Gardening can be a relaxing and rewarding hobby, but not everyone has the time or energy to devote to high-maintenance landscaping. Fortunately, there are plenty of low-maintenance garden makeover ideas that can help you create a beautiful outdoor space without spending hours each week tending to it. We’ve included some of our favourite tried and tested low-maintenance garden makeover projects to inspire you.
Whether you have a small balcony, a modest backyard, or a large property, there are plenty of ways to incorporate low-maintenance design elements into your garden. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best low-maintenance garden makeover ideas that can help you achieve a stunning and hassle-free outdoor space. From choosing the right plants to incorporating hardscaping elements, we’ll provide plenty of inspiration for creating a low-maintenance garden that you’ll love to spend time in.
Table of Contents
Plants and flowers
Investing in plants is a great way to instantly elevate your outdoor space. Not only are plants stylish accents that can bring life to any area, but many of them are also easy to care for and maintain. Whether you’re looking for something bright and colourful or more subdued and natural, there are plenty of options available that will fit any style.
Here is a list of low-maintenance garden plants that are suitable for a northern hemisphere climate:
- Lavender: A popular choice for its fragrance and hardiness, lavender thrives in dry soil and full sun.
- Hebe: This evergreen shrub requires little maintenance and produces beautiful flowers in summer and autumn.
- Geranium: Geraniums are easy to grow and require minimal watering. They come in a variety of colours and can be grown in containers or in the ground.
- Hosta: These shade-loving plants are ideal for low-maintenance gardens. They come in a variety of leaf colours and textures and require little watering.
- Sedum: Sedums are drought-tolerant and thrive in full sun. They come in a range of colours and are ideal for ground cover or in rock gardens.
- Euphorbia: Euphorbias are hardy plants that come in a variety of colours and textures. They require little water and can be grown in full sun or partial shade.
- Phormium: This New Zealand native plant is drought-tolerant and requires minimal maintenance. Its striking foliage makes it a great addition to any garden.
- Hellebore: Hellebores are evergreen and produce beautiful flowers in winter and early spring. They thrive in shady areas and require minimal watering.
- Yucca: Yuccas are drought-tolerant and can grow in a range of soil types. They produce striking foliage and require minimal maintenance.
- Iris: Irises are hardy and come in a range of colours. They require minimal watering and can be grown in containers or in the ground.
These are just a few examples of low-maintenance garden plants that can thrive in cooler climates. When choosing plants for your garden, it’s important to consider your soil type, light condition and climate zone to ensure that they will thrive in your specific location. An easy, low-maintenance addition to your plants here would be herbs or vegetables like mushrooms. You can easily snag a mushroom growing kit online or buy potted herbs at your local plant nursery.
Plants can often make an outdoor space feel more inviting and cosy — perfect for those summer days spent outdoors with friends or family. You can choose from a range of annuals, perennials, succulents, shrubs, trees, and vines depending on the amount of sunlight your garden receives as well as the climate in which you live.
Find suitable outdoor furniture
Investing in furniture for your garden is an important decision that can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get caught up in the look of a piece and forget to consider its practicality. If you live with family or pets, easy to clean furniture should be at the top of your priority list when it comes to purchasing. The same rules apply to outdoor furniture. Dust, rain and other types of weather can be harsh on materials so be sure to invest in something durable and easy to clean. You will also want to protect your furniture when not in use for long periods of time.
Luxurious fabrics may appear inviting, but they are not ideal if you are looking for fuss-free maintenance. Instead, opt for materials like vinyl or faux leather which can all be wiped down quickly and efficiently with a damp cloth or paper towel. Microfiber couches are also very popular due to their ability to withstand stains and dirt as it is designed with tightly woven fibres that make it difficult for dust particles to penetrate the surface.
Likewise, if you have a covered area in your garden, or you’re planning on building one, a wooden sofa can make a great addition to your garden. With some outdoor seating cushions and a few scatter cushions, you have a perfect low-maintenance seating area that can be used all year round.
My DIY garden corner sofa is the perfect project if you have some basic tools and a free weekend.
Invest in lighting
Investing in outdoor lighting can be a game-changer for your outdoor space. It can create a warm and inviting atmosphere while also improving safety and security. Properly placed lighting can highlight features of your outdoor space such as a water feature or a beautiful tree.
Additionally, energy-efficient lighting such as LED or solar-powered options can save you money on your electricity bill and reduce your carbon footprint. With the right lighting, you can enjoy your outdoor space well into the night, extending your time spent outside and enhancing your overall experience.
Artwork and sculptures
Artwork can be a game-changer in any space. Whether you are looking to bring character to a room or create an ambience, artwork can do just that. Art pieces not only add visual interest and colour to the space, but they can also tell a story about your personality and interests.
Here are some examples of artwork and sculptures that can add personality and visual interest to your outdoor space:
- Garden sculptures: Sculptures made from materials like metal, stone, or wood can add a unique touch to your outdoor space. They can come in various sizes and designs, from small animal figurines to large abstract pieces.
- Wall art: Outdoor wall art can add a pop of colour and interest to your patio or garden. Consider hanging a painting or print on an exterior wall or fence to create a focal point.
- Water features: A water feature like a fountain or waterfall can be both visually appealing and relaxing. The sound of running water can create a peaceful and calming atmosphere in your outdoor space.
- Outdoor murals: If you have a large wall or fence, consider commissioning an outdoor mural. It can add a unique and artistic touch to your outdoor space while also showcasing your personality and interests.
- Mosaic tiles: Mosaic tiles can be used to create beautiful outdoor art pieces, like a table or a wall hanging. They come in various colours and patterns, allowing you to create a unique piece that reflects your style.
- Wind chimes: Wind chimes can add a musical element to your outdoor space, creating a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. They come in various designs and materials, from bamboo to metal, allowing you to choose one that fits your aesthetic.
Consider an outdoor kitchen
Cooking outdoors has become increasingly popular in recent years, with the installation of outdoor kitchens proving to be a great investment in both your home and lifestyle. An outdoor kitchen can provide a relaxing and functional area in your garden, allowing you to expand your living space and enjoy quality time with family and friends.
Cooking outdoors can also be healthier, as grilling or roasting your food can reduce the amount of fat in your meals. Furthermore, incorporating fresh herbs and vegetables from your garden into your dishes can make them more nutritious and flavourful.
One of the best things about installing an outdoor kitchen is that you can customise it to your exact specifications. You can choose the appliances, countertops, and layout that work best for you and your family, creating a personalised outdoor cooking and dining experience that meets your unique needs and preferences.
Install a pond
Adding a small pond to your garden can bring tranquillity and a touch of nature to your outdoor space. Whether you want to attract wildlife or create a serene focal point, installing a small pond is a great addition to your low-maintenance garden makeover. Avoid overcomplicating the setup with fish and stick to a simplistic natural pond that will encourage local insects and wildlife.
Here are some steps to guide you through the process:
- Choosing the Location: Selecting the right location for your small pond is essential. Find an area that receives a good balance of sunlight and shade throughout the day. Consider the surrounding landscape and make sure the location complements the overall design of your garden. Take into account any existing plants or structures that could benefit from the presence of a pond.
- Designing the Pond: Before diving into the installation process, take some time to plan and design your pond. Determine the size and shape that will best suit your garden and create a harmonious balance. You can choose from various options, such as round, rectangular, or kidney-shaped ponds. Consider the depth of the pond, as well as incorporating shelves or ledges for aquatic plants.
- Digging the Pond: Once you have your design in mind, it’s time to start digging the pond. Use a shovel or a small excavator to carefully remove the soil, creating the shape and depth you desire. Make sure to create a gradual slope, allowing easy access for creatures like frogs or hedgehogs to enter and exit the pond. As you dig, periodically check the level of the pond to ensure it’s even.
- Lining the Pond: To prevent water from seeping into the soil, line the excavated area with a pond liner. Choose a durable liner that fits the dimensions of your pond. Smooth out any wrinkles or folds, ensuring a snug fit. Trim the excess liner, leaving a few inches around the perimeter to secure it in place.
- Installing a Pump and Filtration System: To maintain water circulation and prevent stagnation, consider installing a small pump and filtration system. This will help keep the water clean and provide a healthier environment for aquatic life. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific pump and filtration system you choose, and position them accordingly within the pond.
- Adding Water and Aquatic Plants: Now that your pond is lined and equipped with a pump, it’s time to fill it with water. Use a hose or buckets to slowly add water, allowing the pond to gradually fill up. As the water level rises, begin adding aquatic plants, such as water lilies or floating plants, to create a vibrant and natural appearance. These plants not only enhance the aesthetics but also contribute to the pond’s ecosystem by providing oxygen and shelter for wildlife.
- Finishing Touches: To complete the installation of your small pond, consider adding some finishing touches. Surround the pond with decorative stones or pebbles to create a border and blend it seamlessly into the garden. You can also incorporate features like a small waterfall or a decorative fountain to add movement and soothing sounds to your pond.
Check out my step-by-step guide to install a pond and you can successfully install a small pond as part of your low-maintenance garden makeover. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the serene atmosphere and wildlife that your pond will attract.
Raising Chickens in Your Garden
Raising chickens in your garden offers numerous benefits, such as providing fresh eggs, natural pest control, and a source of organic fertiliser. They’re also a great low-maintenance addition to your garden as they pretty much take care of themselves. With a good setup your chickens can roam around your garden enclosure and bring an interesting element of entertainment to you and your family. If you’re interested in enjoying these advantages, incorporating durable poultry netting is a must to ensure the safety of your chickens and protect your plants. Poultry netting is a versatile and durable material that can be used to create a designated area for your chickens, keeping them contained and away from delicate plants or flowers. It also helps protect your chickens from potential predators, ensuring they have a safe and secure environment. Integrating a poultry netting enclosure in your low-maintenance garden not only provides you with fresh eggs but also adds a unique and functional element to your outdoor space.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, raising backyard chickens can also be a fun and rewarding experience. Watching your chickens scratch and peck in the garden can be entertaining, and interacting with them can be a great way to teach children about responsible animal care. Plus, chickens have unique personalities and can be surprisingly friendly and social.
When it comes to raising chickens, it’s important to consider the space you have available. Chickens need enough room to move around and exercise, as well as access to fresh water and food. They also require a clean and dry living space, such as a coop or nesting box, to lay their eggs and roost at night. It’s important to clean and maintain the living space regularly to prevent the spread of disease and ensure the health of your chickens.
In terms of food, chickens can eat a variety of foods, including chicken feed, vegetables, fruit, and even table scraps. However, it’s important to avoid feeding them foods that are high in salt or sugar, as well as anything that may be toxic to them, such as avocado or chocolate.
Raising chickens in your garden can be a fun and rewarding experience that provides you with fresh eggs and natural pest control, while also adding a unique and functional element to your outdoor space. Just make sure to do your research and provide your chickens with a safe and comfortable living space.
Add a veranda for shade and protection from the weather
While the sun is lovely, too much of it can be uncomfortable or even dangerous. Adding some shade to your outdoor space can help keep you cool and protected from harmful UV rays. Options include a pergola, a canopy, or an umbrella.
In addition to providing shade, adding a veranda to your outdoor space can also protect you and your furniture from the elements. A covered area like a veranda can help keep rain, snow, and debris off of your outdoor furniture, keeping it clean and extending its lifespan. This in turn reduces your need to maintain garden furniture. Depending on the size and design of your veranda, it can also add extra living space to your home, providing a comfortable spot to relax, entertain, or dine outdoors.
Add decorative planters
Adding decorative planters filled with plants or flowers is an easy way to add some colour and interest to your outdoor space. You can incorporate seating into your planters for a multi-purpose accent to your outdoor space
Additionally, incorporating decorative planters filled with plants or flowers is an easy and versatile way to add a burst of colour and visual interest to your low-maintenance garden makeover. Choose planters that complement the overall design of your garden and select a variety of plants that thrive in your local climate. To make your planters even more functional, consider incorporating built-in seating. By combining planters and seating, you not only create a multi-purpose accent to your outdoor space but also provide a cosy and inviting area for relaxation and enjoyment. Whether you opt for a bench-style planter or add seating around individual planters, this clever integration will enhance both the aesthetics and functionality of your garden oasis.
Install a porcelain patio
Adding a porcelain tile patio to your garden offers many benefits, including low maintenance, durability, aesthetic appeal, and increased property value. Porcelain tiles are a practical choice for patios as they are resistant to moisture, stains, and fading. They require little maintenance, only need cleaning with soap and water, and are not prone to scratches or chips.
Porcelain tiles come in various colours, patterns, and textures, making it easy to choose a style that complements your garden’s design. The patio’s polished look enhances the overall appearance of your outdoor space. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, a porcelain tile patio adds an attractive and functional outdoor living space that can increase the value of your property.
Adding stylish accents to your outdoor space is a simple and cost-effective way to make it look beautiful. Start by picking one or two elements that reflect your style, and then add more pieces as you go. When looking for furniture or decor items, consider options like wicker, metal, and wood. You can also add some plants and flowers to your outdoor space to bring in some natural beauty.