In Book Review

Book Review: No Mow Yards


Over the holidays I picked up the book “Beautiful No-Mow Yards” by Evelyn J. Hadden (2012) at the library. This has been a hot topic for quite a while. Overall, the book is quite intriguing with lots of photos (all I care about ;) ) and specific plant recommendations. There are some things about it, however, that I think would not appeal to all gardeners or homeowners. I’ll elucidate in my pros and cons list below:

Pros/ Specific Likes:

  • Good plant list/ appendix for most zones.
  • Like I mentioned, a lot of photos, and about equal as much text.
  • Tells you how to go about getting rid of your lawn/weeds and starting anew.
  • Has a special chapter on Rain Gardens.
  • Well researched and thorough.

Cons/ Dislikes:

  • May not appeal to those who desire a more tidy/ manicured look (but those people will probably stick with a mowable lawn). Still I’m not ready to show all of my clients the photos in the book. I’d like some examples to just be a hair more put together.
  • I would like to see more pictures with a larger perspective or frame, some are too zoomed in to let me understand the entire composition.
  • Want some more examples of front yards specifically, with the view from the street.

No-Mow yards don’t have to mean a walkable grass alternative, they can be anything- shrubs, perennials, hardscape etc. In Seattle, I don’t have a huge problem with lawns or grass, like I did in San Diego. That’s because most of my clients don’t have a separate irrigation system, and don’t use synthetic fertilizers. The grass just grows whether you want it to or not (but so does moss). I’m intrigued to try one of the plant recommendations for a soft green path someday (without pavers). I do, in summary, recommend this book, so check it out!

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