Best Low-Maintenance Alternatives for Landscapes

Just because everyone is not a gardening enthusiast does not mean everyone shouldn't have a terrific landscape. Many people simply can afford precious little time to mowing, digging, weeding, planting, etc., and all the chores associated with a great garden and landscape. The following suggestions are prime examples of low-maintenance ideas for landscapes without full-time gardeners!

Pave all your cares away; that is, all your gardening woes and blues. There's nothing like a layer of concrete to finish off those patches of crab grass once and for all. Concrete garden not your look? Well, concrete across your property is probably not the whole way to go. However, you can extend drives, patios and porches to encompass very large tracts of land that will no longer need landscaping. Consider stone, brick or even concrete - it can mimic the likes of granite these days making for a great and inexpensive paver.

Nevertheless, many non-gardeners still prefer an attractive green landscape. A low maintenance alternative to the headache of an attractive lawn is using a low-maintenance ornamental grass. Not only are these grasses enchanting, there are several that don't need to be mowed! Lawns are so typical anyway; an ornamental grass provides originality that is as attractive as any groundcover. Consider these low-maintenance grasses: hair sedge, Japanese sedge, palm sedge, love grass, blue fescue and velvet grass.

Adding garden structures is a great way to take up space and still provide visual appeal for the landscape. A garden shed makes a great outpost for the landscape that doubles as a storage center. Gazebos are not only attractive, but functional structures that make the ideal location for afternoon lunches or simply to relax. Once installed, garden features typically require only routine maintenance that may be performed annually.

A rock garden is a wonderful easy-to-maintain landscape. Choose large rocks and rock-loving plants. If alpine plants do not suit your climate, there are plenty of other choices for such a rock garden. Obviously mowing won't be an issue, yet you will still provide a rustic and lovely setting.

Another low-maintenance landscape could be accomplished with the cultivation of a prairie landscape, incorporating both native and easy-to-care for plants. Prairie gardens are not maintenance-free, but they do involve far less work than traditionally manicured gardens and yet still provide great character and beauty for the landscape.

Another time saving solution for landscapes can be had by installing sprinklers or drip alternatives to the setting. These can be linked to timers to deliver water to your entire garden and landscape without you ever having to drag out the hose. These units will cost some expense upfront, but depending on the size of your landscape, they may be an affordable option that provides uniform water delivery to the areas of your garden that need it most.

Careful plant selection will result in a low-maintenance landscape if you choose plants that are hardy and easy-to-care for. When choosing trees, be sure your selection is not only hardy, but clean. Willows are notoriously messy and even exquisite ornamental trees like magnolias need to be cleaned up after.

Climbing plants and vines are generally great growers that do not require too much fuss (cutting back from time to time) and provide visual appeal to any garden. As long as they have adequate support, they will usually be fine even if the soil tends to be on the poor side. Arches and arbors are attractive focal points for the landscape that lift the garden up off the ground.

Mulching is a great gardening technique that is not only beneficial for soil and plants (it helps retain moisture), but it significantly tamps down on weed growth. Consequently, less time must be set aside for weeding and soil and plants wind up healthier than ever. Mulch comes in a wide selection from degradable tree bark to more permanent white stone. Choose whatever works best for your landscape style.

Certainly hiring gardeners and landscapers is a low-maintenance alternative, but rather a costly one for the average residence. By employing some of these landscape alternatives, you may be able to perform low-maintenance gardening in a landscape that is just as beautiful as any other.