Outdoor Living and Dining Space
Less-lawn solution: Transform a well-defined area close to the house by trading turf grass for a dry-laid brick patio or a patch of gravel with outdoor furniture. Just be sure to choose permeable paving that allows water to percolate through (not a broad expanse of concrete), so you don't create a parking lot–type yard where rain collects in puddles and storm drains instead of returning to the soil.
Define the space with a low wall, a perimeter of planting beds, or a collection of container plantings. Create an inviting path from one area of the yard to another with flagstone pavers: By tucking spreading, tread-friendly groundcovers like creeping thyme into the crevices, you'll create a rock-garden feeling and cut down on watering