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Low-maintenance landscaping options for your yard

Maintaining your landscaping can be exhausting, and no one wants to spend spring and summer toiling away in the yard. Here are some changes you can make to cut down on maintenance.

Summer afternoons are meant for relaxation, not endless garden upkeep. Imagine sipping lemonade in a serene garden oasis without the constant worry of maintenance tasks.

In this article, we explore low-maintenance landscaping ideas that not only save time and effort but also enhance the beauty of your outdoor space.

From cost-effective options to environmentally friendly alternatives, these ideas promise effortless charm regardless of your climate and local landscape.


Eliminate the need for weeding by covering a large section of lawn in hardscaping. Hardscapes can be built from brick, stone, pavers, or gravel and crushed rock. Choose your hardscape materials based on your budget or your aesthetic—large rocks and pavers are at the more expensive end of the spectrum, with crushed rocks on the more budget-friendly side. 

Hardscapes are an excellent opportunity to add living space to your outdoor areas. Create a fire pit and seating area in the far sections of your yard, or add a patio adjacent to your home. They’re great spaces for hosting, crafting, and just relaxing.

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Mulch, mulch, mulch!

Mulch helps prevent weeds and retains moisture around your landscaped plants. Mulch also adds nutrients to the soil as it decomposes, so go organic if possible to get the most out of this natural weed mat. Plan to add new mulch every spring to give your garden the best care.

Stones and pebbles

Use stones or pebbles in garden beds as a more permanent solution than mulch, or use them as paths through mulched beds. Artfully laid stones, think “rivers” of pebbles, can also add interest to a garden area without requiring planting or pruning. Use a combination of larger rocks and smaller pebbles to create a rock garden.


Low maintenance plants

Perennials are the low-maintenance gardener’s dream. They come back every year, and all you have to do is water and prune! When planting these perennials, don’t be afraid of open space between them; just know that the tighter they’re packed, the fewer weeds they’ll allow in. 

Here are a few great perennial options to consider for your landscaping: 

  • Lavender: The soft purple buds on the lavender plant are not only beautiful but also fragrant. You can collect and dry the sprigs to add scent to your interior space or just enjoy their natural bug-repelling properties in the yard.
  • Black-eyed Susans: These sunny yellow wildflowers grow well just about everywhere, but especially in full sun, making them incredibly popular—and useful. Plant clumps of them for a pop of color. They’ll bloom through the summer if you deadhead them, but you can leave them to go to seed and let the birds munch on them through the fall.
  • Local, native grasses: There’s nothing hardier than your particular locale’s native grasses. These are specifically evolved to thrive in your climate and will use the least additional water. They also won’t require any mowing or pruning! Try a tool like this Native Plants Finder to identify what’s local to you.
  • Other native plants: Use the Native Plants Finder to also help you find flowers, shrubs, and trees that are perfect for your area. It will lead you toward drought-resistant plants like the aster, poppy, sage, or succulents for hot, dry climates. In humid climates, you might go for plants like impatiens, angelonia, or cosmos.
  • Ground cover plants: Ground cover plants like clover and moss can be attractive lawn replacements, don’t require as much water, and you won’t have to mow! In garden areas, use “creeping” plants with pretty blossoms like phlox or vinca to fill large areas and crowd out weeds.


Potted plants

Use pots of plants to add interest and flexibility to your landscaping, giving you the colour and flowers without the weeds or commitment. Potted plants can live on the deck for a party and out in the garden for everyday enjoyment. You can even move some potted plants inside as the weather cools to allow you to celebrate summer a little bit longer.

Artificial grass

If you really love the look of green turf but don’t want the hassle of watering, mowing, or weeding, artificial lawns may be your answer. Keep in mind that the upfront cost is substantially higher than sod, but it will save you both time and money down the road.

Make your home garden more enjoyable and easier to maintain with some of these low-maintenance landscaping ideas. You’ll spend more time relaxing in your outdoor space and have more time to spend with family and friends.