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Non-grass lawns?

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    We’ve had to put in a retaining wall at the front of our house, just outside our bedroom windows. This leaves us with a long, narrow space of what is bare dirt (+ weeds) at the moment (about 1m x 5m). It’s a thoroughfare, so we have to be able to walk on whatever I plant, but I want to avoid grass (because of the mowing) and pavers (because of the reflected glare into the bedroom windows).

    Does anyone have any suggestions for groundcovers/herbs that I could plant as a lawn that could withstand the occasional light foot traffic? The spot is partly shaded by our existing front garden and is part clay, but dries out fairly quickly after rain, with a southerly aspect. Oh, and our climate is sub-tropical.

    Would love some suggestions! 🙂

    Judi BJudi B

    You could try some dichondra very hardy (it grows here).

    I’d love a lawn of the stuff as it doesn’t get bothered by the frost as much as grass, also drought hardy.


    Thanks Judi 🙂 I just did a search and there is a place in NSW that does bulk seeds and plants for reforestation that have Dichondra repens so if my local nurseries don’t have it, I’ll try the seeds.


    Fuel for power mowers, toxic emissions, fertilizers and pesticides, water consumption and your weekend time are all part of the cost of lawn maintenance. Hiring a lawn care service will save you the time and energy, but the environmental costs remain.


    how about lotonomis and wyncassia, they have very strong root systems for soil stability, and hardy to walk on and hardly ever need mowing.



    I don’t have any suggestions, but very keen to hear others ideas as I want something similar for around my veggie gardens. I was wondering about creeping thyme?



    If my memory is correct Annie Halls Thyme and Mother of Thyme are both ‘lawn’ thymes. There is a chamomile lawn thyme also but it may need trimming, so you’d need to check that one.

    One of the lawn thymes has sort of furry leaf (for want of a better description) and is a sage green colour so that would lead me to think it would handle heat ok. It may be one of those I mentioned but I can’t be sure.



    Lawn camomile is nice, soft but not necessarily very hardy. So possibly not the best option for an area with high traffic, but if you only use it occasionally its wonderful 🙂


    You could try Creeping Boobialla (Myoporum parvifolium). It will spread to about a square meter and can easily be cut by a sharp spade. I have it on one veggie garden path along an espalier and it copes fine with light traffic. A mix of Dichondra and Boobialla might be the shot.


    another vote for dichondra, grows like a weed but very easy to pull out if it starts to run rampant in places you dont want.. although its not as drought tolerant as lawn thyme so that my be a better option?

    Diggers sell both of these by seed.


    For me dichondra has only ever grown in shady spots, I think of it a bit like baby tears. Maybe you have a hardier version. It certainly quickly turns up its toes and dies back in the sun. :shrug:

    I tried a chamomile lawn but it was before I knew there were so many different types so I can’t say exactly what it was. But I kept it cut and it was great – soft and fragrant underfoot. My creeping thyme was doing very well too though I didn’t have it long enough to say if it coped with foot traffic – a friend killed it when looking after my house (SPRAYED it out, thought it was a weed growing into the gravel path….).

    I’ve also tried microlaena, which is a native grass, again needs dappled shade to really flourish but looked amazing and runs so fills out any gaps and copes with the odd bit of foot traffic.

    Also had creeping myoporum as a cover but once it is old it gets really woody and a trip hazard, at which point take a cutting (grows really well from cutings) and rip out the original.


    I think you can use Myoporum parvifolium as a lawn replacement and it is a native. You just need to keep walking on it to keep it flat.

    jeanette kirkJeanie

    Around town they grow Lippia on the nature strips + alternative for lawns is drought tolerant

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