What to replace a lawn with, that will look natural and nice?

I'm 64, have mild asthma and mowing aggravates it. I'm also a little short of breath. I guess lung capacity diminishes with age.
We own this home in the Denver area and like living here, I'm just not so into moving anymore and can't afford to pay someone else to.
So we're interested in what to replace the lawn with, that will look natural and nice, and not cost much to do.
We can put in a drip system for the plants and trees.
Ideas please?
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Good Granny wrote:

What is your climate? What do you want to do with the area? Will it need to handle foot traffic? How big is the area? Is the area fairly flat, variable, mountainous, steep......? Do you require a living ground cover?
David
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On 4/26/13 3:58 PM, Good Granny wrote:

Cinquefoil (Potentilla neumanniana) will grow in the Denver area. It is a dark green ground cover with yellow flowers in the spring and summer. It might show some damage in the winter, but Sunset says it recovers quickly. In my area (much milder winters than Denver), it is evergreen through the winter.
In my back yard, it grows quite densely (but only about 2 inches thick) and is a true ground cover. In my front yard, I have not been able to get it to spread.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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David E. Ross wrote: ...

give it a shot of compost. :)
it's about the best answer to so many fertility and productivity issues i've yet found aside from wood chips or shredded bark.
songbird
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