Lawn Alternatives


We have been researching lawn alternatives for our front and back yards in east Scarborough. Thinking about Clover or Yarrow (although it is listed on your fact sheet, it looks like it may spread to my neighbours yard.

Are there any public areas in Toronto where we can see some of these alternatives in practice? Even a street where residents are using them and wouldn’t mind a friendly couple wandering down their street :)



Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.

With the implementation of the pesticide ban in Ontario we have seen an increase in the number of homeowners who are embracing the use of groundcovers as a lawn alternative. Whats not to like – groundcovers sprawl across the ground but don’t grow tall, spread quickly and are relatively maintenance free, smother weeds and fill in pathways.

I understand the need to visualize the use of groundcover in a garden. Now that the gardening season is around the corner my suggestion would be to source out garden tours in your area. GardenMaking lists a number of gardening events in Ontario.

Every year the Toronto Botanical Garden hosts a self guided garden tour through various areas of Toronto. This years garden tour held on June 8 & 9 will feature 21 gardens in The Beach area. Each garden highlights interesting plants and garden design lessons. This would be a great place to start your search.


Mark’s Choice Through the Garden Gate

You might also be interested in the booklet ‘Grow Me Instead’ from the Ontario Invasive Plants Council suggesting some native groundcovers.  Click here.