The internet has exploded in recent years with beautiful and functional alternatives to turf grass lawns. Where grass guzzles water and gives nothing back to owners or the environment, other plants have a range of benefits, from cleaner, cooler air, to fresh veggies, to lower water bills, to simple beauty. Many, like native flowers, even benefit the ecosystem by providing food for pollinators or enriching the soil.
When this Redditor found themselves with an ordinary grass lawn, they knew they had to transform it into something more.
In their “before” photo, which they said came from the real estate listing for the house, the backyard holds little besides a small shed, a square patio, and a struggling lawn.
The “after” photo from three years later is charming, vibrant, and crowded with thriving plants. Fuchsia, lilacs, irises, and more are in full bloom around a brick-lined pond with a small fountain. A greenhouse has taken the place of the shed and is full of healthy plants. Bushes and flowers crowd the fenceline, while colorful and comfortable furniture give the residents a place to enjoy all their hard work.
“Left hand border went in first and has taken a lot of trial and error,” the original poster explained. “Then we got rid of the shed and put in the greenhouse. … Then the fish pond went in … The last main thing we did was lay the garden edging this spring.”
In another comment, they added, “I’ve always tried to go for an English cottage garden feel, which is by definition a bit wild and disorganized. I pretty much just cram plants into any spare inch I can find!”
Commenters loved the layout, with one user going so far as to proclaim it “a masterpiece.”
“Any advice for someone just starting out?” asked another Redditor.
“Honestly, I’d plan more,” replied the original poster. “Spend a bit of money upfront to get the landscaping done, and if I could go back I would amend the soil en masse and rotovate it properly before I put plants in.”
Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.