Simple Landscape Design Ideas Any Gardener Can Try

An orderly garden in front of a blue house
(Image credit: irina88w)

Tackling your landscape might seem quite daunting, in which case it is best to start with simple landscaping. After all, the landscape can always be added to! If you are new to gardening or want a low maintenance yard, start with easy landscaping first. Don’t know where to start? The following discusses five easy garden designs. 

Five Easy Garden Ideas

  1. Easy landscaping generally but not always translates into low maintenance gardening. One of the more low maintenance landscapes is xeriscaping, a method of landscaping used to reduce or eliminate irrigation needs. This method works best in arid regions with the use of plants native to the region. 
  2. Another option for a simple landscape is a rock garden. A rock garden does not mean using solely drought tolerant plants but rather those that can handle the rocky terrain. This type of garden looks best when located on a natural slope and can take the place of turf or other types of gardens that would be difficult to maintain in this area. 
  3. A sun or shade perennial garden is yet another option dependent primarily on how much sun the site receives. There is a wide array of plant options for this type of garden. It can be more complex however, since varying heights and bloom times should be considered. 
  4. Water gardens are delightful combining plants with the movement and sound of moving water. This type of garden can be very complex and costly or as simple as situating a burbling ceramic fountain surrounded by tropical foliage and flowers. More extravagant water features may contain water plants and fish, which again add to the maintenance of this garden. 
  5. Herb gardens are fairly easy options for the newbie gardener. Most herbs are low maintenance provided they get plenty of sun. Herbs can be grown in the ground or in large containers or as DIY wall gardens. 

Make a Plan

Before you jump into designing your garden, make a plan. Take a look around and decide where you want the garden. For those new to gardening it is best to start small, which might be a small shade, perennial, or even container garden

Site your garden accordingly but also considering who will see it. For instance is the purpose of the garden to beautify the front of the home or do you want to add color to a different area or do you want to cover up an unsightly rocky hillside? 

Note the sun exposure, or lack thereof, in the area of planting. Then prepare the soil by removing any unwanted debris and rocks. Take a soil sample to determine if the area needs further soil amendments. Add compost and if necessary clay, silt and sand to assure good drainage. 

Next decide on which plants will do well in the garden. Remember to consider sun exposure, your USDA zone, whether you want annuals or perennials, access to water, and the height and habit of each specimen. 

Take your time and do some research. Then, only buy the healthiest plants you can source. Keep an eye on irrigation especially as the plants adapt, as well as for any pest or insects. 

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.