Easy (mostly) to Manage Landscape Ideas
Spring has sprung, which means it’s time to join the outside world and tackle that half-dead, leaf buried front yard you call a landscape.
Landscaping is the first impression someone gets of your home when they pull into the driveway. It’s the difference between someone saying “Are you sure someone lives here?” and “Wow, I need to get a hold of his lawn guy.”
To be perfectly honest, I’ve never put much effort into my own landscape. There were some bushes in the front of our house when we moved in so I basically considered it a success just keeping the branches from scratching my windows.
This year I want to spruce things up and make my landscape one to be proud of, so here are some of the things I have my eye on.
When planning my landscape, I want to think about both beauty and maintenance, this means I want plants that aren’t going to whither if I forget to water them for a couple of days (I’m looking at you hydrangeas!)
Ornamental grasses are known for being “drought resistant” while also bringing texture and height to the landscape.
There are a ton of options, from rich purple fountainhead grass to fuzzy feather reedgrass all the way to a crazy white striped zebra grass.
Grasses are a really underrated addition to the home landscape, but they make fantastic fillers for areas that are both difficult to water and keep anything alive in.
Here is a great resource on choosing ornamental grasses for your landscape.
“I must have flowers, always and always.” –Claude Monet
I’m with Monet. There’s nothing more beautiful than the wide variety of shapes and colors brought to a landscape by flowers.
The problem, of course, is most flowers are needy. They like a certain amount of water at a certain time of day with a certain amount of sunlight.
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
There are a few flowering plants, however, which aren’t such divas. The best place to find them?
If there’s a flower in a parking lot, you can pretty much bet it thrives on little water and lots of neglect.
Some of my personal favorites are:
Plumbago, a sun loving all around landscape trooper, will put up with just about anything—except shade. It might get a little wild and try taking over your other plants, but a trim once a year will take care of that.
Rosemary, both an herb and perennial flowering bush, is a useful plant to have in the landscape. It attracts bees, provides a divine smell, and is a great flavor addition to chicken or potatoes.
Mexican Oregano, another herb, has nearly every favorable quality one needs in their landscape—it’s low maintenance, edible, flowering, and evergreen. This guy won’t turn into a stick skeleton for six months out of the year like some plants do.
And salvia, this plant can be kept small or encouraged to grow tall and wide. It can be found in all sorts of colors, but my favorite is the bright ruby red, a cheery addition to any landscape.
Rocks—Large and Small
Nothing is quite so low maintenance or drought resistant as a rock.
Landscape rocks are incredibly versatile, use them to line flower beds, keep weeds down, or my favorite: place two huge rocks together and plant ornamental grasses in and around them. It is an easy, instant focal point.
If you’re shocked by the cost of purchasing landscape rocks, keep your eye out on the craigslist “free” area, oftentimes, people will give away unwanted rocks with the stipulation you pick them up of course.
A great place to start when designing your landscape is with a pathway. Whether you need one to get you to the front door mud free or want the whimsy of a meandering path to your mailbox, pathways give you an easy starting place to start incorporating grasses and flowers.
Use bricks, flat stones, or a mix of gravel and rock—whatever fits your style and budget!
(Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Images)
I adore the fun, colorful pop of window boxes! These are admittedly a little higher maintenance than just sticking some grass by a rock, but the return on effort invested is totally worth it.
You can keep your window box simple with just some colorful, shade loving annuals (such as columbine or impatiens). Or, mix it up, and add some vivid green sweet potato vines and red Russian kale to account for all visual heights.
Window boxes do require regular watering, so invest in these carefully.
Fruit trees get a bad rap. Any short search on the internet will bring up all kinds of do’s and don’ts about how to care for them, when to plant them, just the right fertilization mixture.
Ignore them. You aren’t running a fruit farm, here.
Go get yourself an orange tree, apricot tree, peach—something—and find a relatively sunny spot in your yard. Plant it in the spring when it will get lots of water and see what happens.
Worst case, it dies. Best case, you have fresh oranges for the next thirty years.
Fruit trees are beautiful, useful, and really aren’t as much work as everybody says.
Are you inspired yet? Check out this website for more drought resistant, low maintenance landscape ideas!