Small yard garden courtyard entry

Front Yard Garden Replaces Lawn and Palm Tree!

by / 15 Comments / 1157 View / June 8, 2008



I'm not against having a  front lawn per se, if it's functional and small.

Uninspired designs like the one my clients had before I made it over are ultimately a waste of water and time.

My clients,  Joe and Randi Grinbaum felt the same way when they looked upon their  small patch of lawn and lone palm tree that comprised their front yard entry.


Before- A small patch of grass and a lone palm tree- did someone run out of plants or ideas?


Another issue I had with this yard was that it lacked a dedicated walkway to the front door.

Dodging parked cars is not my idea of good design, so, I had addressed a few of these issues and  was anxious to get to work!


After- Not only did the garden courtyard bring functionality and color to the yard, it also attracted hummingbirds, butterflies and the attention of passersby!


To remedy the problems, I removed all of the lawn and  designed a 4 -foot- wide flagstone walkway that lead through a  new fragrant Mediterranean-style garden.

It was amazing how much larger the space felt as a garden courtyard than as a lawn area.




The Grinbaum's were amazed at the transformation and welcomed the fragrance and colorful bouquets they were able to make from their garden.

If you are interested in seeing another one of my front yard gardens please read this post.


15 Comment

  1. Congratulations! I believe in ecologically correct gardening and landscapes. Any garden requiring the use of oil, gas, herbicide, pesticide, fertilizer and irrigation waste is not. 

  2. […] divided the rectangular tract lot into three separate areas and used inexpensive recycled concrete for the […]

  3. Hi! Thanks for posting this beautiful article. It's so fabulous and stunning garden.




    /* Style Definitions */
    {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
    mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
    font-family:”Times New Roman”;

    Really, very helpful and magnificent designs that can inspire the design your garden. Thanks for sharing this beautiful article.

  4. I would almost certainly do a large oak tree or a maple tree because those are sturdier and larger. I also believe ur lucky because my dad wont let me get a tree house.

  5. Wow! What a stunning garden! I am truly impressed! I have a friend who is a gardening enthusiasts, and I am going to have to show this to her, she will be on love! Thanks for sharing! Feel free to visit me back 🙂

  6. Hi Jeremy,
    Sorry for the late reply. Thanks for your comment.
    I always make friends with HOA people. If I’m removing lawn, I invite them to tour some of my pretty lawn-less yards. Are there any to show them or photograph in the neighborhood?

    Also, there are “drought tolerant” lawns bred for the desert so you don’t have to go completely “lawn-less” if you could use some green. I recommend the “Eco Lawn” ( or UC Verde grass-

    Both require 75% less water than traditional “Marathon-type” lawns.

    If the rules are on your side, insist on them with a positive attitude.

    Good luck.

  7. Hi Shirley.

    I live in an HOA and would like to replace my lawn with plants. The HOA is giving me a very hard time, referencing the rule book saying that you can’t remove grass, when in fact the rules state that you can. Do you have any suggestions/ideas as to how to deal with the HOA? I live in CA, and I would be putting in drought resistant plants in place of my lawn.

    By the way, I love the garden courtyard.

  8. Beautiful! I’ve done several yards, both back and front, with no grass. In our neck of the woods (Austin, TX), it really makes sense, particularly in our Phase II water restrictions.

    Great job! : )

  9. The new landscape looks much more interesting. I’ve only designed for one house that was of similar style. You garden is nicer than what I tried, and in the one I did the plan for, a palm was added.

    Your stone sure compliments the building. Nice job.


  10. […] killed many lawns in my day. On […]

  11. I’ve been ripping out the lawn in both my front and back yard (almost single-handedly) for five years.

    When I started I knew more than nothing about gardening. For example, I tossed out six 30 gallon trash bags of decaying garden debris cleared out of a planter. Imagine my surprise when I learned, a year later, I had thrown away compost, the gardener’s black gold.

    Despite my ignorance I have persevered, and although I have a long way to go, there are spaces in both the front and back that are lush with succulents and various drought tolerant ground covers, bulbs, perennials and annuals.

    It’s been a love-hate relationship: I hate the hard work, but I love the end result. And when I’m done, I’ll save money both on water and travel. After all who needs to drive the Amalfi coast, when you have a beautiful Mediterranean visa right out your back door.

  12. Hey Lin,
    Your garden sounds like my kind of place.
    For the record, I do love a beautiful lawn but it has to be placed in the right location and be a compliment to the yard. A swath of green is sometimes just what is needed in a childrens play area, to break up a large garden area or in public places like parks and recreational fields. Nothing compares to a cool lush lawn to sit and picnick.
    Other than that, give me color!

  13. I couldn’t agree more with your feeling about uninspired/under-utilized front yards. That’s just too valuable of real estate (in CA anyway) to not use to maxium protential. When we brought our house, there was a professionally done putting green, complete with full sandtrap, in the front yard. Our golfing friends thought we were crazy to take it out, but it was our first project. We replaced it with a combination of flowering CA natives, Mediterranean plants, and other drought-tolerant, plus a few fruit trees, and built paths and a seating area. Like all gardens, it’s a work in progress, but very day we enjoy the color, scents, texture, and the birds and insects that it attracts. Soooo much better than a putting green!

  14. Hi Cinj,
    It’s funny you should say that. I just completed my own garden- you may have read the post about “Kangaroo Paws” for romantic hedges- that is my yard. It took me over 4 years to complete it! Of course, it is never finished as gardens grow, change and you know the rest.

    What are you doing in your garden?

  15. Wow, what another fabulous transformation! If only I had your talents I would have been done with my garden last year already.

Comments are closed.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin