Alternative Landscaping Ideas For Your Rural Property

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Landscaping Ideas – Homeowners look forward to turning their yards into beautiful and usable spaces where the entire family can spend some good quality time. These days, a number of garden ideas and landscaping ideas are available for those who wish to turn their yards into Edens.

We discuss some of the top ways to beautify your garden naturally with a few viable alternative landscaping ideas.

Approximately 97% of America’s landmass is considered a rural area, accounting for a large portion of the country’s natural resources. In fact, 1 out of 5 Americans live in rural areas.

Landscaping a large rural area works in a way that creates harmony with the surroundings while adding usability and functionality to open spaces where these things used to be limited, and worse, non-existent.

A well-landscaped area can help by reducing air conditioning costs by 15% and heating costs by 2%, improving air quality in rural homes. With that, there are a ton of ways to enhance your landscape to better suit your needs.

Here are some landscaping design tips to incorporate in your rural property.

Alternative Landscaping Ideas and Trends

One landscaping trend that is becoming a buzzword today is “naturescaping.”

Naturescaping involves the use of simple techniques that allow a garden to thrive sans the use of synthetic materials, and in a way, mimics nature.

It’s very popular among do-it-yourself as it saves time and money, aside from making the yard safe and healthy for humans and pets alike.

More people are also making their outdoor space an extension of their home’s interior.

The reason is more on the practical side, as homeowners want to have outdoor kitchens and living spaces to accommodate different functions outside of their house.

Also, there’s a noticeable increase in ‘working themes’ in landscape designs.

For example, Zen-themed landscape is ideal and popular among people who like to retreat to their backyard or front yard for relaxation. It’s suited for people who are into yoga as well.

landscaping ideas and Garden Living Areas
Garden Living Areas

With different alternative landscaping ideas available, any yard can be transformed into a living space.

Whether you are concerned about the high costs and maintenance of grassy lawns or if you have a small yard, you might be surprised at the number of different ways in which landscaping can enhance your property.

Keep It Clean

Removing unnecessary trees, shrubs, barks, and the grass is important in keeping your landscape clean, healthy, and growing.

You can hire an expert landscaper or  opt for tree clearing services to help you deal with the first steps in improving your landscape.

In rural landscaping, landowners don’t need to renovate the area to develop it; keeping the land clear from unhealthy trees must always go first.

Maintain Your Lawn

The more traffic on the ground, the more compacted the soil becomes. This blocks nutrients from penetrating to the roots, causing it to die quickly.

Even a thin layer can impede water infiltration and gas exchange between soil and atmosphere.

Removing plugs of soil from the turf creates large pores where moisture and nutrients can be taken into the soil.

This will help maintain your lawn’s health and moisture.

Landscaping without grass

Unlike in the 20th century when well-manicured grass lawns were a fixture in many American homes, more homeowners now prefer to have lawns without grass.

This is due to the increased awareness about the disadvantages of grass lawns such as:

Disadvantages of Grass Lawns

  • Large amounts of water and gasoline needed to irrigate and mow lawns.
  • Amount of fertilizers needed in maintaining grass lawns.
  • Labor-intensive process of mowing lawns which takes up lots of time.

There are plenty of landscaping alternatives for people who don’t like to mow or are simply concerned about the environmental impact of grass lawns, such as:


Moss is an alternative that is best suited for areas with moist and acidic soil. It’s usually used as a ground cover in Japanese gardens and is preferred for many reasons such as:

  • It is low maintenance, unlike grass lawn. Once established, it needs no fertilizer and trimming.
  • Moss needs very little water unless it is extremely dry weather.
  • Its texture is also a great foil for nearby flowering plants and evergreens.
  • Many moss lovers also say that the green color of moss is a lot better than grass in promoting relaxation and reducing stress.

However, moss does have its disadvantages. One is that it will turn brown in warm and dry weather, so it should be watered periodically.

Fallen twigs and leaves can also discourage the growth of moss patches.

To prevent this, there’s a need for gentle raking. Lastly, it doesn’t handle foot traffic quite as well as grass.


Clover is another good alternative to grass as a ground cover. Like moss, it doesn’t need fertilizer. It thrives in sunny to partial shade areas, and can grow in a wide range of soils.

Compared to moss, it is more forgiving to foot traffic and is well adapted to grassy areas of the United States.

However, it is not ideal for homes with small children and animals because it wilts under the constant friction of running and playing.

Mondo grass

Mondo grass is another evergreen ground cover that is a good alternative to a grass lawn. It can grow up to six inches tall if not moved.

As an alternative, dwarf mondo grass grows up to just two inches.

What makes it better than clover and moss is that it can handle foot traffic very well.

Although it is native to Asia, mondo grass thrives in a good number of regions in the United States.


Lilyturf is also a great choice if you are sick and tired of mowing grass lawns. Also called liriope, this plant has dark green leaves. Its leaves are wider than those of mondo grass.

These green beauties can grow to a maximum height of 1 ½ feet. When it comes to soil conditions, lily turf isn’t picky as long as it is exposed to sun all the time. It can also handle light foot traffic.

Dwarf Myrtle

Dwarf myrtle is native to Australia. It likes full sun, and once established, is drought-tolerant.

It can be sheared to a height of 1 foot. When left to grow on its own, it can reach up to heights of 2 feet.

You would also love its tiny white flowers that often appear in spring, and continues well into the summer season.

Prairie Meadows

Finally, there are prairie meadows consisting of wildflowers, low-growing flowering perennials and native grasses.

Prairie meadows love a good amount of sunshine, although some will accept shade too.

Now you know that grass isn’t the only green ground cover out there. You have plenty of other plant options for your lawn.

For areas you want to fill in, one of the popular landscaping hacks, tips and tricks is to use creeping charlie and other plants that thrive in shady areas. 

Alternative landscaping material

Plants aren’t the only ground cover option you have. You can also have gravel and other small rocks which come in numerous forms and colors.

These materials can solve drainage issues, add textural appeal and can handle foot traffic very well.

Types of landscaping materials other than plants are:


You can opt for decomposed granite, a granitic rock that comes in reddish tan color for lawns, garden walkways and rustic patios.

It can also be used as a top dressing around arid plants.

Granite is very cheap and can be bought at home improvement stores for around $3 a bag.

Pea gravel

Another good choice for landscaping filler material is pea gravel. Pea gravel is a small, rounded rock that is about the size of a pea, hence its name.

It comes in different sizes — 1/4 inch, ½ inch and 5/8 inch, for example.

These rocks are also available in various colors, from brown, white and tan. It is ideal for patio and pathways.

Like decomposed granite, it is very cheap and economical for large areas.

River rock

River rock is a lot bigger than pea gravel, usually an inch or larger in terms of diameter.

It is available in different colors and sizes. River rock is often used to direct drainage through a property.

It’s also pretty cheap like decomposed granite and pea gravel.

Mexican beach pebbles

If you’re looking for an elegant rock ground cover option, consider Mexican beach pebbles. These are small, smooth and rounded rocks with a grayish black color, which is used decoratively in gardens.

Though it may be slightly expensive, it’s a classy and sophisticated option for ground cover.

Indeed, there are lots of ways to dress up your garden or backyard!

With so many options in today’s landscaping market, you will constantly want to renovate and improve the look of the space outside your home.

Decorate With Succulents

It can be tempting to decorate your rural landscape with various plants and flowers. However, achieving a great aesthetic means limiting planting schemes.

It is also important to consider how plants go together and how they will work for you.

Decorating with succulents would be ideal when designing a rural landscape.

They are known for being drought tolerant, can grow well in challenging soil conditions, and can provide great textures for the landscape.

Yucca Plants

If you live in a dry or semi-arid climate, consider yuccas for ornamental landscaping. They make great accent plants as well, and work near entryways and focal points.

They are drought-tolerant and low maintenance. A yucca plant can grow in the native soil or potted on the patio.

Garden landscape hacks for using furniture aesthetically

Garden furniture can bring out the beauty of your garden in many ways.

Following are some ideas with which you can make the most of your garden space using good furniture and accents:

Install Fences

The fencing installed around the area will be the first thing that a passerby will notice.

However, it is more than decorating the area, it is also for protecting plants from wildlife and providing privacy for the landowners.

Using existing resources to create a landscape with a more rural atmosphere can increase its beauty and functionality.

The process of planning, designing, and implementing quality landscapes for a large rural area involves plenty of considerations, such as the local conditions, plants to use, and arrangements of decorations.

This helps in increasing its economic development and establish better use of the area.

Circular patios

If you have limited space in the front yard, a circular or round patio set is highly recommended to save space, yet give you the feeling of an outdoor setting.

Indoor dining tables are not just the only option anymore for those with patios.

They can also serve as a gathering place, especially when you put enough seats or have a fire pit. Patios are no longer just seen as a place to eat with guests, but also for relaxing.

Infinity pools

Also known as negative edge pools, infinity pools are a luxurious addition to any yard.

They create a beautiful effect for a swimming pool and adds a strong visual water element to the landscape.

It’s also easier to maintain than standard pools due to the presence of a filtration system, reducing the need to clean out the pool often.

Built-in fireplace or pit

Fireplaces lend a cozy feel to you and your guests when gathered around the flames.

These serve as rich centerpieces for your patio; a fun and visually interesting part to say the least.

Aside from being used as a source of heat during chilly evenings, a fire pit is now being seen as more of an accent in the workplace.

Fire pits are also being customized, available in round, rectangular and even portable designs.

Mixed plantings

Not all alternative landscaping ideas are costly. Try mixing your plants by adding vegetables, herbs and fruit bushes to your flowers. Plumeria flowers can mix in with trees and shrubs.

This way you can conserve space and add variety to your garden. Try to plant pumpkins, squashes and watermelons. When in bloom they’ll produce lush foliage.

Used items for planting spaces

Items like sinks, wardrobes, drawers and bathtubs can be used as decorative planting places. Other items that can serve a similar purpose are buckets, ceramic bowls, toolboxes and old pots.

They can often make a good garden accent that will draw smiles from onlookers. You can use them for growing culinary herbs and vegetables.

glass greenhouse
Glass greenhouse adds a touch of decor to your garden


Greenhouses are great options not just for gardening, but also for improving the aesthetics of the garden.

You can opt for gable greenhouses, dome-shaped or glass greenhouses, all of which look good while serving their purposes of growing plants too. Consider a portable greenhouse which can enhance the look of your property. 

Greenhouses have their own furniture like garden benches, hydroponics and aquariums which can lend their own special charm to your garden.

Best Landscaping options

Having a beautiful garden is a joy to the owner. A well-sculptured yard with many aesthetic enhancements will attract friends and family into spending more time outdoor.

In a rural setting, you may be looking for ways to define your property. Consider shade plants and sycamore trees and other stately trees. 

Today, homeowners look forward to decorating their patios and balconies with plenty of outdoor furniture in relaxed Zen-inspired settings.

Some good landscapes ideas that can enhance outdoor settings are by furnishing them well, using good quality lawn alternatives and fillers like gravel and pebbles.

These days, people prefer moss, mondo grass and clovers over using grass for lawns as they are low maintenance and less expensive.

These are also suitable for families with small children whose play activities disrupt the grass life cycle.

Garden landscapes can be accentuated by adding infinity pools, fountains, fire pits, circular patios, mixed plantings and greenhouses.

By growing different varieties of plants, the owner can harvest good quality food while enjoying the mental and physical rewards of gardening.

Altogether, good landscaping ensures that your yard will be a place of peace and joy for you, your family and the ecosystem around it.

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2 thoughts on “Alternative Landscaping Ideas For Your Rural Property”

  1. While landscaping in predominantly rural areas is not easy, one would have to say that it’s worth it when you consider the costs saved – such as that of air conditioning and heating.

  2. This article was nice to read, and I found some helpful information about volcanic rock and their impact. I will use this information in my paper to educate the readers about this.

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