Gone are the days of children playing and adults conversing on their front lawns... these days it's more like the kids hunkered down in their rooms with video games and their parents are coming home, pulling their cars into the garage, never even setting a foot outside in the front of their homes accept when they're getting the mail from their "community" mail box. What use is a front yard? Why do you even need a lawn in the front of your home if it doesn't serve a function?
Maybe we should all tear out the lawns in front of our homes... unless you have a HOA, then you better check before you grab that rototiller and shovel. Turf takes an incredible volume of water to stay green and thrive, why waste this precious resource if a lawn isn't necessary? Where to begin...
Let's start by evaluating programs for water efficient landscaping for the greater Sacramento area:
Sacramento County Rain Garden Program
Sacramento County River-Friendly Landscaping Guidelines for Lawns
California Department of Water Resources Landscape Guidelines
Federal EPA Landscape Design Tips
With these resources it's quite easy to come to terms with removing the lawn in front of your home; there are so many options to choose from. Below is a link to a photo gallery of local front yards that have already transitioned to more water-friendly, drought tolerant landscaping:
Lose the Lawn photo gallery
Whether you want hardscaping, a rock garden, drought tolerant garden, or even xeriscaping, you have a wide range of choices at your disposal with even the possibility of rebates and grants depending on where your home is located. Close your eyes and picture driving or walking up to your home... do you picture a green lawn and a few sparse plantings or do you picture a colorful palette of flowers and leaves, rock and glass, and butterflies and birds fluttering around your front garden? If you don't use your front yard for anything but wasting water you mine as well let the birds and butterflies enjoy it... and maybe even some of your neighbors if they're hip to the idea.