In April of this year, we ripped out some of the lawn bordering the front porch and put in some foundation plantings. The idea was to reduce the amount of lawn (it now takes 10 seconds less to mow the frontyard!) and to create an organic buffer to the tall Victorian foundation skirting.
Ripping out the grass by hand (with a maddock) was a challenge.. let's just say it was a good workout and I got to skip the gym for a couple days afterwards. We planted Mexican feather grass, California poppies, Rockrose, Heather, and some dogwood.