While a lush and vibrant lawn looks absolutely stunning it can take quite bit of work and time to keep it looking that way. Between mowing the grass, pulling weeds and constantly moving the water sprinkler to cover the entire lawn you may consider this your full time job. It not only takes time away from you enjoying your weekend but it can also have an effect on your pocket book. The cost can add up quite fast between the fertilizer, weed killer and gallons upon gallons of water needed to keep the grass fed and looking great.
There are some beautiful, inexpensive and low maintenance alternatives that might just be the thing for you.
Moss or Clover Groundcover
Moss is a great alternative to grass as its insect resistant, rarely needs to be watered and doesn't require fertilizer. Its pretty much a self sustaining plant that doesn't need much attention to flourish. You might need to trim it up the edges a bit but it will never need to be mowed since it only grows so high. The only thing to consider is that moss does really well in shady and moist areas like under trees and in-between walkways that are covered from multiple sides. Direct sunlight will dry it out and probably kill it.
Low Spreading Bushes
Low spreading bushes are short, not overly woody bushes that will eventually over many years cover an entire yard. While you cant really walk over these bushes like you could grass they do provide a lush and succulent green ground cover. While these bushes do require water they are not nearly as time consuming as maintaining a lawn. Annual or semi-annual pruning and occasional weeding is required.
Pebble or Stone Lawn Alternative
Using stone as a substitute for grass is probably one of the most maintenance free and inexpensive options available. It doesn't require any water, no trimming necessary and weeds will not flourish. The only thing you may need to do it rake or pick up any loose pebbles that have strayed from the "lawn".
Wood chips are also extremely maintenance free and give a more woodsy outdoorsy kind of appearance. They might need to be replaced every couple years as they can start to break down and look weathered and worn especially if they are walked on often.