Transforming a Lawn into a Lawnscape

Some homes have lawns — and others have lawnscapes. A lawnscape is an immaculately maintained, lush, green lawn that draws viewers’ attention and improves the value of a property. Some are traditional in style, like sprawling English and French gardens, while others are avant-garde and modern, pushing the boundaries of landscape design. If you are tired of looking out on your boring, old lawn, here’s how you can transform it into a gorgeous lawnscape.

Reconsider Your Lawn Shape

An attractive lawnscape isn’t just a lawn and nothing else; rather, a lawnscape should be composed of several landscaping elements, to include shrubs, trees, hardscape and more — but more on that later. First, it’s important to note that the size and shape of your lawn have a significant impact on the look and function of your landscape. There are two main camps when it comes to shape: natural and contemporary. Naturalistic lawnscapes have gently curving borders that are asymmetrical, whereas contemporary lawns are marked by geometric shapes with strong lines and angles. If your home has more modern architecture, it might be wise to experiment with a contemporary lawn shape; conversely, if your home has a more traditional look, creating natural curves in your lawn might be wise.

Think About Your Boundaries

Once you have settled on an optimal shape for your lawnscape, you can begin considering how you will create the border between your lawn and the rest of your landscape. While this seems like a relatively small feature of the lawnscape, it can drastically impact your yard’s style as well as the ease of care. For instance, a lawn more can run right up to brick, concrete and metal edging, but it cannot navigate uneven, irregularly shaped edging like stone. You might also use berms or mulch to mark the edge of your lawn, especially if you are going for a naturalistic look.

Hire Professionals for Care

You aren’t a soil scientist, a botanist or any kind of turf scientist, and you never will be. You simply don’t have the time to learn all you need to about proper lawn care, which means if you want your lawnscape to look stunning 24/7, you need to hire a true professional. A lawn care service will have the experience, knowledge and tools to provide perfect care to your unique lawnscape. Because you will only ever be able to provide mediocre care to your lawn, you should hire a lawn care professional to deliver the services you need.

Add Diversity to Your Lawn

Lawns became prominent landscaping features at the turn of the 20th century, when landowners sought to flaunt their wealth by devoting a portion of their property to an essentially useless crop — grass. At the time, they would add texture to their lawns with clover, thyme and chamomile, which all provide different nutrients to the soil and work to improve the health of the lawn overall. Through the decades, aggressive marketing from lawn seed purveyors transformed the ideal lawn into a grass monoculture — meaning anything other than grass became an unsightly weed — but you might consider integrating other groundcovers into your lawnscape for variety and interest.  

Use Your Lawn for Its Color

Grass is green. While different varieties of grass might come in different shades of green — the blue notes in Kentucky bluegrass are vastly different from the almost yellow-green of bermudagrass and St. Augustinegrass — you aren’t ever going to grow a healthy, lush lawn that is anything other than identifiably green. However, a striking landscape needs some contrast, so while you should focus your efforts on designing an attractive lawn, you should also pay attention to the plants surrounding your lawn. You should try to crease seasonal balance, which means planting flora that will come into season at different times of year, ensuring you have a beautiful landscape year-round. You should also choose plants that have another dominant color besides bright green; good examples include chameleon plants, caladium and coleus.

Designing a lawnscape is a more sophisticated way to organize and ornament your yard. By taking color, texture, size and shape into consideration, you can create a lawn that does more for your landscape than most people imagine.