Low Maintenance Landscaping Ideas

Accent the landscape with drought-tolerant plants for fresh new designs that won't have you spending hours maintaining. Consider low-growing plants that spread quickly to help fill in the garden but without the headache of weeding and watering. Use material like mulch and crushed rock as borders and walkways inside the landscape but without the upkeep of a full time garden.

Pebble Patio

Create a pebble patio in your landscape to keep weeds at bay and for a low-maintenance backyard landscape. Instead of planting the high-maintenance sod, spread a layer of pebbles around the space to prevent weeds from shooting up. You won't have to fertilize the patio, cutting back on maintenance costs, and you can change out the design with different colored rocks every few years for a fresh new look. For color to your pebble patio, grow a few drought-resistant plants like a butterfly bush or a coneflower plant. Both with their hardy and prolific purple blooms, the splash of color contrast with the neutral tones of the patio for an inviting landscape. Add a succulent plant, which requires little to no attention for an added bit of texture and greenery to the landscape. Every so often, smooth down the pebbles with a rake to level out the surface for a fresh look to the space.

Ground Cover

Once you establish ground cover to your outdoor landscape, you don't have to do much thereafter. Low maintenance and vigorous spreaders, ground covers are ideal for keeping back weeds and don't require much pruning. A gorgeous woody deciduous ground cover is the creeping cotoneaster. This evergreen produces compact low-growing foliage and small white flowers. Especially lovely along a garden walkway or edging a perennial garden, cotoneaster requires little attention and will sprawl throughout the space, without demand. Another ground cover that requires little attention is gold sedum. With its rapid growth rate and lush green foliage, this tough plant can be used anywhere within the garden to add bursts of color. Use gold sedum in containers to drip down the sides for a cascading effect. Replace the ever-needy grass with the bright green sedum for a low-maintenance yet vibrant landscape design.


Add containers around the landscape for added pops of color and design but without the hassle of a large garden. With the ability to strictly control the environment within, containers are the ideal environment to grow plants and flowers. Plant lovely plants like the spruce or cedar, in large containers to flank the entry of a backyard patio. With their evergreen foliage, these hardy plants add height and texture to the landscape and eliminate time spent for upkeep. Another container-loving plant is the lantana. Drought-tolerant and colorful, lantana looks lovely in a hanging container hung from the front or back porch or as an accent plant placed among taller plants like a boxwood. Use the ever-vibrant and tough pansy flower inside containers to help fill in hard to reach spaces and add bursts of color within.

Keywords: low maintenance landscape, ground cover, pebble patio

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer and photographer in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Forbes and Automotive News magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.