The Q&A Archives: Replacement Lawn

Question: I just bought a house in Central California at the entrance to Sequoia National Park. It's on 2 acres and has a large circular area in front that calls out for grass. What can I plant that will be drought tolerant and require the least amount of work as this is currently a vacation home? This is a very casual, country garden with many oaks and fruit trees. Are there any low-growing ground covers that might be appropriate? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: There are a number of plants you can use rather than planting grass in the area. For a grassy look, how about Lirope? It produces tufts of foliage and seasonal flowers. Or, Phlox grows into a mat and provides seasonal color; Vinca minor is always a nice groundcover, but it grows about 8-10" high making it difficult to walk on. A final suggestion is carpet bugle (Ajuga). This ground-hugging evergreen produces deep blue spires of color in the early summer.

Hope one of these suggestions is just right for your new home!

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