Are you bored with the same old lawn in your back garden? Maybe you just fancy a change, or you’re fed up of mowing it every weekend (or three). No matter what the reason, there are plenty of alternatives to your traditional lawn. Have a look through our suggestions – there might just be something which inspires you.
If you want the traditional lawn look without all the hassle, it’s worth looking into artificial grass. This is a great alternative if your main concern is maintenance, although it’s worth noting that you can’t get out of all the gardening duties: you’ll still need to rake it for leaves, and it’s not great if you’ve got pets who use the garden. However, it’s got a great array of different uses: if you don’t want mud all over your clothes (or those of your kids!) it’s a fantastic alternative. And, as a plus, it’ll look green all year round: without the need to water, you can even save on your water bill (and the environment while you’re at it!).
Gravel is a great alternative to plain old grass. Traditionally it’s been used for driveways and paths, but if you’re feeling ambitious, you could cover a larger area with it. This is perfect if you’re in an area where grass is hard to grow and you’re looking for something which will survive the weather all year round.
If you want something slightly more chic, you might look into larger stones and pebbles. Experiment with different colours – there is now a whole range available – and you could even look into creating different patterns. Look into different textures and see what works for you.
Although a gravel yard isn’t the best to play on, it requires very little maintenance and will look great all year round. They’ve also become increasingly popular in recent years, so you’ll be investing in the latest new trend.
There are a few different ways you can go with decking, which will usually depend upon the space available in your garden and what kind of look you’re going for. Wood-panel decking is fantastic if you want to maintain a natural look and is itself fairly unobtrusive: you can use different colour varnishes if you fancy something darker.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that a wood deck can require quite a bit of maintenance. If it’s painted, you will probably need to paint it every year; if it’s plain and natural, it will weather over time with heat, wind, and rain. However, with some careful design, this can work to your advantage. Ask the shop how your wood is expected to weather over time and you can match the colour it will eventually end up as to other arrangements in your garden, such as the colour of plants.
Decking is perfect for summer evenings and also creates the perfect space to set out some outdoor furniture, making it great for outdoor parties and as a dining space for a BBQ.
This is a slightly more unusual option, but worth considering if you’ve got a source of water available and a bit of money and space to experiment. Although it’s more of an undertaking, you could try to install a pond or water fountain in your garden to take up space as a focal point. A pond, in particular, can be great for the environment – you might encourage local wildlife to take up homes there. Although this can make a great science project for the kids, make sure you keep an eye on them when they’re near it, and if you plan to have fish, make sure there’s some sort of protection or they can be attacked by cats!
Not ready to commit to a huge water feature? There are many smaller fountains you can try out if you think that your garden needs that extra added something.