An enticing, beautiful yard doesn’t have to be tons of work. In fact, you can find a variety of very simple, easy-to-do landscaping tricks that will help you plant, grow, and maintain a low-key garden and yard that look like you must spend loads of time working on them.
We’ve pulled together some of the best ideas we could find for just such a garden. These simple landscaping ideas range from using specific kinds of plants to finding unique ways of repurposing old objects into something completely stunning, in less than a day’s work.
Simple Landscaping Ideas Anyone Can Try
These simple ideas are beautiful, fun, and can be implemented by the whole family. Make a family day of doing the upgrade or get a little me time while out back.
Idea 1: Go for Duplicate Plants
When you’re planting your garden, one of the easiest ways to cut back on planting time and maintenance work throughout the growing season is going with big numbers for your plants, instead of choosing a whole bunch of plants.
For example, if you’re going to grow lupine, plant a large section of these flowers together. Then, add another one or two types of flowers with contrasting or complementary colors, also in large groups.
Planting this way makes it much easier to care for your garden because you’ve only got three or four types of plants to figure out proper care for, rather than multiple types that might need watering more often, different types of plant food, or different amounts of sunlight.
Also, try choosing these three or four plant types with similar care needs to make it even easier.
Idea 2: Make a Garden Arbor
It might seem like a potentially challenging landscape feature, but with the right plants and a pre-made wooden garden arbor, this feature can add some stunning colors and textures to your backyard with only a few hours of work.
Find vine plants that will quickly and easily grow and cover the arbor without much help from you. Some plants might include morning glories, ivy, or Empress Eugenie passion flowers.
If you want to invest a little more work or save some money, you can find some basic instructions online for building your own wooden arbor instead.
Idea 3: Grow Some Lavender
If you love being out in the garden near your plant beds, grow some lavender for a relaxing aroma and bright colors. They come back every year and only need to be watered once or twice a week if you don’t live somewhere that it rains regularly.
Lavender is also a great option to line your deck or pool area with, even if a bit unusual because it offers a natural bug repellent.
Idea 4: Go with Bold Contrasts
Creating contrasts is one of the easiest and most beautiful landscaping tricks you can employ. You’ll want to find plants with contrasting foliage and blooms, and landscaping pieces, like clay pots and barrels, that can be inserted and intermingled together.
Try pairing burgundy or purple with chartreuse, gold, and fuchsia, or deep blue with white for rich contrasts that will draw the eye every time you enter.
For contrasting landscape objects, think warm colors for contrast with bright, cool colors, or rich, dark colors with bright blooms or especially pale leaves like those on the Dusty Miller plant.
Idea 5: Repurpose an Old Bike
If you’ve got an old bicycle lying around, you’ve got a great landscaping feature ready for employment. You can easily use the handlebars, seat post, or built-in baskets as the home of some unusual and beautiful potted plants.
For the full effect, try finding other items to repurpose, like vintage milk cans, coffee cans, old metal watering cans, old ladders, wheelbarrows, or even bookcases. Any of these can function as the foundation for a unique, multi-textured, multi-layered landscaped space without a whole lot of work.
Idea 6: Skip the Lawnmower
For those of us who hate mowing the lawn, alternative groundcover is a great way to go. Consider plants like clovers, “no-mow” grass, edible groundcovers like sweet potatoes, parsley, or thyme. These plants won’t offer a smooth, golf-course visual, but they will cover the ground with beautiful shades of green and won’t require nearly as much work as most grasses.
If you have a high traffic walking area you want to cover, lean more towards the “no-mow” grasses and thyme, rather than sweet potatoes or parsley, and they’re a bit more durable.
Idea 7: Install Paving Stones
One of the easiest and most attract nearly instantaneous upgrades you can give your landscaping is a series of paving stones. You can find some gorgeous mosaic stones, simple slate pieces, flagstones of varying styles and designs, or concrete paving stones at a variety of stores, including Lowes, Home Depot, Wal-Mart’s Garden Center, and Menards.
If you’re a little creative, you can combine a variety of these types of paving stones, making sure to use complementary colors and styles and create uniquely curving paths.
Idea 8: Choose the Right Barbecue and Setup
One of the most important simple landscaping ideas is finding the right barbecue. If you enjoy cooking and eating outdoors at all, you’ll want to invest in the right appliances. They need to last, and withstand weather, have a way of being covered, and sturdy support.
The best recommendation for the right barbecue is going with a built-in model. At first, it won’t be the quickest thing you do, but once the barbecue is installed with stone and concrete, the barbecue will last for a long time, and won’t need much maintenance besides standard cleaning.
If you’ve got the know-how or a contractor able, install a granite countertop, some kind of awning to protect the cooking space if there isn’t already an overhang, and concrete shelves under the barbecue for convenient food storage and preparation.
Idea 9: Get Perennial
For super low-maintenance plants, you’ll want to pick perennials. They get planted once and come back every year for many years to come. Study your soil type and choose perennials that work well in that kind of soil.
Make sure you get perennials that need the kind of shade or direct light your garden offers and choose varieties that have interesting colors that you love and want to keep looking at year after year.
If you want to keep the majority of the garden low-maintenance but tend to get bored easily, choose a variety of perennials as your garden base and pair them with annuals that you can change out in small sections from year to year.
Idea 10: Go for the Rain Barrel
For an environmentally friendly, attractive, and easy-to-install landscaping feature, try using some rain barrels. They collect water you can use for watering your plants, while adding an interesting and attractive visual to any part of the garden.
You can place rain barrels under downspouts or find beautiful old wine barrels or wooden buckets that are watertight and place them around the garden. These smaller buckets may be easier to handle than large barrels, though, unless you install a spigot for easy pouring.
Idea 11: Grow Native Plants
One of the easiest simple landscaping ideas is using plants that are native to your region. They already grow well there, so they’ll make a much lower-maintenance option for the garden and yard. They’ll naturally be inclined the basic levels of sunshine your yard provides, along with the right amount of water, and temperatures, making your garden super easy to grow.
Idea 12: Use Potted Plants in Fun, Unique Pots
Potted plants are an extremely versatile, easy way to keep plants blooming around the garden nearly all year long. They also make the yard super low-maintenance.
Find some gorgeous pots, like ceramic, clay, or even metal pots, that add color to the yard, and then rotate potted plants in and out of the pots for all seasons when you can grow plants outdoors.
And, best of all, if you tend to get bored easily, you can easily and quickly move the pots around to create different sensations and looks as the seasons change, as you host events, or when you just plain feel like it.
Final Tips for the Garden and Yard
As you plan your garden for a low-maintenance, simple life, be sure to remember to add in lights along the pathway, any additional paving stones that would help preserve the plants you choose, and any other features that generally just make your life easier as you care for the gorgeous plants that give your home such vibrancy and life.