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Book Review: Lawn Gone!

Lawn Gone!
Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives For Your Yard
by Pam Penick

Lawn Gone

184 pages
Ten Speed Press, 2013
List price: $19.99

Austinite Pam Penick has a landscape design business and having read her blog, Digging, for many years, when she talks design, I listen. So do thousands of others, because she brings not only aesthetically pleasing solutions for gardens, but practical ones, too.

In Lawn Gone!, Pam makes a strong case for ridding properties of lawns, and provides plenty of suggestions for alternatives. In many areas of the country, including hers, huge swaths of grass don't make a lot of sense, but even if you live where grass does well without supplemental watering, there are many other ways to give your yard character and style.

What makes this book well worth its space on the book shelf is its readability and sensitivity to circumstances and abilities. Further, Pam gives necessary how-to instructions for implementing her suggestions as well as the reasoning behind doing them. There is specific information for all areas of the country - eleven regions in all.

Plant suggestions at the back of the book include detailed descriptions with information relevant to using them as lawn alternatives. Social and cultural issues that may arise from choosing to go lawnless, such as HOAs and opinionated neighbors, are dealt with as well.

Pam covers the issue of doing away with grass without being judgmental or preachy. She presents the facts and lets the reader and homeowner decide for themselves what to do with them. With more and more property owners considering doing away with grass, Lawn Gone! is an invaluable guide on how to do it, and do it with style.

Pam Penick is a landscape designer, garden writer, photographer, and award-winning blogger who has replaced many lawns in her lifetime, including her own. She is a contributor to Garden Design, Fine Gardening, and Martha Stewart's blog At Home in the Garden. Penick lives in Austin, Texas, and blogs at

Read more garden book reviews.
Read Kylee Baumle’s blog, Our Little Acre.