3 Quick Lawn Makeovers
1. Mow a painterly path.
This passageway looks straight out of a storybook — and re-creating it requires almost no effort. In fact, the first step is simply letting an area grow wild. (If your plot's bare, ryegrass seed will take care of the problem, fast.) Once the grass reaches great heights, plow a trail through it with a riding mower or weedwacker. From then on, a push mower can keep up appearances. And don't worry about weed control or water; perfection's not the point.
2. Court a graceful place to play.
After a game of badminton or volleyball, most people tuck the net away in a garage. Los Angeles landscape architect Pamela Burton made it the centerpiece of this outdoor room. Follow her lead by carving out a special spot, planted with resilient turf (tall fescue or Bermuda grass) that contrasts with the surrounding lawn. To prevent the two from mingling, install metal or plastic edging around your court's perimeter. Then, maintain visual separation with a weekly mowing, at the lowest setting.
3. Put the "park" in parking space.
The cool checkerboard yard below is actually a driveway, devised using turf pavers (from $2 per square foot; belgard.biz for stores). Basically shallow planters, these interlocking stone blocks can handle heavy traffic and accommodate topsoil and grass seed. You'll need to plant a durable variety like tall fescue or buffalo grass and, of course, excavate the site before laying the pavers. When it's time to mow, opt for a high setting.