Beautiful No-Mow Lawns

Plants to try

Several native grasses for arid regions are: buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides), blue grama (B. gracilis), and curly mesquite (Hilaraia belangeri).

Plants to add to your lawn that tolerate moderate traffic: sweet alyssum, creeping speedwells, creeping mazus (M. miqueli), Irish moss, Corsican mint (Mentha requienii), pennyroyal, creeping jenny, bugleweed, Corsican sandwort, creeping thyme, dwarf cupflower, rock fleabane, variegated pennywort, moss campion, brass buttons, creeping cinquefoil, golden orgeano, baby's tears (Soleirolia soleirolii), alpine betony (Stachys monieri), English daisies (Bellis perennis), and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).

Ground-layer plants

These plants can be used as iving edges that stay put and do not infiltrate the planting beds.

  • Brunnera macrophylla (Siberian bugloss)
  • Carex crinita (fringed sedge, caterpillar sedge)
  • Hakonechloa macra (Japanese forest grass)
  • Helictotrichon sempervirens (blue oat grass)
  • Molinia caerulea subsp. caerulea 'Variegata' (variegated purple moor grass)
  • Penstemon pinifolius (pine-leaf penstemon)
  • Ratibida pinnata (grayheaded coneflower)
  • Sporobolus heterolepis (prairie dropseed, northern dropseed)

Mat-Forming Plants

  • Ajuga reptans (bugleweed)
  • Antennaria neglecta (pussytoes)
  • Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (bearberry)
  • Eriogonum umbellatum (sulphur flower)
  • Galium odoratum (sweet woodruff)
  • Iris cristata (dwarf crested iris)
  • Lamium maculatum (deadnettle)
  • Lysimachia nummularia (creeping jenny)
  • Mazus miquelii (creeping mazus)
  • Phlox subulata (creeping phlox)
  • Sedum sarmentosum (creeping sedum)

Fill-in Plants

These plants spread densely enough to outcomplete other plants.

  • Artemisia ludoviciana (prairie sage)
  • Carex flacca (blue sedge)
  • Carex 'The Beatles' (vernal sedge)
  • Diervilla lonicera (northern bush-honeysuckle)
  • Geranium macrorrhizum (bigroot geranium)
  • Lamiastrum galeobdolon (yellow archangel)
  • Matteuccia struthiopteris (ostrich fern)
  • Microbiota decussata (Siberian cypress)
  • Monarda didyma (bee balm), Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)
  • Polygonatum odoratum var. thuunbergii 'Variegatum; (variegated solomon's seal)
  • Primula japonica (primrose)
  • Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac)
  • Tiarella cordifolia (foamflower)
  • Veronica spicata (spiked speedwell)

Minglers

With different habits and growth strategies, these plants combine well with others.

  • Asarum canadense (wild ginger)
  • Asclepias speciosa (showy milkweed) and Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
  • Athyrium niponicum var. pictum (Japanese painted fern)
  • Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama grass)
  • Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss)
  • Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama grass)
  • Calamagrostis canadensis (bluejoint grass)
  • Carex pensylvanica (oak sedge)
  • Koeleria macrantha (junegrass)
  • Lupinus Russell hybrids (perennial lupine)
  • Rudbeckia triloba (brown-eyed susan)
  • Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)
  • Solidago speciosa (showy goldenrod)
  • Sorghastrum nutans (indiangrass)
  • Symphyotrichum cordifolium (heart-leaf aster), Symphyotrichum ericoides (heath aster), Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (New England aster), Symphyotrichum puniceum (swamp aster)
  • Viola tricolor (johnny jump-up)

Books to Read

Rain Gardens. Nigel Dunnett and Andy Clayden.

The American Meadow Garden. John Greenlee.

Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States. Chris Helzer.

Gaia's Garden. Toby Hemenway.

Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America. Gary Hightshoe.

Plant-Driven Design. Scott Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden.

This Perennial Land. Lansing Shepard and Paula Westmoreland.

Prairie-Style Gardnes. Lynn Steiner.

Gardening with Prairie Plants. Sally Wasowski.

Bibliographical Information

Beautiful No-Mow Lawns