10 Stunning Grass Alternatives For Your Yard

Every Summer, it seems like a losing battle to keep our lawns looking fresh and green. Between the potential for pests, constant need to mow, too much sun, and not enough rain, it doesn't take long for that gorgeous green grass to turn brown and crunchy or long, messy, and full of weeds, not to mention the yellow spots your lawn develops if you have a dog or cat. So instead of investing time, money, and resources into keeping your lawn looking good to no avail, why not try a lower maintenance option with a little more appeal? These gorgeous lawn alternatives can be used in combination with each other or on their own to help you get the most out of your garden, no grass required.

Flower Beds

If you're trying to avoid mowing your lawn but don't mind doing other maintenance like watering and keeping your flower beds tidy, this might be the option for you. Flower beds are becoming an increasingly popular alternative for front yard lawns, and they add way more interest, color, and curb appeal to your home.

Artificial Grass

If the idea of artificial grass has you recoiling in horror, just bear with us for a minute. This is definitely not your grandmother's AstroTurf! Advancements in technology have taken artificial turf from the crunchy, bright green flooring of choice for sunrooms to a practical, attractive alternative to real grass. The color of modern artificial grass is more natural and varied, and it's a great option if you have a dog!


Landscaping with gravel is an ideal choice if you want something a little softer than cement, but you still want to stay away from too many plants. You can incorporate as much or as little gravel into your outdoor space as you want, and you can use different colors for defining different spaces in your yard.

Succulent Garden

Succulents have become a popular indoor plant, making their way onto office desks and living room coffee tables everywhere. But they also make great outdoor plants. If your goal is to save water and you live in a dry, warm climate, consider replacing your lawn with a succulent garden. There are so many varieties that you can really create something stunning, and you can place pathways throughout it so you can still get around.

Wildflower Garden
Flickr user texaspyll

Wildflower Garden

For the perpetually lazy gardener, wildflower gardens offer the beauty, color, and lawnmower-free benefits of flower beds, but without all of the other upkeep. Because wildflowers are — you guessed it — wild, they need very little attention and often thrive on their own. Look for varieties that are native to your climate and hardiness zone for the most success!

Painted Concrete
A Beautiful Mess

Painted Concrete

Poured concrete is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to replace your lawn, but it's not always the most attractive. Concrete's versatility makes it a great choice, as it can be painted and sealed to match any style. We love this DIY for painted patio tiles, but you can really let your imagination run wild with this one.


If you want something a bit more natural than artificial grass but still require less maintenance, moss is the way to go. Moss is incredibly environmentally friendly and not just by reducing the amount of water you use. It doesn't require fertilizer (reducing air pollution) and even helps prevent erosion. Plus, the rustic look is absolutely gorgeous in cottage-inspired gardens.

Creeping Thyme

Creeping thyme is a grass-free lawn option that you can really let grow wild — literally. It needs minimal care, and it doesn't need to be cut down. It grows naturally to under three inches, and it's even edible. It also has the benefit of being a natural deer repellent, so it's a good option if you live in an area where deer are pests. Creeping thyme also grows stunning flowers, so it's basically the perfect lawn substitute. (This doesn't work with regular thyme varieties, so make sure you're picking out creeping thyme!)

Paving Stones

You can easily turn your entire backyard into a patio using paving stones — and your options for materials are endless. From concrete slabs to slate pavers, flagstones, brick, and beyond, there doesn't need to be a blade of grass in sight. They're also supereasy to maintain and they add a really polished, clean look to your outdoor space.

Faux Grass Rug
Sarah Hearts

Faux Grass Rug

For small spaces like apartment balconies or terraces where you want grass but it's just not an option, try a faux grass rug. They're a great way to focus your space around a dining set or seating area, and they don't require any installation. They're a less permanent choice than artificial turf and can be moved around to suit your changing needs!