Want to do something about it but don’t know where to start?
You can start with Pam Penick’s new book Lawn Gone! which provides not only the philosophy and rationale for partially or completely replacing your lawn but also follows it up with clear options and steps you can take to get there. So it provides both food for thought as well as planning and execution tips.
Today I’m joining Holley at Roses and other Gardening Joys for her garden book review meme. Of course, you knew my first garden book review would be for Pam Penick’s Lawn Gone!
As an avid follower of Pam’s blog Digging I have enjoyed being on the receiving end of seeing how she takes the challenges of gardening in Central Texas and makes sense of the options. When she announced she had a book coming out I knew it would be good.
Is this one of those high-end garden books with photos of professionally designed gardens and ideas that are out of reach for those of us with average yards and budgets?
In the book Pam focuses on simple changes you can make with a small budget and often little time invested. Many of the photos are from homeowners who began with basic yards and created special places on their own. Photos from professional gardens show inspirational ideas that can be easily adapted for typical yards. We all need a dose of something to aspire to now and then.
I found plenty of my favorite plants recommended like Nasella tenuissima and a few new plants I'd like to try.
Pam even recommends easy to find and grow plants like asian jasmine which are too often dismissed by many professionals.
That’s cool, but I want to keep some lawn.
There’s plenty of help in Lawn Gone! for those of you who want to keep some lawn. Pam quickly advises her audiences that she does not dislike lawns nor advocate for their complete removal. You can use the book to consider your options and as a guide for the gradual removal and replacement of the lawn in phases while keeping adequate play space or a traditional lawn look in the front yard. She even gives you ideas for no-mow lawn substitutes like this Berkeley Sedge and Texas Sedge I've been testing for a year in my side garden.
Pam even provides tips on overcoming concerns such as wildlife and insect pests, as well as helpful advice on dealing with skeptical neighbors and HOAs.
|Berkeley Sedge Texas Sedge
Want to add a water feature and need ideas?
Lawn Gone! can get you there with basic tips and ideas along with details on Pam's now iconic stock tank pond.
What if I don’t have a lawn to remove in the first place?
That’s exactly my situation and I found Lawn Gone! inspirational for future projects and it’s also full of practical ideas and how-to advice as I advance my plans for replacing weedy bits with drought tolerant gardens.
How did I approach the book? Since I didn’t have a lawn to remove I read the book from the perspective of inspiration and resources—and it's excellent on that level. Lawn Gone! also goes beyond the blog with extra detail and new photos.
What if I don’t live in Central Texas; how does this book work for me?
For those of you in other regions Lawn Gone! goes well beyond the Central Texas region to provide inspiration and information anyone would need to remove some or all of their traditional lawn and replace it with groundcover, hardscape, or a perennial garden. The photo examples represent all regions of the country and there is a section of the book where regional experts provide specific solutions for their areas.
One of her photos has become an inspiration piece for my garage courtyard garden. Dichondra silver ponyfoot and herbs around a path of flagstones is just the look I want. The new courtyard is an example of how you can adapt the ideas in the book to your yard and budget. We used leftover stones from a neighbor's project and set them in topsoil instead of gravel because the stones were free and topsoil worked better for this location.
It's not there yet, but I've got my goal in sight along with an inspiration photo to look at as my new courtyard fills in.
Speaking of inspiration, Moby the Whale's Tongue Agave (Agave ovatifolia) makes an appearance so I had to get in a shot of mine which was absolutely inspired by Moby.
I found the book to work for me on many levels. A source of inspiration. A future resource guide. A practical guide to planning projects.
Pam showcases inspirational, yet achievable ideas with the encouraging tone so familiar from her blog. Whether you are just embarking on lawn removal or well on your way, Lawn Gone! is an excellent choice to help guide you on your journey.