To keep it low maintenance:
* Don’t put trees or shrubs in the lawn. It’s almost impossible to prune around shrubs, and trees take a severe beating from the weed eater. This trimming takes an hour or 2 you could be spending doing something else.
* Right plant, right place If the plant is in the right location for its size and moisture requirements you can spend less time pruning and watering.
* Apply 3-4 inches of mulch to beds Mulch is a big time saver, as it keeps weeds to a minimum and your shrubs and perennials need less water as the mulch hold moisture in and keeps the roots cool.
* Use good quality garden mix for shrub beds Garden mix is a blend of organic soils, topsoil and sand designed to keep the soil loose and easy to work in. Good quality garden mix will be free of quack grass roots and will also hold moisture better than topsoil. Topsoil alone will become very hard and compacted.
* Use shrubs with foliage colors for color rather than perennials. There are lots of shrubs with interesting leaf colours which can provide interest in your yard and the colour lasts all season. Perennials are great, but are more work as they need to be cut back in the fall and divided every few years.
* Plan for irrigation. I never used to recommend people get irrigation, but as we’ve seen this year, drought has become fairly common. Having irrigation doesn’t mean you have to use it all the time, but it’s there when you need it. This will keep many plants alive and is worth the investment.