Lawns of grass are commonplace in the yards and gardens of North America; but as people are increasingly environmentally conscious, they are raising reasonable questions about the sustainability of grass.  What is the long-term impact of fertilizers or pesticides, not to mention watering and fuel for lawn mowers?

At Westcoast Lawns and Gardens, we know that home and building owners want to know more about alternative ground covers that are environmentally friendly, and we pride ourselves on helping our clients curate the perfect lawn and garden no matter the ground cover.  So, let’s take a closer look at some low maintenance and environmentally-friendly alternatives to grass.


Cover offers many benefits that are similar to grass for your lawn and garden.  An affordable ground cover, clover also acts as a natural fertilizer for your soil.  Especially for yards with poor soil quality, clover and micro-clover are a great choice.  These alternatives are relatively low maintenance and require no watering or fertilizers.  Plus, clover grows quickly and can spread over large areas to give a soft and lush appearance to your garden and yard.


Traditionally the grass-lover’s nightmare, moss is an environmentally-friendly ground cover that doesn’t require mowing while offering a soft texture to enjoy in your yard.  Plus, moss stands up well to foot traffic and provides drought-resistant properties with very little watering required.  There are many varieties of moss available offering a range of textures and appearances.  Consider mixing different varieties to create an interesting aesthetic to your yard.  One drawback of moss is that it prefers shade, so careful planning helps to ensure you entire yard is adequately covered with moss or other grass alternatives.

Environmentally-Friendly Grass Alternatives

Ornamental Grass

Unlike clover, ornamental grass won’t spread so it’s easy to control and like the other grass alternatives discussed so far, it also doesn’t require mowing.  However, ornamental grass is not well-suited to foot traffic, so once again working with a landscaper to plan your yard to include sections of ornamental grass can help you create a sense of depth and diversity in your yard.

Sweet Woodruff

If you want to enhance your hard with a scented herb, sweet woodruff might be the perfect ground covering for you.  It’s edible too!  The beautiful white flowers of sweet woodruff will give your yard balance and texture – plus, it’s weed resistant and it won’t need to be mowed or watered.

Red Creeping Thyme

Red creeping thyme is another low-maintenance ground cover that, like moss, is drought-resistant.  Unfortunately, red creeping thyme can be somewhat more expensive than grass and other environmentally-friendly alternatives, and it’s also somewhat challenging to install.  Still, red creeping thyme offers stunning red blossoms in the summer but come winter, the plant takes on a deep bronze colour so you can enjoy seasonal changes.  It stands up reasonably well to foot traffic, making it another great alternative to grass.

If you want to learn more about environmentally-friendly alternatives to traditional grass lawns or you need some assistance planning and installing your new yard, contact Westcoast Lawns and Gardens today.  Our team of friendly and knowledgeable lawn and garden experts are ready to help you bring your vision to life.