The Beauty of Low Maintenance Landscaping

The Beauty of Low Maintenance Landscaping

Recently, we were contacted by clients who had purchased a home in the Tanglewood area of Houston, TX and were interested in a backyard redesign. During our initial conversation, they told us that they loved their existing landscape and they were not really sure what they wanted to change. The backyard was the whole reason they had purchased the home, but now they felt it was missing something that they couldn’t quite put their finger on.

The previous owner was a retired garden enthusiast who had spent years designing and caring for the landscape. The pictures they sent us of the existing backyard prior to our consultation were nothing short of whimsical. Flagstone pathways meandered through raised garden beds to a separate flourishing herb garden. Healthy potted plants that had grown to be 5 feet tall served as privacy screens, obscuring a custom spa. A deck was tucked away in the corner of the yard, nestled behind urns that were spilling over with healthy annuals, lilies and English Ivy, and vines grew along a wooden fence around the property, channeling a “secret garden” essence.

When the couple purchased the home, they envisioned Saturdays in the garden, the French doors that led into the living room wide open, music playing in the background while they pruned, mulched and repotted plants. They envisioned plucking homegrown tomatoes right off the vine and basil from the herb garden to make a fresh Caprese salad.

…Well, three months had passed since they purchased the home. Between moving, having their grown children visit and an unexpected leak in the kitchen ceiling…Saturdays in the garden were not happening. In fact, as we talked with them further, Saturdays in the garden had never happened. They both worked upwards of 50 hours a week and often traveled for work. On the weekends, the last thing they wanted was more work. The husband did not want to deal with mulching and moving potted plants in and out whenever there was a frost. The wife loved the idea of an herb garden, but she had not had time to cook in months. What they really wanted to do on the weekends was have a late breakfast, followed by a spa session in their beautiful backyard. They wanted a backyard that they could entertain in and a place to play corn-hole when their children visited. The husband was a grill enthusiast and professed that the only “work” he wanted to do in the yard, was smoking salmon or grilling steak on his beloved grill.

The truth is, they never really loved the backyard of the home. They loved the idea of the backyard. At the end of the day, your landscape needs to fit your lifestyle. For many of us, that is where the beauty of a low maintenance landscape enters the picture.

If any of this sounds familiar, read on to learn how incorporating the right elements, features, and plants can turn your backyard into a weekend dream, not a weekend war.

Our Top 5 Techniques and Features for Low Maintenance Landscaping:

  1. Xeriscaping: Xeriscaping might sound like something off a sci-fi movie script, but it’s the superhero of the low maintenance landscape. Rock gardens and native plants team up to reduce water usage without sacrificing the scenic appeal. A garden that thrives on being neglected? It’s like a self-watering pot you can walk through.
  2. Synthetic Turf: Synthetic turf may raise eyebrows to some garden purists, but it’s a game-changer. Infinitely versatile, always ready to perform, and entirely content lingering quietly in the background. No mowing, no chemicals, no fuss. What’s not to love? It provides softness for bare feet, permanence for peace of mind, and a luscious green backdrop that looks just as fresh as if you’d fussed over it for hours.
  3. Drip Irrigation: If you are not into the idea of xeriscaping or rock gardens, drip irrigation systems can keep your garden in check without a second thought from you. They deliver a precisely measured drink to each plant’s root, conserving water and making sure your garden gets the exact refueling it needs, no more, no less.
  4. Ground Cover Plants: Ground cover plants are the unsung heroes of the no-nonsense landscape. They are there to… well, cover ground. Protecting against erosion, choking out weeds, and adding a touch of color. Pair them with river rocks, and you’ve got a double act that is both beautiful and utterly undemanding.
  5. Native and Drought-Tolerant Plants: Houston is a melting pot, and your garden can be a celebration of all things Texan with native flora. They’re not called ‘low maintenance’ for lingo rights. These plants are in their element in Houston’s weather whims—whether it’s the summer sun or the occasional winter shiver. They’re a proud emblem of sustainability, needing little more than a nod of appreciation and a rain shower.

Best Low Maintenance Plant Choices for Houston Landscaping:

Nandina: Nandina, or heavenly bamboo, is a drama-free diva. It shines bright in the sun, paints autumn with its red hues, and doesn’t demand center stage in your gardening routine.

Loripe: The loripe is the all-rounder of the green world. It tolerates sun or shade, wet or dry, and even if you forget its name, it won’t hold a grudge.

Dwarf Yaupon Holly: This compact, hardy holly is a low maintenance feature that’s not afraid to stand tall against Texas heat and winter chill.

Gulf Coast Muhly Grass: For those who picture waves at their feet as they sip tea on the porch, Gulf Coast Muhly Grass is for you. Wave off any weekend streaming concerns—it’s fine without extra water.

Knock Out Roses: It’s right there in the name—they’re the knockout punch to the stereotype of high-maintenance roses. Durable, handsome, and ready to bloom.

Lantana: These colorful charmers are like the confetti of the plant world, sprinkling bursts of joy everywhere without demanding much in return. Talk about low effort, high impact.

Agave: Its architectural silhouette adds an instant touch of sophistication to any space, proving that in the garden, as in life, sometimes less really is more.

Texas Sage: This plant is like the reliable friend who’s always there for you, rain or shine. It thrives in full sun, asking so little but giving so much, with its delightful silver foliage and pretty purple flowers.

From Weekend Warriors to Weekend Unwinders

Wondering about the outcome of our clients in the Tanglewood neighborhood? They are absolutely thrilled with the transformation. We installed synthetic turf throughout the backyard, a designated dining area with an elegant outdoor chandelier and durable concrete pavers, a flex-space for cornhole, ladder ball, cricket or any number of yard games, Holly trees for privacy, an outdoor kitchen and lighting solutions that allowed them to maximize their time in the yard. What do their weekends look like now? Well, in their own words they have “never spent so much time in our backyard. We almost spend more time out there than we do in the house. The kids love coming home and we couldn’t be happier.”

Low Maintenance Landscape Design for the Win

At the end of the day, a low maintenance landscape is not just about minimizing the time and effort spent on upkeep—it is about maximizing the moments of enjoyment and relaxation in your outdoor space. By embracing a design that requires less maintenance, you are not only reclaiming your weekends but also creating more opportunities to savor the beauty of nature and connect with your loved ones.

At FiveSTAR Landscape, we understand the value of creating outdoor environments that enhance your lifestyle and provide a sanctuary for unwinding and making memories. Our team is dedicated to helping you design a low maintenance landscape that reflects your vision and meets your needs, allowing you to fully enjoy all that your outdoor space has to offer.

So if you’re ready to transform your backyard into a low maintenance oasis that is custom designed to meet your needs, contact us today to schedule a free consultation- Your outdoor space should be your favorite place!