Landscaping is not our thing, especially since we travel a lot and then spend the winter months in Arizona. The yard needs redoing anyway. If we did a checkerboard of alternating hard surface and ground cover, what ground covers and hard surfaces would look good with minimum care?
Beth ~ Casper, Wyoming
Beth, many homeowners, like yourself, are shying away from traditional sod lawns, which require lots of water, fertilizers and constant mowing, opting instead for low-maintenance ground covers and landscaping. In your neck of the woods, white clover, Irish moss or Blue Star Creeper might do well, and once established would require very little maintenance. These perennials are usually planted about six inches apart in a planter bed that has some sort of a border, which is needed to contain the plants once they are fully grown. During the first year, following the initial planting, you may have to pull a few weeds and mulch between the individual plants, but eventually a full ground cover should develop that both chokes out the weeds and provides you with a beautiful low-maintenance landscape.
If you want to install the new ground cover with some complementary hardscape, then you may want consider a tumbled brick pathway or a patio of bluestone pavers. These "hard" areas can also be integrated with "softer" hardscapes, such as decomposed granite or washed river rock gravel, which can also provide no-maintenance ground cover when installed on top of a durable weed fabric. When designing your new landscape plan, you should consider how the obvious paths of travel relate to the adjacent ornamental areas, and plan accordingly for any irrigation or lighting needs . Also, keep in mind the winter snow loads that are possible in the Casper area, making sure that the snow that slides off your roof doesn't damage any small shrubs or other landscaping features.
Good luck with your project, and thanks for checking in with us at reliableremodeler.com!