Side of a house with a pathway in the middle the house on the right and plants on the left

Follow these low-maintenance side yard ideas: perennials, native species, evergreens, raised beds, container gardens, ornamental grass, groundcovers, artificial turf, mulch, stone pathways, garden rocks, water features, and a zen garden. They will certainly upgrade your space!

The side yard is commonly misused and left without care, often only serving as a place you pass through to get to the backyard. However, you can turn it into a charming and cozy spot without too much work. Read our low-maintenance landscape design for the side of the house and discover!

How To Decorate A Side Yard? 13 Ideas

Plant perennials, native species, or evergreens; opt for container gardens and raised beds; set ornamental grass, groundcovers, or artificial turf; use mulch and garden rocks; install stone pathways or water features, and even create your own zen garden.

With these low-budget and low-maintenance side-of-house landscaping ideas, your house will have a renewed and pleasant outdoor area with little effort and money demanded. Check out the list below and find out the details of each tip.

1. Plant Perennials

A topview of colorful green leaves

From colorful flowers like peonies and daylilies to foliage plants such as hostas and ferns, perennials offer a diverse range of options that return each year, requiring only occasional pruning and fertilizing.

2. Choose Native Species

Side picture of elderberry flowers in full bloom

By choosing plants native to your area, you create a harmonious ecosystem that thrives with minimal intervention, as these species naturally adapt to local conditions and pests. There are native plants for gardeners of all types, such as the bee balm and American elderberry.

3. Set A Container Garden

Garden of various varieties of plants bunched up into containers

Whether you have limited space or want to add a pop of color to a paved area, container gardening allows easy experimentation with different plant combinations and arrangements, requiring only occasional watering and fertilizing.

Some shade-loving plants are a great option for containers in this part of the yard.

4. Plant Ornamental Grass

Ornamental japanese shrubs called carex morrowii

With their graceful movement in the breeze and minimal maintenance requirements, ornamental grasses like fountain grass and maiden grass bring texture and visual interest to your side yard without the need for frequent pruning or watering.

5. Opt For Artificial Turf

Extensive and green lawns

Another classic low-maintenance landscape design involves artificial turf. Enjoy the look and feel of a lush green lawn year-round without the hassle of mowing, watering, or fertilizing, as artificial turf provides a solution that stays vibrant and verdant with minimal effort.

6. Use Mulch

A picture of a mound of mulch close to a persons foot

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, mulch helps retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and improve soil health. It reduces the need for watering and weeding while providing a tidy and polished appearance to your side yard.

7. Set Garden Rocks

Photo of someone holding a few white rocks from their own garden

Whether used as edging, accents, or focal points, garden rocks add texture and contrast to your landscape while requiring no maintenance and lasting for years to come, making them a versatile and durable option for low-maintenance gardening.

8. Build A Water Feature

A natural looking water fountain surrounded by plants within a garden

Enhance the ambiance of your side yard with a water feature that invites relaxation and serenity, such as a bubbling fountain or a small pond, which can be equipped with low-maintenance pumps and filters for easy upkeep.

9. Plant Evergreens

Several evergreen bushes on the side of a building

With their year-round foliage and minimal pruning needs, evergreen plants like boxwoods and junipers provide structure and color to your side yard without the seasonal maintenance required by deciduous trees and shrubs.

10. Set Raised Beds

A couple of raised vegetable garden

Elevate your gardening experience with raised beds, which offer better soil drainage, fewer weeds, and improved access for planting and harvesting, requiring less bending and stooping for maintenance tasks.

11. Choose Groundcovers

A picture of fragrant thyme in the wilderness

Choose from options like creeping thyme, sedum, or vinca to create a lush carpet of greenery that suppresses weeds, conserves moisture, and adds visual interest to your side yard with minimal maintenance requirements.

12. Install A Stone Pathway

A view of someone's yard with a white fence and stone pathway

Incorporate a stone walkway for low-maintenance side yard idea design to provide structure and direction while minimizing the need for mowing and edging while offering a durable and visually appealing alternative to traditional grass paths.

13. Create A Zen Garden

A bronze statue of buddha atop of a stone  in a garden

Cultivate a sense of tranquility and balance with a Zen garden featuring carefully raked gravel, strategically placed rocks, and minimalist plantings like dwarf bamboo or Japanese maples, offering a serene retreat that requires little upkeep for maximum relaxation.

Enjoy a stunning outdoor space without sacrificing your precious time and energy with our low-maintenance side yard ideas and the help of homeyou's landscaping contractors.

Join the conversation