We often hear from homeowners who want low maintenance landscaping, but we’ve found that the meaning of “low maintenance” can vary from one person to the next. Before we create a low -maintenance-landscaping plan for you, it’s best to examine what exactly you hope for and expect. This way we can design a yard that is perfect for your individual needs.
When it comes to landscaping, “maintenance” generally refers to tasks you perform on a regular basis, such as:
- Cutting grass
- Pulling weeds
- Removing dead flowers
- Raking leaves
Mowing the lawn is usually a big concern with maintenance. Obviously, a grass-free landscape will free you of this chore, but there may be other types of maintenance needed. Weeds can still grow and need to be pulled, for example. There may be a trade-off in labor, so be sure to choose the type of labor you’re most comfortable performing.
Artificial turf and stone hardscaping both reduce the amount of labor you’ll have to expend on your lawn. You won’t be mowing grass or worrying about irrigation repair. Yet, too much of these may look boring, and many HOAs won’t allow artificial turf or a high percentage of stone in the yard.
If you truly want a low maintenance yard, one big factor to consider is the climate. When you choose plants that are appropriate to your climate, it will take much less work to maintain them. For example, tropical plants are very popular, but they freeze in cold weather. You’ll end up spending some time pruning dead limbs or replacing plants that didn’t make it through the winter. The same goes for arid/desert landscaping if plant selection is not done very carefully.
If you want trees, you have to consider how much time you feel like dedicating to raking leaves. Some trees lose all of their leaves at once, so you’ll have a big cleanup job to do at one time of the year. On the other hand, trees that keep their leaves are always losing a few year-round, so you’ll have a few leaves to rake at any given time. When you think of it that way, it may be better to hire someone to rake all of your leaves in the autumn and be done with it.
Obviously, if you hire a gardener, you won’t have to worry about performing much maintenance on your yard. But when you want or need to do some of the work yourself, it’s best to consider the type of maintenance you’re comfortable performing. This will ensure you get exactly the type of yard you want.