Low Maintenance Front Yard Landscaping

4 Materials
2 Days

My front yard is located up on a hill. I have a kind of beautiful landscape of mostly mulch, greenery, and flowers. The problem with mulch is that it's very high-maintenance. Every year, we have to refill the bald spots. Between buying, transporting, and lifting the mulch bags, it's just becoming overwhelming. Don't even get me started on the back pain or the wind blowing the mulch dust inside and outside the house...

Another issue was that the mulch was all around the base of the house and it caused a humidity problem inside the house, as it seems to have been letting the rain and snow penetrate throughout.

As you can see, I had many reasons to want to find an alternative, so I discovered river rocks. One scoop of the rocks solved the problem! It's beautiful, durable, and useful. It's a good way to prevent rain from seeping into the house. So, I removed all the mulch surrounding the house and replaced it with rocks.

This is the front before with the beds intact.

I removed the mulch from all of the garden areas. It was very close to the walls and was creating lots of water, humidity, and dust.

I started by leveling the ground and removing the excess soil, then I laid down the landscaping fabric. Finally, I dumped the rocks and spread them evenly.

I then finished off the look by laying down 4 well-spaced concrete tiles and adding these...

...I added four planters over the tiles and planted evergreen plants to keep the green view all year-round.

I love the final look and it's so easy to maintain! Now my beds are clean and crisp, and I can keep them looking good without a lot of work or effort!

Suggested materials:
  • Rocks   (landscape shop)
  • Fabric   (home depot)
  • Planters   (big lots)
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  • Cindy Madeline Bates Cindy Madeline Bates on May 10, 2022

    Hi! Looks great, but I have rose bushes & lilacs that are 15-20 years old. Can you leave your plants in the ground, and use the rocks instead of mulch? Thank you!


    Yes have rocks in. What size planter boxes ? 10 gallon ?

    And what evergreen plants did you use ?

  • Fiona peacock Fiona peacock on May 19, 2022

    How do you anchor pots down so they don’t blow away or get taken away? Thanks Fiona

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  • LAHawk LAHawk on May 16, 2022

    I have shrubs with the rock mulch around my foundation. It was in place when we purchased the home, but some shrubs need to be replaced. It ended up being a huge project as the shrubs had been added after the fact and were on top of the landscape fabric. Anyway, please note that it takes 5 or 6 inches of stone to keep the sun from degrading the landscape fabric. At our cottage I laid pea gravel first as that covered the fabric better and then added the larger river rock to offer better coverage. I ended up making some beds look like the shoreline with pea gravel eventually becoming larger river rock next to the foundation. I placed some beach glass and driftwood. This place is a 1/2 block from Lake Superior so it perfect aesthetically. As I continue to work on these beds, I will lay screening over the landscape fabric to prevent the squirrels from burying acorns in the pea gravel. Weeds still make their way through especially next to the sidewalk. The good news is if you don't have plants in there and weed killer is needed then no fear of killing your established ornamentals.

    • Lyn D Lyn D on May 16, 2022

      LA ... can you show us a picture of your work? Nice idea. We have holes in our mulch. Squirrels moles and other such animals love to dig deep for our earth worms. We have great soil here in Northern Florida. Even the critters love it soft and dark with a small mixture of sand. Same for our St Augustine grass grubs eat away at it all the time, it is a constant.

  • Lyn D Lyn D on May 16, 2022

    Very nice ... looks like easy management. I'm in!