Gravitating to gravel

When my wife and I were searching for a house almost three years ago, I was insistent that the yard — front and/or back — had grass. I’ve lived in Phoenix for about 20 years, and I still haven’t warmed up to the idea of gravel. In the Midwest (we moved from Chicago), yards have grass. That’s what I wanted. Have you tried walking barefoot on gravel? Not fun.

So, we found a house with grass. Three years later, the maintenance, I’ve discovered, isn’t quite as idealistic as my memories of playing wiffle ball in the backyard with no shoes on. Welcome to home ownership, I suppose. I’m also starting to develop a guilty complex as an irresponsible citizen with the water I use to keep the grass green. In the midst of a years-long drought, I have a hard time justifying to myself the amount of water (not to mention money) I spend on the lawn. Although, when I drive by our hundreds of golf courses in the Valley, I feel a little better about my little lot.

I’m in the initial steps of looking at converting the front lawn into some form of desert landscape, or maybe half gravel and half grass. I’d like to keep the grass in my backyard, which is a smaller area. Does anyone have any experience in doing this? Any resources to point me toward? It’s probably not going to be a very inexpensive undertaking. But I think we’ll probably save money in the long run on water bills and energy on yard maintenance.

2 Comments so far

  1. may105 (unregistered) on September 5th, 2006 @ 12:20 am

    I wish I can help but it seems like we have something in common. My husband and I plan to do something nice with our lawn too. As for now we just had to cut down the grass and plant several kind of flowers around it. I’ll be in touch after a few weeks.


  2. John (unregistered) on September 5th, 2006 @ 12:05 pm

    Check out Desert Botanical Garden. Lots of classes in just what you are doing. Also, lots of inspiration on the trails.



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