Let’s face it—here in the Pacific Northwest, we have an abundance of rain. The rain leaves us with green forests, abundant plant life and, from spring to fall, a swiftly growing lawn.
If you’d like to put away the mower for good, you might consider lawn free landscaping. If done right, this type of landscaping can provide you with less maintenance, as well as a lot more texture, color and visual appeal. And, it can save you money—gone are the water costs for keeping your lawn green and lush. You can say good-bye to having to fertilize the ground surrounding your house. No more back-breaking weekends spent mowing or dumping lawn trimmings, or having to pay to have your lawn maintained by someone else. Instead, you get to relax and enjoy your yard instead of being a slave to it.
- Go native! There is an abundance of native plants in our region, perfect for maintenance free landscaping. Plants already adapted to their native environment generally require less hand-watering, far less fuss, and will blend nicely with cultivated plant species. Choose from small to medium sized trees like dogwood (which look splendid when covered with spring flowers), or taller trees like the Bitter Cherry tree or Shore pine. Red flowering currant, Tall Oregon grape, and Salal are excellent mid-height plants (less than 10’). Add low growing flowering plants like Trilliumand Cinquefoil, Beach strawberry, ferns and camas to complete the array. To find out more about native plants for our region, please visit the King County website.
- Create a soothing Zen garden. A winding walkway made of pavers, lined with Japanese maples and dogwoods, and a rock garden peppered with succulents or native grasses, sedge or rushes can create an easy-to-care-for, tranquil oasis. Or, consider placement of Zen-friendly statues, like the laughing Buddha or a tranquil Buddha in meditation. Also, a wind chime or two can turn your yard into a soothing musical oasis.
- Many yards in the Pacific Northwest are set on slopes. A mix of boulders and flowering shrubs and flowers will both help prevent erosion and add striking curb appeal. Or, create a terraced effect with rust edged steel and pavers. Add some grasses, like Red Tussock, Feather Grass or Variegated Purple Moor. Mix in a Sword Fern or two. You might want some trailing vines, like Virginia Creeper or Trumpet Vine. Avoid ivy as it’s quite invasive.
- Plant native flowers on either side of a gravel or stone pathway, creating a calming walkway. Dahlias and Shasta Daisies provide height, while Solomon’s Seal, Primrose and Wild Ginger grow lower. The Cardinal Flower yields bright spikes of color in late summer, and appeal to hummingbirds as well.
- Replace your lawn with a fountain, babbling stream or other water feature. Add lighting to really give a romantic or dramatic effect.
- Consider an entire hardscaped yard. There’s no reason there has to be plants in your yard. Try an artful sculpture garden. Or, a mix of stone, granite and various kinds of gravel. Surround the hardscape with small shrubs or trees and you’ve got a wow backyard.
If you still need ideas, give us a call at (360) 265-5231. We’ve got great ways to make your yard easy to care for and the experience to back it.