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By Terri Mitchell

Easy outdoor landscaping ideas for any green space and any green thumb

Enjoy your home’s exterior spaces with some simple landscaping ideas that are easy to care for and maintain. If you have a busy schedule, hectic life, or lack a green thumb, don’t stress about sustaining involved or high-maintenance landscapes. Instead, opt for something simple that will enhance the looks of your home’s curb appeal, but that won’t make you break a sweat every weekend.

Here are some tips to create low-maintenance landscaping:

Keep it simple. The key to enjoying your yard and garden without a lot of work is to keep things simple. For instance, if you are planting veggies, opt for one or two different varieties. Keep green spaces simple and as linear as possible to make them easier to mow. For a super-simple approach, cut down on the amount of yard work that you have by adding a backyard building or structure to your property. This will not only decrease the green space that you are caring for, but also can increase storage and overall convenience in your home.

Create low-maintenance landscapes. Another way to curb the sweat-equity that you have to put into your yard is through hardscaping. Hardscaping involves landscaping ideas that don’t require maintenance, like stone gardens, water features, and non-living entities. Consider creating a display of birdhouses in lieu of another flower bed. Create a dramatic element on your property with a unique rock wall or stone patio.

Native naturals for simple sustainability. Ask garden retailers about the best native plants for your specific grow zone, which ensures that your gardens are hardy and will thrive. If you choose wisely, the plants may do fine on their own, creating their own ecosystem from the water and sun in the natural environment. Some great native species could include local grasses, wildflowers, and young trees.

Find a focal point. A great landscape typically has a dominant focal point. Choose a focal point that won’t require constant care, such as water fountains or other water features. Consider a solar-powered fountain that will sit on a bed covered with aggregate, like colored stones or river rocks. Check out the prefabricated pond liners at local home improvement stores, and think about adding a small pond to your property. These require little care and are a joy to have near!

Seek out help. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals, retailers and landscapers for some help. Consider hiring a landscaper for routine maintenance, such as mowing, weeding or planting, so that you can enjoy your yard without spending every free moment maintaining your green space.

For super-small spaces, try these easy and creative landscaping options:

Fairy gardens are adorable, miniature displays that can be planted anywhere, from a conventional flower bed to the top of a rotted tree stump! Use low, slow-growing cover plants like thyme or sweet woodruff that add vegetation to your foundation but that fit with the size-gauge of your garden. Add some ceramic figurines, birdhouses, or other trinkets to complete your fairy-themed garden.

– Use container gardening to plant a veggie garden in a clothes basket lined with a burlap bag. Look for inexpensive, tall baskets that are similar to a trash can in size, but that have some sort of holes or drainage at the bottom.

– Create a vertical garden on a patio or in a small yard. This consists of a wire wall that will facilitate the growth of your climbing plants, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, or even some herbs. Recycled wood pallets work well as a frame for a vertical garden, and you can use the slats to hold your seedlings.

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