For people that are tired of the constant care required by traditional lawns, knot gardens may be the perfect answer.
Knot gardens are formal gardens often bordered by dwarf evergreen shrubs.
They can be designed to fit in small or large spaces and traditionally use hard scape as well as plants in their landscaping design.
Knot gardens can be edible or kitchen gardens while still being ornamental. They can include raised or sunken beds for effect, and many traditional knot gardens were divided into quarters by walkways.
Knot gardens can be strictly ornamental. The key is the formal design. Each type of plant has its own space and elements of hard scape or border plants are used to separate it from other plants.
Using an herbal knot garden in place of a front lawn is visually pleasing and has the side benefit of smelling sweet. Plants like lavender near the entry of the home will create a lovely scent. Lavender is also a natural insect repellent, which is another good reason to plant it near the entry.
The final benefit is that this is a landscape that you can eat. Herbs are generally easy to grow and can be used to flavor food. They are pleasing to the eye and some varieties produce flowers. There are many varieties available and they can usually be purchased as seeds or as starts at local nurseries.
So instead of competing with your neighbors over the quality of your neat green square, outdo them with a beautiful, functional and more environmentally friendly knot garden.