Who doesn’t want a beautiful outdoor space where you can lounge around, look up at the clouds, knock back a few tinnies, and contemplate the great mysteries of life…? Or least a nicely decked out spot to put the barbie.
No matter what you like doing in your own outdoor space, you want it to be a place that you actually enjoy being in. There’s no point in having a yard if it’s going to go completely unused — and yet more and more people are finding that they have less and less time to put into maintaining their outdoor spaces. This isn’t surprising considering that daily life just seems to be getting busier and busier.
So when you’ve spent all week at work, the last thing you probably want to think about doing is pruning the begonias… or starting a veggie garden… or mowing the lawn… or weeding the flower beds. The list often feels endless.
Well, what if I told you there is a way to create your own little oasis without all the hard work that goes into maintaining it? You’d say I’m nuts, right? You could be onto something… but regardless, I’m still correct! I realise that “stunning”, and “low-maintenance”, rarely get used in the same sentence, but I’m here to change all of that.
Let me show you exactly what you can do to create a stunning low maintenance yard that you’ll never want to leave again.
Outdoor living spaces
This is essentially the idea of extending the inside of your home to the outside. By creating an indoor-outdoor co-existence, you will inevitably be minimising the amount of space that needs to be dedicated to caring for plants and grass and garden beds, etc. whilst maximising an area that can be utilised for entertaining, relaxing, or pretending to put together that new BBQ you secretly have no idea how.
Outdoor living spaces can take on all sorts of shapes and sizes but generally consist of decks and patios, a fairly sizable dining area, and definitely a dedicated space for the new BBQ that you put together all by yourself (without any help from Jake next door *wink, wink*). These are just the basics though; why not go all out and set up an outdoor bar and a fire pit for those cold evenings where you’re feeling adventurous enough to get off the couch and rekindle the red-blooded caveman inside you by… roasting marshmallows on the fire.
When these spaces are done seamlessly, they can feel just like another room in your home — but outside! You get all the benefits of being outdoors — the fresh air, the open space, the sky, birds, the sun — without having to worry about the maintenance. And the more contemporary styles you choose to design your space, the more streamline and easier they will be to clean.
Paving is something that can (and likely will) be incorporated into the outdoor living spaces I just mentioned, however they can also be used for much more than that.
Think pathways! Paths can be the perfect way to add a beautiful flow when you’re trying to think up unique and interesting ways to landscape a low-maintenance yard. By creating a long, wide path throughout your yard, you’re not only providing a walkway from A to B, but you’re also giving the entire yard a ton of character and aesthetic appeal. This can be especially true if you use the right kind of stones — bluestone can be an incredibly stunning addition to any outdoor space (or honestly just about anything, anywhere), and is very versatile as it comes in a wide range of different colours (and no, they’re not just different shades of blue). This is just one option though; the selection of pavers out there is almost endless and there are no shortage of choices available — many of which are very affordable and still very attractive.
Paving is a great choice for anyone looking to significantly reduce the overall maintenance of their yard, because at the end of the day, more pavers mean less grass to care for.
Instead of grass
Speaking of less grass to care for…
If you hate mowing more than anything in the world, if removing grass from your life is your highest priority and your one and only dream for a care-free garden, then memorise this next phrase as it will quickly become your new best friend:
Granted, it’s not the sexiest phrase in the English language, but the implications for your new lawn-free life will be more beyond your wildest dreams. OK, so I might be exaggerating just a little bit here, but investing in mulch beds is one of the best things you can do if you’re looking to cut back (sorry couldn’t help myself) on the amount of grass you have to care for. They’re extremely low maintenance because there’s nothing to mow, you don’t have to water it, they prevent weeds from growing and are completely self-fertilising. This means that any plants you grow in a mulch bed will get all the nutrients they need (well, almost. Maybe add a bit of nitrogen every once in a while), which therefore allows you to slack off when it comes to keeping your plants happy.
For the plant lovers
If you’re not ready to give up the idea of a lush and leafy garden but still need help minimising the hours you spend tending to it, give these babies a try:
- Plant perennials
For all those folks out there who don’t have a horticulture certificate or have never stumbled across Gardening Australia on ABC one afternoon, perennials are plants that live for more than two years. Perennial literally translates to “through the years”, so if you’re after a garden that doesn’t require constant replanting throughout the seasons then opt for perennials to make your life easier.
- Plant native Australian species
Just like everything and everyone else you find in Australia, native plants are super tough. They usually require very little care as they are generally very hardy and need significantly less water as they’re used to the brutal Australian climate already. There are a great many different species to choose from and can be just as stunning as their European counterparts.
- Climbing plants and pots
Climbers are the perfect way to cover bare walls, create screening from nosy neighbours, and provide a lush green aesthetic, all while requiring very little care on your part. Climbing plants such as ivy and jasmine make a stunning addition to a heavily paved area or sections of a yard that feel a little too sterile or unloved. In the same vein, potted plants are a fantastic method of providing greenery, added colour and life to a yard, without creating too much maintenance. They’re super versatile, easy to move around, and add all the beauty of a garden, minus the work that goes into one.
The main aim of these ideas is to give you a good overview of just how simple it can be to make your own little slice of outdoor heaven while cutting back on the needless hours usually required for the upkeep. I hope this has provided a good foundation for the beginnings of your incredibly low maintenance yard-to-be, and instead you can use all that time you would’ve spent mowing the lawn on things you actually love doing… like day-dreaming about how great it is you never have to mow again.