Low-Maintenance Landscaping Ideas for Homeowners

You want your new home to have a beautiful backyard that all your friends and family can enjoy! However, landscaping maintenance can be tiring to keep up with. You can still have a nice view that requires low maintenance by being strategic about what features you add to your yard.

10 Tips for a Low-Maintenance Landscaping Design

With your busy schedule, yard work shouldn’t feel like a chore. Here are some simple landscaping ideas to get you started.

1. Decorate With Rocks

Rocks can provide your landscape with a unique look and require less maintenance than grass. They also help reduce the number of mud puddles in your yard. That’s because when it rains, the water runs off the surface of the rocks.

You can use rocks to create walkways or as accent pieces. They reduce the amount of plant coverage you need while still maintaining a classic, natural appearance.

2. Think About the Weather

In rainy areas like the Pacific Northwest, it’s important to design your outdoor scenery with the climate in mind. Don’t create more work for yourself by inadvertently making design choices that are tough to maintain with cloud cover and precipitation.

Having a rain garden is one great solution for homeowners. Rain gardens reduce the amount of run-off water collected from storms. The water is either absorbed by the plants or runs off them. This limits the amount of water going into your sewer system. Rain gardens also require less upkeep because they involve no mowing and little weeding.

Another trick for a rainy climate area is to create a mini forest. Consider planting trees to soak up any excess rainwater and to retain the topsoil.

3. Add Tall Grass

Tall grasses, such as switchgrass and bluestem, need less maintenance. Instead of mowing them regularly, you just need to trim the grass in the fall. They also take in water to keep your ground dry during the rainy season.

To use tall grass in your landscaping design, consider grouping them along a fence line and into geometric patterns for a clean look.

4. Consider Using Fake Grass

Fake grass might seem gauche to experienced landscapers, but it’s excellent for people with busier schedules who have less time to devote to landscape preservation. After all, it doesn’t need to be cut, watered, or fertilized.

High-quality fake grass can look like the real thing. It can be pricey, so homeowners should weigh the time and resources of plant care against this upfront expense before making a decision.

5. Use Objects for Accent Pieces

Your landscaping doesn’t have to be plantlife alone. You can also embrace outdoor living to make the most of your exterior space without devoting that time to gardening and weeding.

Consider adding objects, such as colored chairs or benches, to add that pop of color to your yard. These provide a great seating area for those warmer days, and unlike plants, they don’t need any maintenance.

6. Use Mulch in Garden Beds

Weeds are a pain to pick out, especially when the weather gets chillier. Mulch used in gardening helps to get rid of weeds. The PH level of mulch, especially composting mulch, is too high for weeds to grow in — a great solution for the low-maintenance landscaper.

Of course, it also has beneficial properties outside of being low-maintenance. Mulch conserves moisture by keeping the soil cool. This way, your plants stay nourished and healthy without as much babysitting.

7. Plant Perennials

Perennials are great low-maintenance flowers to decorate your landscape with. They regrow each year, so you don’t have to replant. They also have established root systems that require little watering. Here are a few different types to consider adding to your garden:

  • Shasta daisies: This flower is white with a yellow center, providing a classy look.
  • Dahlia: These flowers come in a variety of colors and sizes.
  • Sword fern: Their arching shape adds a unique texture to your garden, and the deep green color stands out.
  • Solomon’s seal: This plant forms large colonies, making it perfect to create shaded areas for your backyard.
  • Primrose: Primroses open up at different times of the day, adding a new colored accent to your garden each hour.

8. Add a Deck or Patio

Decks are a great way to enjoy your backyard and socialize with friends. They are easier to maintain than grass, since there is no mowing or watering required. Consider installing a platform deck that has fewer parts to keep up with. It will make a great centerpiece for your landscape with less hassle.

9. Invest in an In-Ground Sprinkling System

This water system reduces the amount of time spent watering your plants and conserves water. It automatically hydrates your plants on a set schedule. Your plants then receive the right amount of water at the right time.

10. Use Ornaments as a Focal Point

Decorations are a good way to make your landscape stand out without having to exert too much effort. Lawn ornaments such as driftwood, animal sculptures, and more can add a sense of style to your yard and don’t need to be cared for.

Additional Low-Maintenance Plants to Consider

If you want to fill your lawn with plants and shrubs, here are some low-maintenance plants to include:

  • Canthus spinosus (also known as bear’s breeches)
  • Ajuga
  • Alchemilla mollis (also known as lady’s mantle)
  • Anemone japonica (also known as Japanese anemone)
  • Aster
  • Astilbe
  • Dicentra (also known as bleeding heart)

Landscaping Without All the Hassle

Creating the perfect outdoor landscape can seem like a lot of work. However, there are ways to make it simpler. With these tips in mind, designing your landscape can be fun instead of stressful.



Evelyn Long is the editor-in-chief of Renovated. She covers home and garden advice for a variety of web publications, including National Association of REALTORS®.