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Grass-to-Gardens Photo Journey

backyard before photo

In 2005 Sustainable Village moved and became care-taker for this grass-covered backyard.

kids jumping on trampoline

It was great for small children but created a big carbon footprint. A small park was close by though and children get older…

building a deck

We replaced the old, splintery deck with Trex (95% recycled/reclaimed), and decided to recycle the old deck into raised beds on top of the grass.

digging in a raised bed

Though the redwood's condition was too bad for a deck, it made great beds- still in service now, 14 years later.


Extra Trex helped make more beds,

fabric bed additions

as did some fabric beds we just put on top of the grass. After a year, we spiked holes in the fabric bottoms and cut most of it out.

raised beds

Every year we added more beds and had less grass. We used PVC hoops and plastic to keep things growing longer and starting earlier.

more digging in a raised bed

At first, we dug out the beds but soon we just started putting a fabric bed, cardboard, and heavy mulch/soil/compost on top of the grass.


Instead of beds, in some places we just planted and cultivated ground covers.

getting started

More Garden, Less Grass

before photo of pond

In this corner, we decided to use some of our rainwater to fill a koi pond.

Here’s what it looks like now:

pond endview
pond sideview
koi in fish pond
turtle in backyard pond
pond waterfall
North side of pond

Here’s a video taken with a drone before we expanded the pond:

More Examples

garden backdoor

Backdoor Pathway

path to pond

Path to Pond

the bird zone

Bird Zone

hail protection

Hail Protection


Peonies holding their own in a thick ground cover





Chinese chives

Our Favorite Herb - jiu cai 韭菜


Dr. Seuss Lorax Flowers & Goji Berries

happy irises

Happy Irises

tomato growing on sunflower stalk

Tomato growing on sunflower stalk

photo from September 2022


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