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No reason for an energy-consuming lawn when you can enjoy a prairie or wildflower meadow in your front yard instead. These tall grasses offer habitat for wildlife and need mowing only once a year, usually in early spring before birds start nesting.

A wildflower meadow nearly engulfs this one-story contemporary home, backed up by a belt of trees.

From Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love by Julie Moir Messervy (Taunton Press, 2009, p. 103). Photo and design by Victoria Drakeford.