10 great alternatives to a grass lawn

Natural grass is an attractive landscaping feature, but there are plenty of affordable, low-maintenance alternatives. Rachael from Bunnings Greenlife Projects has some great ideas, which can help save on water bills and reduce your impact on the environment, while still creating a beautiful outdoors.

Artificial, synthetic and fake grass

If you still want the look of grass, synthetic turf is a great option. Ideal for areas where kids or pets play, it’s just like the real thing without the ongoing hassle of mowing and watering; and you can install it yourself. Taking care of it is easy with just a quick vacuum, sweep or hose down. It’s also durable and long-lasting, so you can enjoy the benefits of a lush lawn all year round.

Stones

Rock-based ground cover, such as pebbles, is an easy, cost effective way to improve the look of any outdoor area. There are plenty of options available in different colours and sizes, which are perfect for driveways, paths or even borders. They’re easy to maintain with just a rake and can help prevent weed growth.

Mulch

While bark or woodchips are often used as mulch in garden beds, they also make an attractive and affordable ground cover. Like stones, they add a touch of colour and a cohesive look to your yard. You can lay them directly over soil or on top of weed cloth, and because they’re an inexpensive option, you can top-up regularly.

Moss

If your yard has plenty of shade, moss makes a great alternative to grass. A low-growing ground cover, there are plenty of varieties from attractive smoother textures to eye-catching grass-like options. It basically looks after itself and grows best in shade.

Plants

No matter what size or style of yard you have, there are loads of ground cover plants that can fill empty spaces. Whether you want to grow them in garden beds or as borders around paths, we've got a great range of flowering plants or different leaf colours to brighten up any outdoor space. 

Herbs

If you don’t want grass but still want the lawn effect, there are plenty of herbs that cover large areas and offer more in return. You can grow a fragrant and edible lawn with oregano, thyme, mint types or even lawn chamomile. They’re also very effective in high traffic areas when planted around paving, or gravel pathways; creating a lush carpet of green in between. Other ornamental lawn substitutes include dichondra, scheranthus, pratia, convolvulus, pigface, some grevilleas or native violets.

Vegetable garden

Setting up a raised garden to grow vegetables will not only save you money on grocery shopping but also makes a great landscaping feature that will take pride of place in your backyard. It’s an easy project you can do together as a family and a great way to teach your kids about how food is grown.

Patio

Whether you’re paving or using stamped concrete, a patio is a great way to utilise yard space. Patios are perfect for entertaining, relaxing at the end of the day, or setting up an outdoor kitchen. Easy to clean, they make a great functional design feature, which can potentially add value to your home.

Gazebo

Installing a gazebo creates a space for entertaining or just unwinding with a good book. Incorporate it into your overall landscaping plan along with other ground covers, like a patio or flowerbeds. 

Fire pit

With a fire pit, you can create a space that’s useful while also adding a touch of style to your yard. Build a patio around it, add some pebbles or install some seating to entertain guests or just spend quality time with your family. 

Create your outdoor space

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