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Homeowner shares jaw-dropping before-and-after photos of their transformed front yard: 'Looks way better than the norm'

"Huge difference!"

Native plant yard

Photo Credit: u/zukalous/ Reddit

Although grass lawns have long been the standard, populating your yard with native plants is growing in popularity. As one Reddit poster recently showed us, the results can be stunning.

"When I moved in, this house had gravel and only 3 plant species," the Arizona-based homeowner wrote along with the photos. "1 year later I planted over 35 unique species that occur naturally within a 2 hour drive. My yard is now full of birds, pollinators, and good little bugs."

Photo Credit: u/zukalous / Reddit

There are plenty of good reasons, several of which the poster listed above, that native plant yards are getting increasingly popular. 

Grass lawns require a lot of maintenance, most of which is actually very bad for the surrounding environment, including pesticides, herbicides, excessive water usage, and gas-powered leaf blowers and mowers. 

They also actively discourage anything that isn't a single species of grass from growing there, essentially destroying any chance of a thriving ecosystem.

Native yards, by contrast, encourage plant, animal, and insect life to exist in harmony, as nature intended. And for an arid climate like Arizona, where a grass lawn would not want to grow in the first place, they are proof that you don't have to resign yourself to a gravel patch like the one this homeowner had when they moved into the house.

Unfortunately, HOAs really seem to hate them for some bizarre reason. But people are fighting back and winning.

The Arizona homeowner was even kind enough to detail which plants they used for anyone in the same area looking to undertake a similar project. They describe the array as follows:

  1. "Chocolate flower: a plant that looks like a mini sunflower but smells like chocolate. I am not kidding. It really smells like chocolate. Hands down my favorite one. It is like a Willy Wonka flower and totally from the desert southwest.

  2. Arizona poppies aka caltrops (they are annuals so you have to enjoy them while they last) but they explode and take over your yard in this carpet of leaves and bright orange flowers.

  3. Also like Globe Mallow. They are the flowers where bees sometimes sleep in them (google it, pictures are adorable)

  4. I love this plant called Mt Lemmon Marigold because the smell of rubbing the leaves reminds me of drinking a well crafted Mojito.

  5. Also love creosote bush. They aren't the prettiest but when it rains it fills the air with the thick scent of rebirth and optimism. Seriously, you can taste it on your teeth."

Unsurprisingly, their fellow Redditors were super impressed by their efforts.

"Huge difference!" wrote one commenter. "Looks way better than the norm."

"Yayy! Well done, OP!" posted another. "This is doing it right!"

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