by David Salman

[caption id="attachment_843" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Front Yard without turf, Santa Barbara, CA"]Front Yard without turf, Santa Barbara, CA[/caption] Most if not all front yards planted with a lawn are using the lawn as nothing else but a green “placeholder”, a cookie cutter solution to landscaping the front of a house. [caption id="attachment_844" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Front yard without turf #2, Santa Barbara,CA"]Front yard without turf #2, Santa Barbara,CA[/caption] Let’s face it. It is never used functionally as a play area for the kids or as a game court (croquet), but is merely something green that takes weekly mowing and maintenance along with frequent watering. It costs money for no good reason. [caption id="attachment_845" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="A side yard without turf, Santa Barbara, CA"]A side yard without turf, Santa Barbara, CA[/caption] A lawn-free front yard is just the solution, especially for small areas so common in the downsized residential lots. Here are some attractive solutions. Note the use of a patch of no-mow grass (or sedge) to give the look of a lawn without the water and maintenance.