While all of us love the idea of having beautiful, manicured yards and gardens, it doesn’t always work out that way. Life gets busy, the tasks of weeding, watering, and other maintenance can get overwhelming, and all of a sudden, your garden looks nothing like the picture-perfect image you had in your mind when spring first sprung. Sigh.
Just imagine for a moment, a world where your garden is beautiful all the time—and you don’t have to work that hard to keep it that way. Crazy, right? Maybe not! An utterly maintenance-free yard is maybe stretching it a little, but a low-maintenance yard and garden are totally within reach. Check out these seven low-maintenance landscaping ideas to help you shorten your to-do list in the yard and garden this year.
If you’re a big fan of having a plush, green lawn—an irrigation system will save you an immense amount of time.
Plant More Trees, Shrubs, and Perennials
Trees and shrubs are a great place to start if you are on the hunt for low-maintenance landscaping ideas. Many are drought-tolerant, pest and disease-resistant, and even wildlife resistant, making them an easy-to-care-for option that takes up a solid amount of space in your garden. Perennials are also an absolute must-have in the low-maintenance landscape. If planted in the right condition, they’ll keep coming back year after year, usually growing even bigger and more beautiful.
Another expert low-maintenance landscaping tip: when you are selecting your trees, shrubs, and perennials—opt for native species whenever you can. They are already accustomed to the environment you are planting them in and tend to require much less watering, fertilizer, and general attention than non-native species. After all, they are adapted to your region and love it!
Choose Plants That Are Critter-Resistant
Wildlife such as deer and rabbits can do quite a number on your garden flowers, veggies—and even trees and shrubs! If you have had issues with critters in the past, you know that the after-effects are anything but low maintenance. This problem can easily be solved by our second low-maintenance landscaping idea, which is to simply select species that are not as appealing to animals. Perennials like coneflower, bleeding heart, black-eyed Susan, and sedum are all pretty critter-resistant.
Install an Irrigation System
If you’re a big fan of having a plush, green lawn—an irrigation system will save you an immense amount of time. When it comes to low-maintenance landscaping, it’s a must-have. It can also be a great option for veggie gardens, ensuring all your plants get the moisture they need while also conserving water.
Create Features Using River Rock
River rock is, hands down, one of the most low-maintenance garden features out there, and once you have it, you won’t need to replace or top it up again for years. You can create accent features or a dry stream bed with it or use it in place of mulch to help keep weeds at bay. It is easy to clean, doesn’t break down, improves drainage, and helps with air circulation.
Integrate More Evergreens Into Your Landscape
Integrating evergreen shrubs into your landscape is wonderful for a few reasons: they are low maintenance, provide winter shelter for birds, and provide year-round color. As a low-maintenance landscaping idea, they provide an everlasting framework to plan the rest of your garden around.
Choose Plants That Are a Good Fit for Your Zone, Sun Exposure, and Soil Type
It can be tempting to select plants based on what you have seen in photos, but they will only become as glorious as their conditions allow. By planting things that are designed to thrive in your particular growing zone, soil type, and in a place where they get their preferred amount of sunlight—you’ll be way ahead of the low-maintenance landscaping game.
Consider Low-Maintenance Lawn Alternatives
Lawns are high-maintenance. They usually need to be mowed at least once a week, unless we’re experiencing a particularly dry summer (in which case, they need a ton of watering). While you don’t need to get rid of the whole thing, replacing a portion of your lawn with hardscaping like sidewalks and patio spaces, or even low-maintenance garden beds, will take some of the pressure off to keep such a large area manicured all season long.
If you’re ready to put some of these low-maintenance landscaping ideas into action but don’t know where to start, give our landscape design team a ring! They’d be happy to turn your yard and garden into the easy-to-care-for getaway you’ve always dreamed of.