HomeHome & DesignHomes › 9 Outdoor Landscaping Ideas for the Busy Homeowner


While outdoor landscaping can be very relaxing and rewarding, it can also be very time consuming. Standard landscape features such as expansive grass yards, diverse flower beds covered in mulch, and others require continued maintenance and upkeep. However, there are several innovative landscaping ideas that do not require constant maintenance and still create a stylish and enjoyable outdoor environment.

The following outdoor landscaping ideas will not only improve a home’s overall outdoor appearance, but also can be maintained by even the busiest of homeowners.

1. Hardscaping Helps


A good landscaping rule to keep in mind is: the less lawn you have the less you have to maintain. Hardscaping, or the process of using pavers, decorative stone, or brick to create a patio, garden path, or other landscape feature, is the best way to decrease the amount of yard you need to maintain. These surfaces never need to be watered, seeded, or pruned. In fact, the only thing you may need to do to keep these surfaces looking pristine is sweep them occasionally.

Another great way to limit the amount of grass you have in your yard is to construct a low maintenance pergola.

2. Perennial Power


Perennials are the perfect low maintenance addition to any flower bed. Not only are perennials heartier than other flowers, but they also continue to bloom year after year. Within the perennial group there are several species that require less maintenance than others. The busiest homeowners will want to seek out durable species such as pasque flowers or penstemon that can even withstand a drought.

3. Ditch The Mulch


The standard flower bed cover has for years been mulch. However, river rocks or pea gravel offer busy homeowners several benefits mulch does not. These inorganic materials are easy to maintain and do not require replacement every year. In addition, hefty materials like river rocks will not wash away into a driveway drain during watering or a heavy rainstorm.

4. Plant Native Plants


Native plants are well adjusted to their natural environments. These adaptations make plants heartier when planted in familiar climates, and require homeowners to provide less maintenance and care. Native plants don’t need nearly as much fertilizer or pesticides, which makes them far easier to take care of then other non-native species.  

5. Fake It Till You Make It


If you looked at the fake grass market a few years ago you would have found one less than ideal option: astroturf. However, today's market is full of synthetic grasses that mimic the real thing in height, feel, and appearance. Plus, having a yard full of synthetic grass means you can give the lawnmower a rest. Synthetic grasses can be quite expensive, but it is one of the best ways for a homeowner to remove “landscaping maintenance” from their schedule.

6. Succulents


Succulents are a great way for busy homeowners to avoid a watering routine. Most succulent species also are quite welcoming of other species, which makes it easy to still plant a diverse and colorful flower bed.

7. Go Green


Planting evergreen species into your home’s flower beds or yard is a great way to spruce up your landscaping design and limit the amount of maintenance your yard requires. Since these species stay vibrant green all year round, there is no need for continued fertilizer and pesticides.  

8. Interesting Borders


Installing a low effort plant like monkey grass or mondo grass around a home’s flower beds or walkways is an easy way to improve any landscape design. These plants help add texture to your yard and can be trimmed if needed.

9. Self-Timed Irrigation


Installing a self-timed irrigation system may seem like a large undertaking at first. However, once it is installed it will save you time every day when you are able to skip your watering routine. Irrigation systems nowadays are also sleek, compact, and stylish. There are several models that even can hide among the borders of your gravel driveway.

Enjoy Your New Yard!

Enjoying your outdoor spaces does not need to involve continued maintenance and upkeep. Use these 9 ideas to increase your home’s outdoor appeal and not the amount of work on your schedule.

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.