A Lawnless Front Yard With Natives And Succulents

My favorite lawnless front yards are those that provide some view of the home itself.  To me a lot of large shrubs that obscure the home creates an unkept look. Given a quick glance, a lot of large shrubs may imply the area is neglected and overgrown.  I am not saying that all of the plantings should be low or sheared, but that they acknowledge the existence of the house on the property.  There is also something to be said for security:  visibility of doors and main windows from the street is better from that perspective.Photobucket

I very much like the plant selection in this front yard, which include Agaves, Hesperaloes, and other succulents mixed in with California natives and a few other Mediterranean selections. It's been established for several years, and its time for a little maintenance. The rosemary in the hellstrip is beginning to encroach on the sidewalk, for example. Photobucket

A magnificent and imposing Agave guards the front door. It is probably at least 9' (3 M) tall and wide. Photobucket

Obscuring the home a bit too much is a beautiful Arctostaphylos. It may be a species that in time becomes an airy small tree; then it will no longer be an obstruction, and improve the look. Photobucket

Dudleya: Photobucket

The river rock provides good contrast, but the grey colors seem slightly out of place, although it matches the color of the home and its roof. I believe the native stone of the area is a yellow-bronze. Photobucket

Romneya is always going to get huge and exuberant. Photobucket

A Ceonothus takes the foundation area behind the Romneya. Photobucket

At the southwest corner of the property is a mature Quercus agrifolia, with a Chondropetalum at its base. Photobucket

Next door, the home is planted in the standard style of the past. Which do you like better? Photobucket



  1. The first garden is stunning. Really good combination of plants. I bet it looks good from inside the house looking out as well.

  2. I prefer the succulent / native combo front garden! (of course) Sort of like, Romneya 1 - Lawn 0.

  3. I agree with you on the first garden needing 'some' maintenance. Not a lot however. And actually the second garden isn't horrific. Just too much lawn area and exotics, I suppose.

  4. While there are great plants in both gardens of course I prefer the one with more!

  5. I love the frontgarden without the lawn. The design of the garden is gorgeous Hoover.
    gr. Marijke

  6. I prefer the first garden, and it's the garden I would make if I lived there, but I think there's a place for the retro-historic look of the second, especially when the house looks so mid-century.

    I'm torn between them, actually...


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