10 sq metres? 

    That's a very small area compared to those pictures....and that long list...image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • pansyface:

    Well the lawn would find it's own equilibrium based on conditions, light etc. I'd step in as referree if I saw something (grass, nettles etc.) gaining an advantage image

    Fairygirl:

    It's an oval shaped lawn, roughly 3m wide and 5m long, but has a border of low growing stuff. I think it'd be doable, if you say roughly 10 verieties per square metre that gives each plant about a foot square of space.

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 15,299

    The best of luck.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,052

    Nothing that grows is maintenance free

    Your long list of plants includes many that will not thrive in the same situation.

    Some that are too tall to be considered as lawn

    and too many thugs that will take over the more refined elements

    In short, a potential mess.

    The list of plants looks similar to one we had posted here previously, is it a list from a commercial operation?

     

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,946
    I think t sounds quite an exciting project and with the uncertainty of it all making it more so. It is really just a low growing border with plants that are hardy enough to be stood on. Go for it and let us know how you get on.
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • It does need a cut, but not twice a week like a traditional lawn does. You give it a chop in early spring then I think two or three times over the summer to encourage low growth rather than it getting like a wildflower meadow.

    I think what I'll do is have part of my existing lawn turned to Armeria Lawn and another section with a few varieties from that list that don't look too scruffy, and see how it works out. Worst comes to the worst I've lost a boring lawn. image

    The thing about an Armeria Lawn is it would never need a cut, I could free up some space by getting rid of the lawnmower. image

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