When we finished installing a patio in our backyard, we were left with a lonely patch of grass in the back corner. It didn't really make sense to get out a lawn mower every week to mow such a small area; not to mention how awkward it would be to maneuver it past our patio set! More importantly, not using electricity to cut the grass - or water to keep it green - was the sustainable way to go!
Our solution was to install a dry creek bed and rock garden to replace the grass (you'll see how to build the rock garden in Part 2). There's nothing more rewarding than putting some sweat equity into building a sustainable garden - especially when the outcome is this gorgeous!