Not everyone loves gardening. Not everyone has the time to garden. Not every has the inclination to learn. Whichever of these you fall into, if you have an outdoor space, you probably need to do something. That’s where these low maintenance garden ideas comes in.

Forget weeding every weekend and taking lengthy trips to the garden center at the start of each season, here are some tips for creating a back yard that (pretty much) looks after itself.

Choose the right plants

Perennials are flowers what will pop up each year without fail. This means you don’t have to think about finding new plants and getting them into your garden in a yearly basis. You should also try plants that are hardy and don’t require a lot of watering.

Try plants such as:

  • Quartz rose verbena
  • Buddliea
  • Blue lyme grass
  • Velvet cloak
  • Jules Verne peony

Add color

If you don’t want to go down the perennial route and love a wild garden, you can get packs of wild flower seeds that you simply scatter in your garden. This gives a very unkempt look but you get an amazing array of shapes, sizes and colors from your flowers.

Landscape details

Decking, paving, fountains and statues are all beautiful garden features that don’t require a lot of work. You may have to get the pressure washer out occasionally for a clean but otherwise you can simply just enjoy them.

You could go for a very abstract garden that simply includes rocks, some wooden decking and one beautiful tree. These kinds of gardens are very zen and beautiful to relax in but they aren’t great if you have children.


Grass is one of the garden elements that can take some maintenance. However, mowing the lawn isn’t very technical or time consuming (although this depends on the size of your garden). Invest in a good mower and you’ll find the time spent tending to your lawn is greatly reduced.

Good alternatives to grass are gravel or paved areas. If you want a grassy area, keep it small.

Trees and shrubs

A lot of trees and shrubs won’t need to pruned too regularly and many varieties are hardy enough to withstand all sorts of weather. Do bear in mind that you may have to prune trees and shrubs when they start taking over your garden. Perhaps once or twice a year. Go for magnolia, juniper and azalea – look into the different varieties as some stay as small shrubs, whereas others grow into tress.

Think about your climate

If you live in an area where it rains a lot, you’ll need plants that are happy in damp conditions (reeds, irises, the tulip tree, and kingcups). If you live somewhere where it doesn’t rain much at all, you’ll need drought resistant plants (such as cacti, Cape Blaco, Angelina, and Agastache rugosa).

Harsh winters will also need to be taken into account. Go for cold-hardy plants such as camelias, Japanese maple and evergreen holly. The more you can tailor plants to your climate, the less you’ll have to do when extreme weather conditions hit.