Drive-By Gardens: No-lawn front yards in South Austin


June 05, 2020

Driving through Bouldin and Zilker neighborhoods in South Austin, I cruise slowly to check out the diverse styles of architecture among the many, many remodeled homes. It’s just as interesting to see what people have chosen to plant in their front yards. Many have opted out of the traditional lawn in favor of waterwise alternatives, like a simple meadow of Mexican feathergrass (above).

Barrels of fun

This bold front garden wowed me with a mass planting of roly-poly barrel cactus, backed by a stately cluster of silver-blue agaves.

Grasses galore

At this house a walled courtyard offers seclusion behind tall ornamental grasses and towering crape myrtles and junipers.

Near the driveway, grasses cluster loosely around large, emerald agaves.

Against the wall

A tall gabion wall with steel-ring windows provides privacy along the property line of another house. Acacia, silver ponyfoot, and rounded shrubs mingle with reddish boulders to liven up the hellstrip.

Sedge it up

In this hellstrip, squeezed between the street and a cedar-post coyote fence, a loose hedge and a fringe of sedge, perhaps Berkeley sedge, add simple but textural greenery.

Nicely done, no-lawn folks!

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