As time goes by, getting around often gets tougher, and that includes maintaining a picture-perfect garden and yard. However, you can still achieve an outdoor space with minimal effort by considering low-maintenance landscaping ideas. Beauty meets practicality!
For example, container gardens and raised garden beds are ideal if you get around by scooter, and adding a stair lift or vertical platform lift can make it easy for you to get to your garden, whether it’s in your backyard or on your rooftop.
These low-maintenance landscaping ideas help to bring a hassle-free landscape to life.
Why Pursue Low-Maintenance Landscaping Ideas?
There are many advantages to aging-in-place home modifications, like simplifying your gardening routine. The benefits of low-maintenance landscaping include:
- Time-saving. Because it requires minimal upkeep, you can spend less time mowing, pruning, and weeding and more time enjoying the scenery.
- Stress relief. It’s no coincidence that healthcare facilities use plants to help patients heal their mental health and boost their spirits. It’s common to find rehab facilities with indoor greenhouses supporting horticultural therapy programs.
- Environmental benefits. Water-efficient irrigation systems and drought-tolerant plants often make the list of front and backyard low-maintenance landscaping ideas. Reduced water consumption contributes to environmentally friendly water conservation efforts.
- Higher property value. Prospective buyers are often attracted to low-maintenance features, making the property more marketable should you decide to put up a for-sale sign eventually.
With these benefits in mind, here are five low-maintenance landscaping ideas for aging in place.
1. Container Gardening
Traditional in-ground gardening requires a lot of digging, pulling weeds, and pruning — often done in an uncomfortable kneeling position. By embracing the joys of container gardening, you can say goodbye to those back-breaking chores.
Container gardening is growing plants in containers, such as pots, instead of planting them directly into the ground. Container gardening can give you an uplifted outlook on approaching gardening more ergonomically, especially for those with mobility issues, hip and/or knee replacements, or who are in a wheelchair.
The potted beauties that go into a container garden are convenient, require less maintenance, save time and energy, and there’s no commitment. When you’re ready for a change, you can swap them out, mix and match, and personalize them for your liking.
2. Raised-Bed Gardening
Bring the garden right to you at a comfortable height with raised garden beds. The elevation offers easier accessibility, less strain on joints, and a reduced need for kneeling and bending.
Raised-bed gardens have:
- Plants grown in boxes or containers that are elevated above the ground.
- Boxes filled with soil and/or boxes that do not require any soil beneath them.
- Versatility in construction materials and dimensions. For example, if you’re looking for low-maintenance side yard ideas, you can shape the raised garden bed to fit a narrow location.
- Popularity for ease of maintenance and ability to control soil quality and drainage.
- Adaptability to be used outdoors or indoors.
3. Native Plants
Native plants are species that have evolved, adapted, and developed unique characteristics that allow them to thrive in a local climate, soil, and light conditions.
These types of plants support sustainability and biodiversity while requiring less care and weeding than most non-native plants. A win-win!
What is xeriscaping? With water becoming an increasingly precious resource and commodity, xeriscaping offers a lower-maintenance, more drought-resistant, native plant garden.
Picture this: An enchanting landscape adorned with stones of varying sizes and shapes sprinkled with succulents, ornamental grasses, and native plants. Water requirements are the bare minimum. No mowing. No mulching. That’s why xeriscaping is an excellent option if you need landscaping ideas where grass won’t grow.
Although you may not be able to bid farewell to watering entirely, xeriscaping significantly slashes irrigation needs. This could be a blessing for those on a fixed income, like Social Security or a pension.
Make your yard low maintenance using hardscaping. Simply put, hardscape refers to any non-living element in your landscape. You can integrate hardscaping elements to control the living elements.
A perfect example would be installing retaining and/or garden walls to cut down on surface areas and level-out slopes and hills. This makes mowing more manageable and reduces harmful runoff while preventing erosion.
Also, implementing front yard landscaping ideas with pavers can help you create a path to a concrete patio area. This eliminates the need to fill the space with living elements like grass and garden beds, which conserves your time and energy because you don’t have to mow, mulch, weed, and get rid of pests.
Bonus Tip: Get a Rain Barrel (or Two)
If they are not restricted in your area, you can use rain barrels to water your xeriscaped gardens and other greenery. A rain barrel is a container collecting and storing rainwater (on average, 50-60 gallons). This harvested rainwater is untreated and all-natural, making it better for your soil and plants than tap water. You can easily water xeriscaped gardens or foundation plantings by connecting a garden hose to the rain barrel’s outlet.
An added benefit of rain barrels? Storing rainwater for a later date in a rain barrel provides oxygenated and non-chlorinated water, keeping your plants happy and healthy.
Low-Maintenance Landscaping Makes Yard Care Easy
If you’ve had a green thumb and a beautiful yard all your life, don’t stop now! Low-maintenance landscaping makes it easy to care for your plants via container gardens and raised garden beds, no matter how you get around.
And with xeriscaping, you can have a beautiful landscape requiring little-to-no maintenance. What could be better?
Are you interested in adding an Accessibility Lift to make accessing your low-maintenance lawn easier?
Guest Article by Harley Grandone
Harley Grandone is a writer and landscape designer with over 20 years’ experience.