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start shrinking your lawn

Is your family unsure about shrinking the lawn? Start by transforming the places you don't use. Or start with a functional planting. Or make an outdoor room. Or be bold, go wild, and restore the natural landscape. How to kill the lawn? Smother it.

garden design




tree islands


garden themes

smother it

Deciding How to SHRINK Your Lawn
The idea of SHRINKing your lawn appeals to you, but what do you do first? Should you put up a border, or something in the center of the yard? Should you plant trees? It all depends on your answer to one simple question.

SHRINK Your Lawn Method #5: Cut a Corner
Do you delight in your well-kept lawn but wish there was less of it? Here's a way to subtly SHRINK your sward without adding obstacles to the mowing path or the view.

SHRINK Your Lawn Method #4: Let Her Run Wild
Cooperate with your landscape, offer housing to the homeless, and use your extra space to replace dwindling natural areas.

SHRINK Your Lawn Method #3: Erase the Center
Build a pond, patio, or island bed in the center of your lawn. You'll create a destination and add visual interest, and you could reduce your lawn by half.

SHRINK Your Lawn Method #2: Connect the Dots
If individual trees or planting beds are scattered throughout your yard, consolidate.

SHRINK Your Lawn Method #1: Hedge the Edge
Gain privacy, attract birds and butterflies, and add four-season interest to your yard by framing it with a hedge.

Natural Landscaping for Urban & Suburban Gardens
Find inspiring photos and examples of naturally landscaped urban and suburban gardens in these 3 gorgeous, easy-to-read books!

Tree Islands: Planting Around Your Lawn Tree
If your tree and lawn are struggling against each other, they create an area that's less healthy and higher-maintenance than it needs to be. Create a more beautiful, easier-care garden feature -- a tree island.

Slope Gardens: A Photo Essay
Many urban lots have a slope in the front yard, and often the slope is covered with lawn. But it doesn't have to be that way--take a peek at these lawn alternatives dreamed up by Saint Paul slope gardeners.

Design Your Garden Around a Theme
Choosing a theme can help you to design a more satisfying garden more easily, and it's a perfect place for beginners to start.

Designing a Stunning Plant Combination
Learn how you can design a satisfying combination of plants for your garden.

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