A low-maintenance landscape by Exterior Worlds does not have to look barren or minimalist. Specific actions can be taken that will create the most beautiful of outdoor environments that require minimal intervention of the part of the homeowner.
Automated irrigation systems, for example, eliminate the need to manually water lawns and gardens. Even with several gardens and many large trees in the yard, a timed water delivery mechanism will maintain hearty plant growth during dry spells. The homeowner does not have to do anything other than readjust the timer during times of heavier rainfall.
Also integral to the success of a low-maintenance landscape is a professionally designed drainage system that removes standing water that collects after a rain.
Standing water is a hazard to plant and animal life. It can cause roots to rot and stems to bloat. It also provides a breeding ground for disease carrying mosquitoes.
By building a concealed network of drains into a yard we can not only eliminate these hazards, but we can also stop erosion. The yard will be less muddy, and fewer cleanups will be required after a heavy rain.
Still another way to minimize maintenance demands is to build hardscape structures out of more durable materials like flagstone and natural stone.
The aesthetic of such materials is obviously superior to that of cheaper grade substances. More importantly, the innate weather resistance these materials can offer you minimizes the need for cleaning and the cost of repairs to walkways, patios, driveways, and terraces.
When it comes to garden design and tree services, another option for a low-maintenance landscape is the use of slow-growth plants and trees.
Hedges, flowering plants, and trees that grow slowly do not have to be trimmed as often. When they do require basic fertilization and trimming, this can be done quarterly by landscape professionals under a landscape maintenance agreement.
While many do-it-yourself manuals advise homeowners to create low-maintenance landscape designs by using drought resistant species, it is not that simple here on the Texas Gulf Coast. Houston has a highly variable climate.
While consistently warmer than most parts of the country, the rainfall is anything but consistent here. We may go several months with no rain, or it may rain every day during some years for most of the summer.
That being said, plant selection needs to be done by experts who can choose plants that will flourish in variable conditions.
We are not the only part of the world with extremely seasonal weather, and many other places have all sorts of plant life that can be transplanted here.
Also, never forget that indigenous species that evolved here are already used to the cycle and often make valuable contributions to garden design and lawns.
Finally, one way to ensure a low-maintenance landscape is to hire experts in hardscape design to transform a significant amount of the yard into patio space and landscape architecture.
Since these structures are resistant to the elements and inorganic by nature, they require no ongoing maintenance on the part of the homeowner.