As mentioned above, planting groundcovers is a great way to save water and mow less. Most commonly, homeowners will choose gravel to replace the lawn. However, gravel can be unattractive and create uncomfortable visual glare. It also absorbs heat, meaning it increases the need for home air conditioning, and contributes to the bigger problem of the urban heat island effect." In addition, gravel has no value as habitat for pollinators and songbirds. However, areas of gravel mulch are an excellent environment into which heat-tolerant groundcovers can be planted!
Front and side yard lawns are a good place to start when converting a conventional landscape to a xeriscape. In areas with low foot traffic, why not use low-maintenance, low-water groundcovers instead? The amount of work and expense that goes into mowing, fertilizing, and watering a lawn will be greatly reduced. Plus, groundcovers provide beautiful flowers to attract pollinators.