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11 Best Low Maintenance Landscaping Ideas

Low-maintenance landscaping is often an afterthought when planning your home’s landscaping design. We usually think of curb appeal, which is important. Still, it’s best to come up with several low maintenance landscaping ideas for your home so you can enjoy your new home and not be a slave to maintaining it.

Red, yellow and orange cone flowers.
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Here are eleven mind-blowing curb appeal landscaping ideas you can easily do yourself. From adding vibrant colored potted plants and flower beds to illuminating your entrance with outdoor lighting, we’ve got you covered.

And that’s not all! We’ll also share tips on refreshing mulch, pruning shrubs, and planting trees to make your front yard a masterpiece.

So, grab your gardening gloves, and let’s transform your home into the envy of the neighborhood!

Low Maintenance Landscaping Ideas

1. Plant shrubs & trees

forsythia in bloom.
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Depending on the size of your yard, you could plant some trees and shrubs that will need little to no maintenance. If you can find some flowering shrubs, it’s even better since you’ll also have pretty flowers.

2. Incorporate a pathway in your yard

a stone pathway surrounded by flowers.
Image credit: Depositphotos

Incorporate a pathway into your landscaping design for an easy, low-maintenance direction to your front door and a welcoming entrance. Here are four ideas to help you create a beautiful pathway:

  • Create your pathway with gravel, pebbles, or stepping stones. These materials are affordable and easy to install, allowing you to customize the size and shape of your pathway.
  • Line your pathway with flowers to add color and visual appeal. Use the same type of flower for a uniform look, or create a more diverse and vibrant look by incorporating various colored flowers.
  • Install solar outdoor lighting along your pathway to enhance its visibility and safety at night.

3. Use drought-resistant ornamental grasses

ornamental grasses behind a wooden bench.
Image credit: Depositphotos

There are different alternatives to traditional grasses, including drought-resistant ornamental grasses and succulents. These cut down on mowing and watering expenses.

A line of eco-lawn seed mixture of clover and drought-tolerant seed grass is another alternative for expansive grassy areas.

4. Plant wildflowers and create perennial beds

Wildflowers along gravel driveway.
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Replace trees, shrubs, and plants that are heavy drinkers, invasive species, and pruning nightmares with low-maintenance foliage. Native plants like wildflowers and grasses can be as ornamental and hardy as their more expensive counterparts, and they are growing in popularity.

Native planting is crucial to the surrounding wildlife and other species of plants. Beds loaded with perennials cut down the need for planting every year.

As you select and plant your perennial choices and replace grassy areas with ground covers, research irrigation methods to create a primarily hands-off landscape.

5. Create a rock garden

thyme planted in a rock garden.
Image credit: Depositphotos

Alternatively to planting trees, grasses, shrubs, and perennials, you can create a gorgeous rock garden that takes work once and looks great for a long time. Rock gardens are probably the lowest maintenance alternatives to plants and can be very interesting and ornamental.

Cactus beds and succulent plants are also brilliant low-maintenance planting options for landscapes.

6. Use potted plants

colorful petunias and marigolds in a pot outdoors.
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

There’s nothing easier than making use of potted plants to beautify your landscape. Keeping a grass lawn that’s easy to maintain and decorating it with potted plants is brilliant! 

Opt for easy-to-grow flowers that thrive in pots and require minimal care, such as petunias, marigolds, or geraniums.

7. Install outdoor lighting

outdoor garden lighting.
Image credit: Depositphotos

Installing outdoor lighting can significantly enhance your home’s curb appeal, and once installed, it doesn’t take any time to maintain it. Here are some creative outdoor lighting ideas to consider:

  • Solar light fixtures are a simple and inexpensive option for landscape lighting. They charge in the sunlight, eliminating the need for wiring.
  • Place staked solar or electric fixtures along pathways or flower beds for a charming glow at night and to create a safe environment.
  • Use spotlights or uplights to highlight your yard’s architectural features, trees, or other focal points.
  • Create a magical ambiance by hanging string lights along fences, pergolas, or trees. This will provide a cozy and inviting atmosphere for outdoor gatherings or relaxing evenings.

8. Freshen up the yard with mulch

Freshly mulched hydrangea plant.
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Consider refreshing the mulch around shrubs and flower beds to maintain a neat appearance. Mulch helps discourage weeds, retains soil moisture, and quickly lifts your garden’s look.

Fall is the perfect time to replace old, faded mulch. This helps insulate plant roots from the cold winter temperatures and prevents soil erosion.

Mulch AlternativeBenefits
Wood ChipsNatural look, effective weed control, retains moisture
StrawCost-effective, biodegradable, adds nutrients to the soil
Rubber MulchLong-lasting, low-maintenance, doesn’t attract pests

9. Add borders around your plants

brick border around a flower bed.
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Create clear boundaries between your flower beds and the rest of your yard. Using stones for border edging adds a natural and rustic touch. Of course, you can use brick, wood, plastic, aluminum, or any other appealing materials.

10. Add short plants and ground cover

pink phlox flowers.
Image credit: Backyard Garden Lover

Ground cover spreads and covers the ground, reducing the need for frequent mowing and weeding. It helps to retain moisture in the soil, preventing erosion and promoting healthy plant growth. Creeping thyme or phlox, for example, are low-maintenance ground covers that add beauty to hard-to-grow areas.

Short plants, on the other hand, create a layered and manicured look in your garden. They provide a contrasting height to taller plants and shrubs, adding depth and texture to your landscaping.

11. Create the perfect outdoor space

relaxing backyard spot with a cozy chair and a red colored pillow.
Image credit: Depositphotos

Create a cozy outdoor space if you love spending time with your family on the back porch or entertaining friends. Add a few sofas, a small table and chairs, and even a lovely outdoor kitchen. This will extend your home and reduce the amount of landscaping work you need to do.

Now it’s time to relax on your back patio or in your beautifully landscaped backyard.

11 best low maintenance landscaping ideas.
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Adriana Copaceanu is a passionate nature lover living in the country on her dream property where she grows vegetables, lavender, and wildflowers that she shares with the wildlife they attract. When she's not in the garden, she loves spending time with her chickens and planning her next nature project. Check out her books below:

How to Grow Lavender for Fun and Profit: Lessons Learned from Planting Three Hundred Lavender Plants

How to Raise Chickens for Eggs: A Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens for Nutritious, Organic Eggs at Home

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