Having an outdoor space in a natural setting is vital for your mental and physical well-being, and having one right at your doorstep adds incredible convenience. However, the demands of a hectic lifestyle mean that you will likely seldom have sufficient time to tend to relentless weeds or to provide the proper care that your plants will need. That’s why we’ve outlined a plan for creating a truly low-maintenance and enjoyable garden in a few simple steps.

5 Easy Steps to Having a Low-Maintenance Garden

  1. Choose Resilient Native Plants
  2. Install an Automated Water Irrigation System
  3. Create Small Rock Gardens
  4. Complement Your Garden with Artificial Grass
  5. Invest in a Container Garden

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1. Choose Resilient Native Plants

The first step is to invest in native plants that grow in your region, as these have evolved over centuries to survive in your particular climate. They are already equipped to gather the proper nutrients from the soil, thrive in the soil at the right pH level, and are supplied with the right amount of water for their survival.

Native plants are much more resistant to the area’s droughts, freezing, and common diseases. They’ve adapted to the local climate and will not require much of your energy or effort to survive in your garden.

In western, desert climates, such as Southern California, Arizona and Nevada, native plants play an especially vital role of being drought tolerant. It is important, however, to make your immediate outdoor area as hospitable to your chosen native plants, as possible.

Low-Maintenance Garden with Native Succulent Plants over a Wooden Pallet

Further benefits of native plants include:

Close Up View of Native Plants for Low Maintenance Garden

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Native Desert Landscaping for Low-Maintenance Garden


2. Install an Automated Water Irrigation System

Even when planting native species, there will be times when you need to supply your beloved plants with some additional water. Watering plants by hand is not only time-consuming, but it also uses more water, and in these water-scarce times, conservation is key.

Installing an automated water irrigation system means you can easily do the hard work of watering without wasting any water. The installation of an irrigation system is also relatively simple, often involving just a bit of drilling holes into a hose and connecting to the tap.

Landscaper Installing a Water Irrigation System in a Garden

There are two main types of water irrigation systems:

  • Subsurface irrigation is when the system is buried underground, and the water is applied directly to the plant roots.
  • Localized irrigation is usually above ground, where water is pushed through pipes to reach the plants.

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3. Create Small Rock Gardens

To mitigate the need for investing in a large volume of plants, you should also consider making small yet attractive rock gardens. These require little to no maintenance and are attractive features to enjoy.

Rock Garden with Plant in Container on top of a Stone Slab

One of the more common options is bluestone for rock gardens – an all-natural, dense and durable stone slab available in various colors that has a beautiful texture, remaining cool to the touch.

Bluestone Walkway in a Low Maintenance Garden

However, crushed stone is also a great option available at a fraction of the price. There are many styles of rock gardens, ranging from delicate pebble formations to Japanese-style dry parks. It’s really up to you what design and size of rock garden you’d like to add!

Small Rock Garden with Succulent Plants


4. Complement Your Garden with Artificial Grass

If you’re going to plant natural grass in your garden, ensure that it’s native grass that will survive the local environmental conditions. However, artificial grass is also a popular, low-maintenance option for ground coverage in your garden.

Though artificial grass is clearly not natural, its highly improved natural-looking aesthetics and hosts of environmentally-friendly benefits certainly warrant its inclusion into any low-maintenance garden.

Close Up View of Artificial Grass in a Low-Maintenance Garden

It’s important that the right type of artificial grass is chosen and installed properly, which is why you need to consider securing the services of a reputable and licensed landscape contractor. They will not only ensure that the installation is done right, but assess your garden and match the artificial grass type to your particular taste and needs.

In addition to the low maintenance nature, some of the other benefits of laying down an artificial turf, instead of going with the natural option, include:

  • It’s cost-effective: while there might be an initial capital cost for the outlay, you don’t have to invest in gardening equipment or consistent watering, which saves on cash.
  • It’s pet-friendly: modern grass systems have dual flow backing systems to drain the water (and urine), so there are no muddy paws in the house. It also comes with antimicrobial additives to eliminate germs and smells related to pet waste.
  • It looks good year-round, even during drought conditions.
  • It’s safe for children and creates less mess.

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5. Invest in a Container Garden

Another alternative is to grow your plants in pots rather than in the ground. This is a low-maintenance, space-efficient alternative that can be incredibly attractive when done correctly.

You can get really creative by reusing old containers around your garden for plants, making this an environmentally- and budget-friendly option. Containers are also conveniently flexible, as they’re easy to move around, so that you can rearrange your garden on a whim!

Succulent Plants in Metal Cans

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Closing Thoughts

If you’re unsure how to get started, how to “do things right”, or how to select the right plants for your local environment, we highly recommend contacting a reputable and experienced local landscape contractor. Not only can an expert eye and keen insight go a long way into making a garden even more low-maintenance, leveraging the right native plants in the right conditions will put the power of Nature behind your efforts of fostering a thriving, natural garden!

Close Up View of a Native Succulent Plant

For more ideas on how to make your garden & outdoor areas more enjoyable, also see:

This article was written with Andrew Herbert, a guest contributor. Andrew is an experienced content writer with a passion for architecture, landscape design, and home improvement projects. He is currently living in Las Vegas, and assisting Visualized Landscape as a content marketer.


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