15 Front Yard Landscaping Ideas for Lazy Gardeners (2024)

15 Front Yard Landscaping Ideas for Lazy Gardeners (1)

Dreaming of a gorgeous front yard that won't require you to weed, trim, and toil for hours every weekend Whether you have a tiny plot or a huge yard, it's possible to create a practical but pretty outdoor space with low-maintenance landscape ideas for your front yard.

Low maintenance doesn't mean no maintenance, however. Even the best-designed landscapes require some upkeep. "But with thoughtful planning, you can create a space that looks good without constant work," says landscape designer Kat Aul Cervoni, founder of Staghorn NYC and The Cultivation by Kat. "It's really about good design that takes into consideration your wants and your lifestyle."

To create landscaping that's easy to maintain, focus on three key components of your outdoor space: Hardscape, such as your patio and paths; carpentry-type elements such as decking and fencing; and plants that won't make a huge mess or need constant trimming and babying. "All three of these design elements should be low maintenance so that your dreams of a beautiful landscape and the reality of how much time you actually have to work in your garden are in harmony," says Cervoni.

For perennials and trees, it's important to to do some homework before shopping. You need to choose ones that are suited to survive winters in your USDA Hardiness zone. Otherwise, you'll just waste time and money.

Read more: Chaos Gardening Is the Easiest Way to Grow Your Dream Garden

Ahead, we've rounded up low-maintenance front yard landscaping ideas that you actually can put into practice—not just dream about in your garden fantasies.


Pay Attention Sun Exposure

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You've heard it before: Choose the right plant for the right place, says Cervoni. Always read the plant tag or description before buying a plant so you give it the conditions it needs to thrive.

Sun lovers need sun, and shade lovers will fry in the hot sun. If you try to cheat, you're just dooming a plant to struggle so that it looks bad and may eventually die (which is a waste of money!).

Read more: 32 Gorgeous Plants That Can Survive and Thrive in the Sun


Go With Evergreens

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Gorgeous evergreens come in every shade from teal to chartreuse. Opt for dwarf varieties if you're short on space, and stick with those that keep their natural rounded or conical shape without needing pruning for the most low-maintenance options.



Use a Flowering Tree as a Focal Point

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Get the most bang for your buck: A flowering tree accents your landscape but doesn't require tons of upkeep or constant pruning, if you choose well. Two of Cervoni's favorites include Kousa dogwood, which is more disease resistant than native dogwood, and redbud trees (seen here), which have gorgeous spring flowers that don't leave a big mess when they drop.


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Invest in Raised Beds

Raised beds provide a boundary that keeps your front yard looking neat. Natural stone is especially appealing and will last forever.

Read more: Do You Need to Hire a Landscape Designer? Read This First


Opt for Durable Materials

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Choose long-lasting materials for projects such as fencing or decks, says Cervoni. Hardwoods such as Brazilian ipe and domestic black locust or composite materials for decking boards and vinyl or hardwood for fencing will outlast inexpensive pressure-treated pine.

Read more: 10 Cheap Fence Ideas Designers Actually Love


Plant Ornamental Grasses

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Ornamental grasses are particularly appealing because they're hardy, deer resistant, and incredible looking when they're blowing in the wind to add texture and interest, says Cervoni. Carex and hachnechloa are beautiful options.


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Add Shrub Roses to Beds and Borders

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Do you love roses? Then stick with hardy shrub rose types such as Knockouts. They're self-cleaning (they drop their spent blooms without needing pruning) and are more disease resistant. They also bloom nonstop from spring to frost.



Plant Spring-Flowering Bulbs

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Plant them once and enjoy them for years! Spring-flowering bulbs must be planted in the fall to bloom the following spring. The most reliable performers year after year include daffodils, hyacinths, and muscari. Tulips are lovely but don't bloom well in subsequent years, so they're considered annuals and must be replanted every fall.



Hang Window Boxes

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Window boxes provide color without having to invest in landscape plantings. You also can change up plantings by the season, say, if you want spring-flowering bulbs or autumn mums.

Invest in self-watering containers too so you'll need to water every week or so instead of daily.


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Make Perennials Part of Your Landscape

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Perennials come back year after year, so they're an amazing long-term investment, says Cervoni. Some of her favorites for full sun include catmint and coreopsis. For part sun, go with heuchera and dicentra.



Substitute Ground Cover for Lawn

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Unless you love the look of a beautiful lawn, your entire yard doesn't have to be grass. If you'd prefer an alternative, consider planting groundcovers, low-growing plants that add interest and color without requiring quite as much upkeep as a lawn.

Read more: 9 Reasons Your Lawn Looks So Much Worse Than Your Neighbor's


Create a Container Garden

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No planting beds in your front yard? Arrange a series of different-size pots for a garden you can relocate whenever and wherever you like. The various types of succulents seen here are drought tolerant but offer great form and texture to the garden.


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Plant for Fall Color

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Design your garden for fall too. Ornamental trees such as Japanese maple offer splashes of color but won't require a ton of raking since they're typically small trees. "There's a size and variety that will appeal to everyone," says Cervoni. Read the plant tag so you know what kind you're buying, paying attention to mature size and width so you don't plant too close to your house, which could cause maintenance headaches in the future.



Stick to Drought Tolerant Plants

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Cut back on how often you need to water by choosing plants that can stand up to heat and drought once they're established. Cervoni likes perennials such as Russian sage and lavender, which have beautiful color and bloom for weeks on end. They're also pollinator friendly and deer resistant.



Design for All Four Seasons

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Plenty of low-maintenance plants can enhance your front yard landscape throughout the year, even during the long, dark winter months. Plant evergreens for year-round color, perennials such as hellebores that bloom in late winter to early spring, and shrubs such as red twig dogwood or winterberry that show off beautifully against the snow or faded landscape.

Read more: 17 Winters Flowers Thrive During the Coldest Months of the Year

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Arricca Elin SanSone

Arricca Elin SanSone has written about health and lifestyle topics for Prevention, Country Living, Woman's Day, and more. She’s passionate about gardening, baking, reading, and spending time with the people and dogs she loves.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As a landscape enthusiast with a deep understanding of low-maintenance front yard landscaping, I can assure you that creating a gorgeous front yard that doesn't require constant weeding, trimming, and toiling is indeed possible. While low maintenance doesn't mean no maintenance, it is achievable to have a practical and pretty outdoor space that doesn't demand excessive work.

To achieve this, it's crucial to focus on three key components of your front yard: hardscape, carpentry-type elements, and low-maintenance plants. By incorporating these three elements, you can strike a balance between creating a beautiful landscape and considering your wants and lifestyle.

When it comes to hardscape, such as your patio and paths, opt for durable materials that require minimal upkeep. Natural stone, for example, is not only visually appealing but also long-lasting. Similarly, when it comes to carpentry-type elements like decking and fencing, choose materials that can withstand the test of time, such as Brazilian ipe or composite materials.

Selecting the right plants is also crucial in creating a low-maintenance front yard. Pay attention to sun exposure and choose plants that thrive in the conditions they are given. Sun-loving plants should be placed in sunny spots, while shade-loving plants should be placed in shaded areas. Additionally, consider incorporating evergreens into your landscape as they come in various shades and maintain their shape without requiring frequent pruning.

To add interest and texture to your front yard, consider incorporating ornamental grasses. These hardy and deer-resistant plants can withstand various weather conditions while providing a visually stunning display. Shrub roses, such as the Knockout variety, are also a great option as they are self-cleaning and disease-resistant, blooming continuously from spring to frost.

For a burst of color, plant spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, hyacinths, and muscari. These bulbs can be planted once and enjoyed for years, adding beauty to your front yard with minimal effort. Window boxes are another great way to add color without investing in extensive landscape plantings. Opt for self-watering containers to reduce the frequency of watering.

Incorporating perennials into your landscape is a wise long-term investment. Plants like catmint, coreopsis, heuchera, and dicentra can come back year after year, providing a beautiful display with minimal maintenance. Additionally, consider substituting parts of your lawn with ground covers, low-growing plants that require less upkeep compared to a traditional lawn.

If you have limited space or no planting beds in your front yard, consider creating a container garden with various-sized pots. This allows you to have a garden that can be easily relocated as needed. Drought-tolerant plants such as succulents are ideal for container gardens, as they are not only low-maintenance but also offer interesting forms and textures.

Designing your front yard to showcase fall colors is also important. Ornamental trees like Japanese maples can provide splashes of color without requiring excessive maintenance. Remember to choose the right size and variety that suits your space and won't cause future maintenance headaches.

To reduce water consumption, opt for drought-tolerant plants that can withstand heat and dry conditions once established. Russian sage and lavender, for example, are perennials that not only add beautiful color but also attract pollinators and are deer-resistant.

Lastly, design your front yard to be appealing throughout all four seasons. Incorporate evergreens for year-round color, perennials like hellebores that bloom in late winter to early spring, and shrubs such as red twig dogwood or winterberry that stand out against the snow or faded landscape.

By following these low-maintenance front yard landscaping ideas, you can create a beautiful outdoor space that requires less time and effort, allowing you to enjoy your front yard without constant work.

15 Front Yard Landscaping Ideas for Lazy Gardeners (2024)


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