Do you hate doing yard work? Not everyone has a green thumb. The good news is that you can give your yard a face lift without spending all your free time doing it! HouseLogic has some great tips on making your yard look great in no time.
#1 Use Rocks for Interesting Landscape Features
Grass doesn’t grow on rocks. Besides stating the obvious, what that really means is that they’re the perfect, versatile tool for creating a low-maintenance outdoor space. Use them to create walkways, or group them together to form decorative outcroppings.
You can even lay out stones to be ornamental dry creek beds.
Small yards, especially in desert climates, can be completely rocked over, or you can use them as strategically placed accents.
And if you’ve got spots that are constantly wet, they’re great for keeping mud (and mosquitoes!) under control because they’ll help the water run off instead of collecting.
#2 Add a Rain Garden if You’ve Got a Soggy Spot
Speaking of wet areas, do you have a depressed corner of the yard where puddles rule?
Try a rain garden, which is kind of a mini-wetland that reduces storm-water runoff. And done right, they’re almost maintenance free because they require no mowing, no watering, and little weeding.
They make much prettier focal points than soggy grass, too.
Rain gardens are fairly easy to create, using gravel, sand, and native plants. The idea is to slow down rainwater so less of it goes into the sewer system, and more is used to nourish plant life.
#3 DIY the Easiest Deck Ever
Decks do require some maintenance, but you don’t have to mow ‘em every weekend, that’s for sure. And a platform deck — no steps, no railings — is the easiest of all.
“There are lots of dense hardwoods like ipe and cedar, redwood and composites that last a long time and are very low-maintenance,” says Tomi Landis, president of Landis Garden Design in Washington, D.C.
While you’re dreaming of your new deck, think about this: How you will use it?
“Will you be using it in the morning while having coffee?” Landis asks. “If so, it should be oriented to the east. If it’s mainly for dining out in the evening and having cocktails, it should be facing west.” But be sure shade is available in the hotter months.
#4 Switch to Tall Grass That Never Needs Mowing
Not all grass is created equal. Tall grasses, like switchgrass, bluestem, muhly, and fountaingrass, all grow fast and require very little TLC. Nor do they ever get mowed.
“Native grasses are a great solution to a lot of landscaping problems,” Landis says. They soak up lots of water and provide an organic privacy screen while trimming your mowing time.
How to use tall grasses:
- Group along a fence line.
- Group into geometric patterns in your yard for a clean look.
- Go more random for a more natural look.
The most maintenance you’ll do with these is cut them back in late fall. They dry up in the fall, which sends some of those glorious long leaves flying across your yard. But they can be used as (free!) mulch or ignored. They’ll do no harm.
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