Grass Alternative by Sidewalk*


Hi there

I have a patch of grass, this is section of lawn that is between the curb and sidewalk. This patch sits on the property line between my neighbour and me.

I’m looking for something to replace the grass. Its not a huge area, 3 ft by 4 ft. It is west facing, so it does get a lot of sun especially in the summer. Soil quality is nothing special. There is no shade from a tree to block it. And it does get some water from a sprinkler system that shoots water over the sidewalk onto this patch.

I was thinking tall grasses or something flowering to add some colour and bring back life to that patch. Low maintenance is key. And it can’t be too high, so it doesn’t create a blind spot when backing out of the driveway.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.



From your comments on the proposed garden area, the qualifying factor besides growing conditions and low maintenance, would be height.  It is probably most appropriate to have plants that require little water, no maintenance, groundcover capabilities and can tolerate full sun.

Some native shrubs that you might want to include in your garden are: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry) a low growing evergreen shrub with pink flowers in spring and berries in the fall or Juniperis horizontalis (Creeping Juniper) a low, evergreen shrub that is very tolerant of poor growing conditions.

The “Grow me Instead” guide to native Ontario plants has some good suggestions for groundcovers for you to consider. Grow me Instead

Rock garden plants would also be suitable and with the incredible selection, you will also be able to add some colour and texture.  Sedums are an excellent choice for this and are readily available.  They come in all shapes, sizes and colours.  This website should be helpful:

Phlox subulate (creeping Phlox) is another spreading low ground cover.  Different cultivars have various colours of tiny blooms in the spring.  For a feathery, mounded plant you can choose Artemisia schmidtiana ‘Silver Mound’.  A real punch of yellow in the spring is Aurinia saxatilis (formerly Alyssum)  

All of these suggestions are very hardy in your area and will give you an excellent selection from which to choose.