I keep seeing more and more gardens around Anchorage with absolutely no grass in them. Would you say that's a trend? I like the idea of not mowing every week but I also like having a swath of grass - it's peaceful and restful for the eye.
So I made a compromise. My front yard has no grass and my backyard has a small lawn. I really like having the two and mowing is no problem, in fact, sometimes it's as therapeutic as weeding.
In the front yard, even though I don't have what anyone would consider a real rock garden, I keep introducing rock garden plants. I love succulents: sedums, saxafragas, lewisias and sempervivums. When I see a new one, I have to give it a try.
About a month ago, Master Gardeners were invited to tour Mary Nan Cunningham's garden in East Anchorage. Mary Nan doesn't have much grass, maybe a little lawn in the back yard too. But she has lots of interesting succulents that were used in creative ways.
Planters in the shape of oversized hermit crab shells were tucked full of succulents that spilled out as if the crab was turned on it's back and it's little legs were wiggling in the air. Another set of shells looked as if you were viewing exotic underwater sea-plants.
And finally, a little topiary cat stuffed with sempervivums, sat by a bench in the front garden as if it were surveying it's kingdom. I loved the effect.