Hubby and I have been batting back and forth on the idea of ripping out the lawn. I hate to waste water to keep it happy and healthy and the lawn has really suffered the last few years. Hubby hates to mow and that is motivation enough for him.
I can't imagine we will get rid of the whole lawn, our suburban Dallas neighborhood is very traditional in the "house, lawn, sidewalk, accent tree, and flagpole" styling. There are a few homes on our block--maybe 2 or 3 out of 40 homes--that have non-grass front yards. They have heavily shaded yards and creeping jasmine ground cover with a few accent shrubs. They look okay, but not great. City code allows for non-grass yards as long as there is no bare dirt (must be covered with mulch) or dead plants.
Our plan now is to just start increasing the size of the landscaping in the yard and slowly decreasing the lawn size. This will have the benefit of no big giant expensive change all at once, and also give us time to see if we really like the idea once it is in practice. This will also give me more places to plant bee-friendly flowers and plants, and maybe some more edibles for the humans too.
My google research wanderings and notes are below.
Lantana, acacia redonlens (?), creeping rosemary (good for bees in early spring)
Mexican bush sage
trumpet creeper (already got it!)
Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii or Poinciana pulcherrima)--a neighbor has this and it looks amazing. The one I saw at Home Depot was covered with bees.
Fig tree (need two for pollination)
Pomegranate (MIL has one and it has done very well)