Lawn or No Lawn + Invasive Plant Books

Photo ©

For those of you who are considering minimizing the size of your lawn or wondering how to integrate some lawn into your landscape while turning the rest into habitat, explore these titles.

**Books are ordered by publication date.**

Invasive Plants: a guide to identification, impacts, and control of common North American species

Author(s): Syl Ramsey Kaufman and Wallace Kaufman
Publication Date: April, 2013
Description: This handy guide is organized like a field guide, which is a familiar format for many naturalists. Major invasive species of North America are covered, with information on identification, habitat, and range presented alongside nice pictures. Especially useful are the breakdowns about the role each plant plays in its ecosystem. The authors also identify particularly aggressive plants with little value to wildlife and share appropriate management techniques, which aids in prioritizing removal of certain species. Quick guides, a handy index, and many resources make it a well-organized addition to your library.

Lawn Gone book cover

Photo © Ten Speed Press

Lawn Gone! Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard

Author(s): Pam Penick
Publication Date: February, 2013
Description: If you’re tired of pouring water, money, time, energy, and chemicals into your lawn only to get nothing in return, this is the book for you. Penick illustrates how to replace all or some of your lawn with something more useful: ground cover plants, hardscaping, play space for the kids, or native drought-friendly no-mow grasses. Penick also offers suggestions for dealing with neighbors and HOAs.

Front Yard Gardens: Growing more than grass

Author(s): Liz Primeau and Andrew Leyerle
Publication Date: March, 2010
Description: Primeau begins her book with an interesting discussion of “why we mow” and how we came to accumulate 24 million acres of lawn in North America. She presents several alternatives to lawns that increase property values, provide wildlife foods, and increase sense of community. The color photos and species lists are thorough enough that every style of garden (e.g., cottage, formal, arid) can benefit from the included garden plans. Perhaps best of all, the author presents a case for building community through front-yard gardening: out with the imposing front lawns and in with fluid boundaries and inviting colorscapes!