Dry-area homeowners don’t need to abandon curb appeal to reduce water. Ditch the brown lawn for these attractive, drought-tolerant groundcovers

Use These Water-Wise Groundcovers as Living Mulch to Hide a Dead Lawn
Photography by Chris Leschinsky

Summer drought can really hit a front yard hard — especially in the West. But that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice aesthetics or precious curb appeal. One option for weathering the dry heat is to use more native plants (check the native plant societies for CaliforniaColorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, UtahIdaho, and Oregon for plant lists and nursery resources). Another is to ditch your lawn and plant an enticing landscape of attractive, drought-tolerant groundcover. Here are a dozen or so that we love.