Americans are busier than ever. Children’s activities take up much of the weekend. Demanding jobs, plus long commutes, make weekday landscaping difficult. So, let’s face it, there’s never enough time for a high maintenance yard. And now is a great time to be planning your spring projects once the snow clears. If you’re looking for low maintenance landscaping ideas for your front yard to free up your time for more fun, read on.
1. Artificial grass
Artificial grass is on the rise in the U.S. According to IBISWorld, technological improvements in manufacturing and water reduction trends have increased the residential artificial grass market. Artificial grass is created the same way a carpet is made. It has a solid layer with synthetic grass blades. The blades are stitched on and look like real blades of grass. Over the last five years, the technology has improved and the artificial grass looks real. If you choose this option, you’ll join homeowners around the country who are saving time on mowing and weeding, and eventually money on fertilizing.
2. Interconnected paths lined with hardy shrubs and plants
With growing interest in sustainability and time-saving solutions, many people are moving away from large open lawns, even in their front yards. One idea is to dig out your entire front yard. If you choose this option, you’ll want a contractor to help. Professionals can dig up your lawn quickly and correctly. You’ll also want a landscape architect to ensure the design works for your yard.
For example, professional landscape architects will help you strategically place large, hardy shrubs and plants around interconnected paths made of pavers (large stones), decorative stone, or brick. You can even sprinkle a little grass in between the stones or brick to provide dimension and appeal. This idea provides a pleasing no-fuss design idea. With a limited amount of grass to mow, you’ll have plenty of time to keep the hardy plants looking their best.
3. Gravel and succulents
Another idea to save time, water usage, and the amount of chemicals used to keep your grass green is replacing your front yard with gravel and succulent plants. Succulents are a group of plants that store water in their leaves. Common succulents include: jade, burro’s tail, string of pearls, sedum, agave, and aloe. These plants are known for their unique forms and textures, which provide visual interest to your landscape. That’s why succulents in your front yard planted around gravel is a pleasing no-lawn option, which is gaining popularity.
4. No-mow native grass
If you pick a type of grass native to your area, it can live on rainfall alone. Tufted hair grass is a good option for the Northeast. The best part is that it only has to be mowed once or twice a year to keep it looking good. Tall native grass coupled with perennial wildflowers provide a unique and attractive front yard design option. This option works best for large rural homes, but can be scaled down to work well in smaller plots.
5. Large patio surrounded by colorful gardens
Unlike the second option, where hardscaping is used to create interconnected paths lined with plants, this option takes a large portion of your front yard and creates a horizontal patio, almost like a farmer’s porch. You can add rocking chairs, lounge chairs, decorations, and potted pants. In front of the patio (almost to the street), you’ll add a garden filled with annuals, perennials, shrubs, and small trees. While this option does require some weeding and planting, it’s still a no-mow yard with just a little bit of fuss.
6. Mulch beds
When you create a landscape area, pick hardy plants that need little to no maintenance and then add mulch. Mulch breaks down, fertilizes your plants and prevents weeds. Mulch enables you to eliminate weeds and reduces the need to water the area. The only thing you would need to plan for is to replace it in the spring.
While all of these low maintenance landscaping ideas can reduce time and effort, make sure to weigh the pros and cons to see what will work best for your yard. And don’t forget, always get the advice of an expert to help you along the way.