If you’re anything like us, you know that it’s not just the inside that counts—particularly when it comes to your house. Accenting the exterior of your home with natural elements, from flora and fauna to privacy trees, stonework, and water features, makes for a far more inviting space for your future guests (and not to mention a restful retreat for you!).
Here, we’ve compiled our favorite landscaping ideas in the hopes that they’ll inspire your next outdoor renovation. Let these backyard ideas motivate you to create your own beautiful garden or front lawn oasis without breaking the bank. From a perfectly-positioned rose arch that’ll give your home major English garden vibes, to a modern brick staircase dotted with flowers and a fabulous dug-out fire pit (s’mores, anyone?), there’s something here for just about every homeowner—no matter his or her design sensibility.
Of course, the best part of the ideas we’ve compiled here is that you can implement many of them without spending a fortune. We’ve got budget porch and patio decorating ideas, simple DIY tutorials, and easy hacks for thoroughly overhauling small backyards—and very few of them actually require a professional designer. Time to start dreaming and saving big!
But owning a home can require a lot of upkeep. From unexpected repairs to routine cleaning, there’s a lot that needs to be done. Part of caring for your home is maintaining your landscape and curb appeal. If you struggle to find the time, or simply dislike doing yard work, here are some low-maintenance landscaping ideas for your yard.
Fill Flower Beds with Rubber Mulch
Mulch is a great way to give your landscaping a fresh look while keeping weeds away. Traditional mulch requires replacement every year. Switching to rubber mulch is a better, low-maintenance alternative if you dislike the task of mulching. In addition to lasting for years, rubber mulch is a great way to use recyclable products and is safe for your pets.
Keep in mind, rubber mulch doesn’t provide any nutritional value to the surrounding plants. Depending on the plants in your beds, you may need to speak with an expert before replacing your traditional mulch with rubber mulch. Rubber mulch may only be ideal for certain sections of your landscape.
Plant Some Evergreens
Evergreens help your home look beautiful during all seasons. While other plants and vegetation may lose their foliage after the summer months, evergreens maintain their leaves throughout the year.
Even though evergreens are more costly than some alternatives, they will help your home maintain curb appeal even in the gloomy months. The lack of attention these plants require will return your investment year after year.
Try Artificial Grass
Gena Lorainne, gardening and landscaping expert at Fantastic Services, an English outdoor- and home-services company based in the London area, says, “Artificial grass is easy to maintain, as no lawn mowing, watering, or fertilizing will be necessary, unlike with real grass. On top of that, you can still have that touch of greenery in your outdoor space for a really long period of time.”
If you hate mowing your lawn every few days, consider purchasing artificial grass. This alternative type of grass has come a long way since the early days of turf. In some cases, you may not be able to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s fake. Artificial grass requires very minimal care. All you need to do is hose it off from time to time.
In addition to purchasing artificial grass, you can also try artificial plants. If you have an outdoor space that’s covered from the elements, buying artificial plants can give the space an extra pop of color.
For example, you could add some faux potted plants to your front door step. No one will ever know the difference.
Consider Xeriscaping Your Yard
Charles Munford, owner of Chuck’s Landscaping in Canoga Park, California, says, “Succulents like Aloe Vera, hearty ornamental sages, and Artemisia that can be combined with rocks and mulch can cover a lot of ground without adding a lot of upkeep. While most xeriscape plants are already low-maintenance, you can also add a drip system to make it even easier to care for your yard.”
Xeriscaping your yard is a great low-maintenance way to add character to your landscape. Essentially, Xeriscaping is a process that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water or the water used in an irrigation system.
This type of landscaping is traditionally used in areas that have a limited water supply or are very dry. However, with a little creativity and the right plant selection, you should be able to apply this design concept to any yard.
Add River Rock
River rock is another alternative to organic mulch. It adds a clean and sleek look to any landscaping.
Zach Hendrix, co-founder of GreenPal, a Michigan lawn care company based in Detroit, states, “Adding river rock is a one-time upfront investment and adds beauty to your lawn and landscape. The cool thing is that it never has to be re-dressed or redone next season.”
You should only use river rock in shaded areas because it tends to raise the soil temperature, which can harm your plants. While river rock can be a great low-maintenance addition to your garden, you should stick to traditional mulch if you live in a warm climate.
Install Hard Landscaping
If you don’t have an outdoor space to entertain, you may want to consider using a large portion of your yard for hardscaping. You can use asphalt, stone, or pavement to create a backyard oasis of your very own.