Whether you opt for a patio or lay garden paths, you’ll have a durable surface that never needs weeding or watering, although you might want to sweep it occasionally.
2. One and Done
Perennials are the gift that keeps on giving, season after season, unlike annuals, which you have to plant every year.
Native plants require less fertilizer, water, pesticides, and overall care than plants brought in by settlers.
Though pricey ($7 to $18 per square foot), your faux lawn will be absolutely fuss-free.
5. It’s Easy Being Evergreen
Put dwarf varieties into flower beds, set shrubs near your house to disguise the foundation, choose tall, columnar types for privacy—there are even creeping varieties for ground cover.
For interesting edges without the effort, try clumping monkey grass (Liriope muscari) along flower beds, borders, and walkways.
Planting one or two nice trees and some powerhouse perennials gives you more time to sack out in the hammock.
8. Set in Succulents
If watering falls low on your to-do list, succulents (like echeveria, agave, and sedum) are your garden go-tos.
These set-’em-and-forget-’em flowers are heat resistant, pretty much prune-free, and “self-cleaning”—you don’t even have to deadhead them.
While you’re at it, a soil test will diagnose your dirt and tell you what nutrients it might need to keep your plants low maintenance.
11. Crunch, Crunch!
Gravel can be either man-made, which is ideal for high-traffic areas, or natural (smoother but less stable—so use where traffic is light).
Give your mowing muscles a rest—and lighten your water and fertilizer load—by swapping traditional turf for a no-effort ground cover.
If you have an irrigation system, set up the timer based on what’s appropriate for the season. And if you don’t have underground sprinklers, you can still automate the process by purchasing a timer that attaches to your hose bib.
14. Trouble-Free Trees
Opt for evergreens and standard shade trees that don’t drop a lot of extras or reseed themselves all over the lawn.
Run over leaves with the lawn mower to make a mulch that will act like a superfood for your lawn.
Just be sure to choose fabric barriers that are permeable enough to let water run through, especially near any tree.
17. Maintenance-Free Mulch
Replace organic material mulch like wood chips or pine straw with pea gravel or river rocks.
Speed up your watering even more by investing in a quick connect system. This little tool makes it easier to thread hoses to soaker hoses and sprayers or switch out watering tools.
Productive seeders worth consideration include colorful cosmos, California poppies, giant larkspur, nigella, and portulaca. On the herb side, try dill (a host for swallowtail butterflies) or parsley.
20. Plant and Repeat
Once you get the hang of caring for a native or otherwise low-maintenance plant, add another one.
Catching rain in a well-designed barrel is an eco-friendly way to garden, saving nature’s moisture for dry times.
Attract barn owls, which feast on flying insects and rodents, as well as other helpful pest-eaters like woodpeckers, bluebirds, and cardinals, by providing water in the form of a bird bath and appropriate shelter, such as nesting boxes or even dense shrubbery.
You can invest in an outdoor self-watering container for herbs or ornamental plants, or purchase a few simple tools.