A lot goes into creating a landscape plan, and it helps to have some expert help. Local landscape architect George Radnovich, FASLA, created this design for those opting for a low maintenance yard. You can follow his design right down to each individual plant or customize it to fit your own yard. This is the fourth landscape plan we’ve featured in 505Outside, and we’ll be sharing one more plan in the next issue.

While there is no such thing as a totally maintenance-free landscape, this Loungescape comes as close as possible in Albuquerque. The key to this approach is to mimic the natural environment with the look and feel of New Mexico grasslands and piñon-juniper forests.

Instead of a traditional lawn, native grasses offer a more natural look, accented by a soaptree yucca and desert willows for color and dappled shade. Water-thrifty cacti are used for interest, color and a contrast of textures. Finely crushed gravel (aka crusher fines) is used as a walking path to the rear of the house.

For ease of maintenance, there is a concrete formal edge between the walking path and the foundation plantings next to the house. Rainwater is harvested from the roof and other impermeable surfaces, then directed to plants via canales, weep holes and a short retaining wall. Short evergreen trees such as mountain mahogany provide year-long interest. Three-leaf sumac was added for fall color, cherry sage for summer color and sand sage and fringed sage for winter foliage. Big sage was purposely placed along the eastern side of the house to lessen the exposure to the harsh, hot western sun, which would make the plants more water-thirsty. Lastly, spots of color are added throughout the landscape for interest.

Check out our other Design Templates here:

Hotscape: An Attractive Native Landscape that Loves Heat and Full Sun

Greenscape: Evergreen Plants provide and Ever -Beautiful Front Yard

Wildscape: A Celebration of Wildlife in the Landscape

Simple Steps to Get Started Designing Your Yard

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