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13 Low-Maintenance Landscaping Ideas

Want a gorgeous landscaped lawn, but not the hassle? With only a little planning and initial set-up labor and costs, you can easily increase your home’s value with head-turning curb appeal. Here are 13 low-maintenance landscaping ideas that can help save you time and energy!

Plan Landscape Layout First

Before hiring a professional designer or diving in to a DIY landscaping project, think about how you want to use your yard. If you’d like your outdoor area to be a place for entertaining, you might consider adding paving—whereas if you have kids, open yard space for running around could be a priority. You’ll also want a good idea of what natural features will thrive in your yard, and choose options that allow you to prioritize the yard’s purpose. Observe which areas of your yard receive the most light throughout the day. Understanding the light and water requirements of your natural landscape features will help you know what work will be required of you for winterizing your plants and preparing them for growth season.

Try Artificial Grass Landscaping

Create a sustainable landscape with xeriscaping. Originally designed for drier regions, this eco-friendly landscaping concept creates pleasing landscapes that require little care and water. And contrary to what you might think, xeriscape landscaping isn’t just cacti and rocks—it can also include drought-tolerant flowering plants, mulch, and soil. If you’re looking for a major change that saves you time and money in the long run, consider a xeriscaping makeover!

Use Native Plants Instead

Filling your yard with native plants is one of the best low-maintenance yard ideas. Opting to use plants that are native to your climate can not only help you save time maintaining your yard, but also help you save money. Using native plants instead of grass or as a low-maintenance landscaping option is an eco-friendly yard idea because native plants typically require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides in order to thrive. So, you won’t need to treat them or replant them as often as other, non-native plants. To top it off, planting a variety of native plants can create a beautiful display of colors and textures that lasts through the seasons. Check the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to learn which native plants to grow in your area!

Choose Drought-Tolerant Plants

It’s easy to design a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant front yard that saves both water and time spent pruning and tending to your yard. Drought-tolerant plants are especially good for dry-climate landscaping. Opt for succulents or native plants that require less care and mix and match multiple colors and textures to create visual interest. Asters, black-eyed Susans, lavender, and rosemary are just a few examples of many attractive drought-tolerant plants.

Consider Using Ground Covers

An excellent low-maintenance landscaping idea, using ground covers can help reduce soil erosion and don’t have to be mowed since they stay so close to the ground. Additionally, ground covers don’t need as much water and fertilizer compared to a grassy lawn. While an excellent no-grass lawn idea, creepers are perfect natural features to help soften the transition from grass and mulch to eye-grabbing yard features—like hedges, fountains, flowers, and more. Balance out your front yard design with ground cover plants like Brachyscome multifida (cut-leaved daisy), Iberis sempervirens (candytuft), Thymus serpyllum (creeping thyme), and dichondra.

Plant More Perennials

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance front yard idea, consider planting primarily perennials. These plants don’t need to be replanted every year, as they grow a deep root system to obtain nutrients—and hibernate during the cold season. Investing in and planting bulbs saves you time otherwise spent digging new holes and planting seeds each year. Design your own perennial garden or English cottage garden with plants like Eupatorium maculatum (Joe-Pye weeds), larkspurs, Hostas, Phloxes, and sage.

Add Evergreens

Invest in evergreens! These canopy trees offer a vibrant, green display throughout all seasons as a low-maintenance landscaping idea—since their leaves don’t change and fall. On top of that, they provide privacy, natural shade to cool your home in the summer, and wind-blocking to keep your home warmer in the winter. Choose from a variety of evergreen landscaping shrubs—including oriental arborvitae, Portuguese laurel, Choisya ternata (Mexican orange), and Himalayan sweet box.

Decorate Using Ornamental Grass

Another easy landscaping idea is to incorporate ornamental grasses in your yard design. These wispy plants are pest-resistant and require only occasional water and pruning, making them simple to care for and excellent options as front yard landscaping ideas. Most of these grasses only need to be trimmed near the ground as part of their winterization prep—other pruning is required only if you want particular shapes or heights. Try creating a perennial border around your yard with Cortaderia selloana (pampas grass), Pennisetum alopecuroides (annual fountain grass), Miscanthus sinensis (Chinese silver grass), or Carex pansa (sand dune sedge).

Start a Container Garden

Container gardening is a great low-maintenance landscaping idea—especially for those with a smaller yard. Reducing your landscaping to a potted garden leaves you with less surface area to weed and care for. Line your front porch with low-maintenance potted plants like geraniums, irises, and Caladiums or pink elephant ears to create a welcoming, attractive curb appeal. Live in a sunny, humid area? Create a Mediterranean garden with potted citrus plants like lemon, lime, and kumquat—all of which grow well in containers.

Consider Hardscape Landscaping Options

Having a lawn isn’t the only way to create a beautiful yard—try some no-grass lawn ideas with hardscaping elements like gravel, brick, stones, and more in your landscaping design. This simple, attractive landscaping idea provides a flat surface for entertainment while reducing the amount of greenery you need to care for. Opt for concrete or brick flooring for your patio, or DIY a garden path with stone pavers surrounded by mulch or wood chips.

Install Water Features

Aside from plants and grasses, consider exploring low-maintenance outdoor water feature ideas for your yard. Add a bird bath or garden fountain to give your landscape a serene look and attract wildlife. Collect stone and gravel into a natural filtration system and build a DIY waterfall. If you have a larger space that you’d like to fill in, a natural pond is another great low-maintenance backyard idea!

Add Garden Art & Sculptures as Final Touches

One of the simplest landscape ideas is installing no-maintenance outdoor garden decor and sculptures. Create an eye-catching focal point with various tones, forms, and textures as you landscape your yard. Garden art can be functional, like a decorative bird bath or bench—or purely decorative, as with figurines of animals or fairies that give a more whimsical feel. Repurposing old structures, like transforming an antique wagon into a garden bed, is a budget-friendly way to give your landscaping unique character. Or add a wooden trellis or arch to your yard, and watch as creeping vines or flowers crawl and beautify the structure.


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