Difference Between A Lawn And A Garden?

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Many people use the word lawn and garden interchangeably. Both of them refer to landscaping activities often around the home.

However, there is a difference between a lawn and a garden.

As we all know a garden is a cultivated area of land with grasses, flowers, trees, shrubs and other horticultural things. A lawn on the other hand is a stretch of green grass usually in front of a house. 

Today we will be explaining the differences between a grass and a garden, what they are, purposes and whether lawns are wasteful. 

What’s A Lawn?

Difference Between A Lawn And A Garden

A lawn is an area in which grass is cultivated as a green carpet for a landscape; it is the fundamental element of any garden.

The lawn is a grassy ground cover. It enhances the beauty of the garden, regardless of its size. Lawn upkeep is an integral component of any landscape design. 

A well-kept lawn can improve the appearance of the overall landscape, whereas a lawn that is poorly cared for can entirely destroy its charm.

Not only does the grass complement the décor of the living room, but it also provides a great backdrop for a specimen tree or shrub.

This function extends to vibrant beds and borders as well. 

The placement of the lawn is heavily dependent on the garden’s design in relation to the home.

In general, the grass should be expansive and exposed to direct sunlight, particularly in front of a rock garden and a swimming pool.

A lawn can be made by different methods such as turfing, seeding, dibbling roots, Astroturf, and turf plastering.

The maintenance you will give to your lawn will depend on the method used to create the lawn.

Overall, lawns add beauty to the landscape and should be kept well maintained.

What’s A Garden?

The act of cultivating flowers, food, and other plants on a specified plot of land called gardening.

Gardens are typically located adjacent to a dwelling or living compound. Some gardens are created as art to be aesthetically pleasing.

Gardens play a significant role in the lives of many people across the globe. A large number of families and homeowners possess one. 

For some people, gardening is merely a pastime, while for others it is a way of life or a vocation.

The most prevalent type of garden is the home garden. Most home gardens also provide a substantial portion of their owners daily diet.

As such, they are referred to as kitchen gardens. 

Asides from kitchen or vegetable gardens, there are also water gardens, container gardens and butterfly gardens to mention a few.

The way a garden looks also depends on its purpose.

A more aesthetically pleasing garden will most often require the services of an experienced gardener or horticulturist. 

What Is The Difference Between A Lawn And A Garden?

Though a garden and a lawn both serve to beautify a landscape, they are not the same thing and have differences. A garden is an area where plants are cultivated on purpose.

So it is possible to establish a garden with attractive plants, flowering plants and shrubs, herbs, vegetables, and even huge trees.

A garden typically surrounds a home and is an integral part of the living environment. It is usually said that a well-kept garden increases the value of a home.

A lawn, on the other hand, is an area where grasses are grown. The grass can be used as a play area or for outdoor recreation.

To keep grass in a lawn in good condition, it is mowed or cut to a specific height. 

Most often a lawn does not have trees but you can add some shrubs and plants to make it more beautiful.

Various grasses may be utilized for lawns including Bermuda grass, bluegrass, fescue, or zoysia grass.

The choice of grass depends on your preference, soil type, and climate. 

Are There Any Similarities?

The lawn and the garden both serve to beautify the landscape immensely.

They both require maintenance to remain beautiful. Although, their methods of maintenance matter, if you do not keep them maintained, they will stop looking so great. 

Not all lawns have trees, however something common to both the garden and the lawn is grass.

Granted, the grass on the lawn might be artificial, however grass can be found both in the garden and in the lawn.

Is The Lawn The Same As The Backyard?

A backyard is simply the yard adjoining a property towards the rear. A backyard naturally looks like a lawn and can be used for that purpose only.

However, a backyard can also be turned into a garden depending on the wishes of the owner.

If the owner decides to leave the yard grass mown and maintains it then it is basically a lawn.

People with backyards often like to experiment, adding a garden, a pond, gazebo, treehouse playing materials and any other thing to brighten up the landscape.

Essentially, the backyard is not the same as a lawn as the lawn could be situated in front, at the back or around the house. A backyard on the other hand refers to the space at the back of a house.

What Is The Purpose Of A Lawn?

A lawn usually serves multipurposes depending on the preferences of the owner. Some of the major uses of a lawn includes: 

  • Beautifying the landscape: Lawns add beauty to the environment and that is why they are a common feature of gardens, public landscapes, and parks.
  • Aesthetics: Lawns help to make your garden more aesthetically pleasing. In other words, they add beauty to the garden. 
  • Outdoor Recreation: children can easily play on lawns outside. Lawns can also be used for outdoor and pool parties. 
  • Grass Cover: Lawns provide excellent grass cover which helps to control soil erosion and keep your soil healthy.
  • Sporting Activities: Your lawn is useful for some playful neigborhood sporting such as football, cricket, tennis or hockey. 
  • Air Purification: lawn grass can also help clean the air by trapping carbon dioxide so there is more abundance of oxygen.

Are Lawns Wasteful?

There are a variety of opinions on the subject of lawns, however quite a number of people are of the opinion that lawns are wasteful and a lot of resources are spent on them which are better utilised elsewhere. Some of the ways lawns are wasteful include: 

  • Waste Of Water

Between 30 and 60 percent of metropolitan fresh water is utilized for watering lawns, and the majority of this water is wasted owing to improper time and application. 

Numerous residential irrigation systems are inefficient; they spray sidewalks or water, resulting in water going directly down the drain.

  • Reduces Biodiversity

A stretch of lawn is like a desert to a bee or butterfly as they have no place to perch on and get some nectar.

By creating a uniform habitat across the nation, people are eliminating biodiversity. 

Simply replacing a portion of your lawn with native wildflowers or shrubs can have a significant impact on the environment. 

  • Health Risks

A significant amount of fertilizer and chemicals are utilized to keep lawns lush and green.

An estimated 125 million pounds of pesticides and herbicides are purchased annually by homes to kill grubs, ants, and other insects. 

These substances are potentially hazardous to humans and other animals.

  • Money And Time Waste

A lot of money and time goes into maintaining a beautiful lawn. Asides from regular watering and maintenance, there are other things that still come up.

Most often, the lawn is often left unused after all these.

It is advised that a portion of the lawn should be kept for outdoor activities. The rest should be turned into a garden to encourage biodiversity.

  • Noise Pollution

Most lawn owners still utilise manual lawn mowers which are very noisy. They are usually constitute noise pollution to the neighborhood and cities in general.


Lawns and gardens are essentials of landscape beautification.

A lawn is a stretch of grass around a home which is usually maintained and used for outdoor activities.

A garden on the other hand usually contains not just grass but a variety of other plants and trees. Gardens also come in different types.

Lawns are useful for beautifying the environment, outdoor activities, and sporting activities.

Lawns can be wasteful especially with the time, energy and resources often bestowed on it.

It is advisable to have some stretch of lawn while the rest is a beautiful garden which is aesthetically pleasing.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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