Do-it-yourself simple, low maintenance landscaping ideas

Get in touch with your inner landscape designer because you can landscape your house yourself. Discover simple ways to add plants near the foundation of your house. Landscaping plants can increase the curb appeal and subsequently real estate value. Follow these simple landscaping ideas for the front of your house to turn your anxiety about landscaping from scratch into a successful curb appeal design.

Near door

If you have a porch, add welcoming appeal with potted shrubs or trees, or potted flowers in pedestal containers. Place an identical potted plant on the each side of a front door with sufficient wall space. For a corner door, group three varying shaped pots filled with different types of plants along the wall side of the door.

No porch? No problem! Place a tall-growing evergreen like skypencil holly each side of the door as part of your simple landscaping plan. The mirror image frames the door, drawing attention to the entrance. If the door has a single wall light that would be blocked by a tall evergreen, then only plant one on the opposite side of the door. Plant two or three skypencils to create a privacy screen or wind block if desired.

Under windows or in front of porch

Short shrubs in front of the house, also called foundation plants, soften the sharp line between the house and the ground. To skip annual pruning, choose slow growing evergreens, like azalea, or evergreens with a full-grown height that does not exceed 4 feet, like the ‘Otto Luken’ variety of cherry laurel. Read the plant label to see how wide the shrub may grow. Use the width measurement as the distance to plant the shrubs apart. For instance, ‘Otto Luken’ may reach 6 feet wide. When you measure the distance to be covered by the shrubs, divide the number by 6 feet to determine how many ‘Otto Luken’ are needed. Then plant the shrubs 6 feet apart.

House corners

Consider a taller, fuller shrub for the corner of the house, like dwarf Alberta spruce that reaches 10 to 12 feet tall over about 25 years. The height and fullness of the shrub helps to soften the corner of the house since sharp corners are considered harsh in many landscape design themes.


Budget permitting, enhance the simple landscaping design by planting flowers or ornamental grass in front of the shrubs or along a sidewalk. Choose low growing annual flowers, like alyssum or impatiens; perennial flowers like candytuft or blanket flower; or perennial grass like liriope. Plant a deciduous tree for shade. Set the tree about 20 feet from the house and in front of a window for shade during the summer. Using a deciduous tree, one that loses its leaves in the fall, allows valuable solar heat to the houses during the winter.

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