I need a native alternative to my lawn. Any ideas?

A:

There are many resources on gardening with native plants. If you want something that involves grass but is not a lawn, you might consider a meadow garden. John Greenlee's “The American Meadow Garden” is a great place to start learning about that option.

Also, Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District has a presentation about converting your lawn out of grass.  

If you just generally want to landscape with native plants, here are some Extension publications you may find helpful:

The main key to having a low maintenance, drought tolerant landscape is to group plants according to their watering needs and cultural requirements, and emphasize those whose needs are minimal. Native plants can be a great place to start, but be aware that in urban environments, sometimes the conditions are so different than what the former natives are adapted to, that they won’t thrive. You may need to look for plants from conditions more similar to your neighborhood.

I hope this is helpful. Have fun making your non-grass yard!

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