Post a job

10 low-maintenance landscaping ideas

5th Aug '23 • By

In today's fast-paced world, finding time to maintain an elaborate garden can be challenging — but that doesn't mean you have to compromise on having a beautiful outdoor space.

Low-maintenance landscaping offers a practical solution, allowing you to enjoy your garden without the constant upkeep. 

We’ll dive deeper into a range of low-maintenance landscape ideas that will help you create a stunning, stress-free environment both in your front yard and backyard.

Get free quotes in minutes.

Get quotes from our qualified and licensed tradies Australia-wide.


  1. Choose the Right Plants
  2. Create Efficient Garden Beds
  3. Install an Automated Irrigation System
  4. Hardscaping for Low Maintenance
  5. Minimise Lawn Area
  6. Practical Garden Design
  7. Incorporate Mulching Techniques
  8. Low Maintenance Lawn Care Tips
  9. Embrace Xeriscaping
  10. Seasonal Maintenance Checklist


1. Choose the Right Plants

Selecting the right plants is crucial for low-maintenance landscaping. Opt for native and drought-resistant plants, which are well-adapted to your region's climate and require less water. These plants are not only hardy but also add a touch of natural beauty to your garden.

Also consider incorporating perennial plants into your landscape. Unlike annuals, perennials return year after year, saving you from the hassle of replanting. They also come in a wide range of colours and sizes, allowing you to create a visually appealing garden.

Ground covers are another excellent addition to a low-maintenance landscape. These low-growing plants spread quickly and help suppress weed growth, reducing the need for constant weeding.

If you need help picking the best plants for your home, a landscaper can give you specialised advice.

2. Create Efficient Garden Beds

Installing raised garden beds can significantly reduce the effort required to maintain your garden. Raised beds provide better drainage and aeration for plant roots, and they also prevent soil compaction. Not to mention, they reduce the amount of bending and kneeling needed for gardening tasks.

To further minimise maintenance, apply a layer of mulch to your garden beds. Mulch helps retain moisture in the soil, reducing the frequency of watering. It also acts as a natural weed barrier, limiting the need for manual weeding.

Grouping plants with similar water and sunlight needs together is a smart way to simplify watering and ensure that each plant gets the care it needs.

3. Install an Automated Irrigation System

One of the best investments for a low-maintenance garden is an automated irrigation system. Drip irrigation is particularly efficient as it delivers water directly to the plant roots, minimising water wastage through evaporation and runoff. A well-planned irrigation system can save time and water, making it an eco-friendly choice as well.

To make your irrigation even better, consider using a smart irrigation controller. These controllers use weather data and soil moisture sensors to adjust watering schedules automatically, optimising water usage and helping your plants receive just the right amount of water they need.

4. Hardscaping for Low Maintenance

Incorporating hardscaping elements into your garden design not only adds visual appeal but also reduces maintenance tasks. Patios, walkways, and decking areas create defined spaces in your garden that require minimal upkeep.

Consider using pavers or gravel instead of traditional lawns in high-traffic areas. These surfaces are more durable and easier to maintain than grass, and they can add an interesting texture and colour contrast to your garden.


5. Minimise Lawn Area

Traditional lawns demand regular mowing, watering, and fertilising, making them one of the most high-maintenance aspects of a garden. Reducing the lawn area can significantly decrease your gardening workload.

Consider replacing part of your lawn with alternatives that require less care. Clover is an eco-friendly and low-maintenance option that adds a lush green carpet to your yard without the need for frequent mowing. Ornamental grasses are another great choice, as they need minimal water and can add texture and movement to your landscape.

If you prefer the look of a lawn but want to avoid the maintenance, artificial turf can be a viable solution. Today's synthetic grass options are realistic and easy to care for, eliminating the need for mowing, watering, and fertilising altogether.

6. Practical Garden Design

Keep your garden design simple and functional to minimise maintenance efforts. Avoid overcrowding plants, as this can lead to increased competition for resources and make pruning and weeding more challenging.

Give your plants enough space to grow and mature without encroaching on each other. This will reduce the need for constant pruning and will result in a healthier, more natural-looking garden.

Consider using raised planters or container gardening for easier control over your plantings. Containers allow you to move plants around as needed and can be placed strategically to create focal points or define different garden areas.

7. Incorporate Mulching Techniques

Mulching is an essential practice in low-maintenance landscaping. It helps retain moisture in the soil, reduces weed growth, and adds organic matter to improve soil health.

Choose the right mulch for your garden needs. Organic mulches like wood chips, straw, or compost break down over time and add nutrients to the soil. Inorganic mulches like gravel or rocks are more permanent and offer excellent weed suppression.

Apply mulch to a depth of 2-4 inches, ensuring that the soil is covered adequately. Keep the mulch away from the plant stems to prevent rot and pests.

8. Low Maintenance Lawn Care Tips

If you prefer to keep a small patch of lawn, there are still ways to make it easy to look after. Reduce the frequency of watering to promote deep root growth and use drought-tolerant grass varieties.

When it comes to lawn mowing tips, set your mower blades to a higher level to allow the grass to grow taller. Taller grass shades the soil, reducing water evaporation and weed growth. Additionally, taller grass is more resilient to drought and pest damage.

Consider using natural fertilisers or slow-release options for your lawn, which provide a steady supply of nutrients over time, eliminating the need for frequent applications.

9. Embrace Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is a landscaping approach that focuses on water-efficient plants and designs. By incorporating xeriscaping principles into your garden, you can significantly reduce water usage while still maintaining a beautiful and sustainable landscape.

Select plants that are native to your area or those that are adapted to low-water conditions. These plants are well-suited to your climate and require minimal watering once established.

Create visually striking designs with rocks, boulders, and other hardscaping elements. Not only do these features add interest to your garden, but they also reduce the need for regular upkeep.

10.  Seasonal Maintenance Checklist

Even with a low-maintenance landscape, there are still seasonal tasks to be done to keep your garden in top shape.

In spring, assess your garden's condition after the winter months. Prune dead or damaged branches, and remove any winter debris.

Summer is a time for enjoying your garden, but occasional pruning and deadheading will keep it looking neat and tidy.

Autumn is the time for preparing your garden for winter. Clean up fallen leaves, divide and transplant perennials, and apply a layer of mulch to protect plants during the colder months.

In winter, continue to monitor your garden for any signs of damage or pests. Use this time to plan and dream about your garden's future.

Creating a low-maintenance landscape doesn't mean sacrificing beauty or functionality. By choosing the right plants, incorporating hardscaping, and being strategic with your design, you can have a stunning outdoor space with minimal effort.

If you need help planning or maintaining your space, get in touch with local landscapers today.

[quote request html]

Further Reading

Posted under