Although your primary landscaping goal is probably to create a lush, attractive property, a close second should be to design a landscape that is efficient, sustainable and low-maintenance. The topography and climate along the Gulf Coast don’t make it easy. So you’ll need to get creative, do your homework and come up with some ideas for low-maintenance landscaping for your home or business.
Fortunately, your Gulf Coast landscaping contractor can help you with many of these issues. It’s important to rely on their experience and knowledge when creating a landscape design that is low-maintenance. By partnering with your contractor, you can save a significant amount of time and money on maintaining your property. Below are some quick tips on how to get low-maintenance landscaping and why it’s important.
Why You Should Aim for a Low-Maintenance Landscape
Whether you are doing professional commercial landscaping or residential landscaping, maintaining a healthy landscape is vital in keeping your property value high. However, it does come at a price—which is why it is important to invest in a low-maintenance landscape. A low-maintenance property offers several advantages.
You Save Money
It’s simple economics: the less maintenance you have to perform on your landscape, the more money you save. Remember, that maintenance is not a one-time deal. Rather, it’s ongoing. So you can set a lower budget each month for professional landscaping services and allocate that money elsewhere.
Your Landscape Is More Manageable
It’s easy to go off the rails with grand ideas when you first start a landscaping project. However, the grander your ideas, the more complicated the design becomes. It’s also harder to maintain month after month. Your landscaping contractor can probably help you achieve your idea, but with a layout that requires less hassle.
You Use Fewer Resources
When it comes to landscape design, you want to create a finished product that is sustainable, utilizing as few natural resources as possible. Low-maintenance landscaping helps you conserve water, plants, materials and other natural resources without sacrificing an attractive, unique design.
You Get a Cleaner Design
Like any other home or business improvement project, a complicated landscape can actually take away from your exterior design instead of adding to it. The mind can only process so many colors, patterns and layers. A low-maintenance landscape may include fewer elements, but they will truly stand out and give your property more character.
5 Ideas for a Low-Maintenance Landscape
Getting a low-maintenance landscape is easier than you think and requires less effort than an elaborate, high-maintenance property. Here’s how you do it:
1. Use Plants That Are Native to the Gulf Coast
The best types of plants are indigenous plants, meaning, plants that naturally grow and thrive along the Gulf Coast. While that Tennessee Aster may have the perfect purple hue you’re looking for, it may take your landscaper twice as much time and effort to keep it alive in this area.
Indigenous plants are easy to take care of because they already respond well to the climate and topography of the coast. Some examples of popular indigenous plants include
- Bald Cypress
- Beach Sunflower
- Black-Eyed Susan
- Carolina Jessamine
2. Use Plants That Require Less Water
The term for this type of landscaping is known as Xeriscaping and it flies in the face of common thinking toward coastal landscaping. Many people believe that all plants in Florida require more water due to the sand-filled soil. However, there are many plants in Florida that can thrive with less water. Some examples of drought-tolerant plants include
- Saw Palmetto
- Longleaf Pine
3. Use Low-Maintenance Mulch
Using mulch in landscaping is standard practice. However, like your plants, mulch requires maintenance, and in many cases, replacement seasonally or annually. So your landscaping contractor can insulate your plants with low-maintenance mulch. There are several options for low-maintenance mulch that work well in your landscape design.
Some ideas for low-maintenance mulch include cypress mulch, pine bark mulch, eucalyptus mulch, red mulch, pine straw mulch, and melaleuca mulch. Since they are not plant-based, they will not decompose like other mulch materials.
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4. Go Perennial
Some of the most enjoyable plants are the ones you never have to replace. They grow each spring like clockwork and require only enough care to keep going. These plants are known as perennials, and there are endless options that can enhance your landscape. Perennials are expected to stick around at least three years before they expire or you need to replace them. As a result, your planting costs go down exponentially, because you’re not constantly replacing plants every season or annually.
Popular perennials in Florida include Lantana, Mexican Heather, Blue Daze, Bougainvillea, Pentas and Bulbine. Pick your favorites and enjoy them year after year, but keep in mind some perennials are cold sensitive and will need protection during colder months.
5. More Hedges, Fewer Flowers
Rows upon rows of flowers can definitely adorn your landscape and help your property stand out. However, more flowers equal more maintenance. To cut down on labor, you may want to choose more hedges or shrubs and fewer flowers.
Sure, your contractor will still have to trim the hedge. However, it’s a lot less work than taking care of flowers. Plus, you can get drought-tolerant hedges that use far less water than flowers.
Schedule a Free Landscaping Estimate Today
Executive Landscaping offers comprehensive residential and commercial landscaping services along the Gulf Coast, including Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. Services include landscapes, hardscapes, outdoor kitchens, irrigation, lighting and ongoing maintenance. Call us today at (850) 478-2312 to schedule a free estimate.