Vacation Home Landscaping: How to Keep it Looking Great All Year Long

Written By: Andrew Blanchford

Dec 27, 2022 12:03:27 PM

If you’ve got a vacation home in Bozeman or Big Sky, MT, you want to keep it looking great year-round (even when you’re not there to check on it). Because of that, you’re likely looking for low-maintenance landscaping in Bozeman, MT that will look good without a lot of upkeep.

We understand that the landscape is an important element of your vacation home. That’s why we’ve rounded up some vacation home landscaping ideas to keep in mind for your property.

Low Maintenance Backyard Ideas for Vacation Homes

Like all investments in your home, regular maintenance is required to keep it healthy and looking great. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to minimizing  backyard maintenance.

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Low-Maintenance Plant Choices

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance backyard for your vacation home, then a key consideration is being highly selective with plant material. 

You want plants that are not going to require tons of care to look and perform their best. Fortunately, there are many native ornamental grasses that can make a great choice and only need to be cut back once a year.

walkway along home with native grasses and view of mountainsVarious perennials can also deliver value without being high-need and requiring frequent care. They are also typically only cut back annually (unless you want to keep them blooming longer by deadheading an additional time)

In Bozeman and Big Sky, MT we are fortunate that there are many plant choices that are both low maintenance and visually attractive. After all, homeowners don’t want to sacrifice color or texture for ease of maintenance. The key is to work with a landscape professional who has extensive horticultural knowledge (that includes a long list of potential plant choices).

Smart Planting Choices

Of course, it’s not just what plant is used but also how it’s planted. 

There is an expression in our industry that goes, “right plant, right place.” What that means is that even if you’ve chosen a low-maintenance plant, if you install it somewhere that its needs can’t get met, it’s still going to be high maintenance. For instance, a shade-loving plant that is installed in a sunny area is going to struggle.

plantings near walkway Oftentimes, poor landscape design choices like these can’t simply be overcome with maintenance. If a plant was not installed where it will thrive, it never will. You can throw all of the water and fertilizer at it and it’s still going to decline. This circles back to the importance of making thoughtful and wise choices, through the design process, from the onset. You shouldn’t have to deal with a struggling landscape because of the way in which plants were laid out. These types of problems are avoidable by going through a thorough landscape design process with a professional designerat the beginning. .

One of the biggest landscape maintenance costs is lawn care.  With weekly mowing, watering, fertilizing, weed control and aerating, there is always something to do with your lawn.  The first consideration is lawn size.  It’s best to define what you want to use the lawn for and create a lawn sized for those uses.  We think about lawns as an additional outdoor space that is carpeted with turfgrass.  For areas that are mostly decorative, consider a native meadow with grasses and wildflowers.  This will be beautiful all season and requires only annual mowing, little water, less fertilizer and is more fitting with our Montana landscape.  

Hardscaping in the Backyard

As far as maintenance goes, hardscaping is about as simple as it gets. Adding outdoor living areas where you can spend time outside is a great low-maintenance addition to the backyard.

couple drinks wine on natural stone patio looking at mountainsAs you get started with your outdoor living room design, a patio is likely to be at the heart of it all. Depending on how you plan to use your outdoor living area, a patio can be a spot for lounging, dining, entertaining, and so much more.

The only real maintenance involved in a natural stone patio is occasional power-washing for cleaning and re-sanding the joints every few years. Because of the durability of natural stone (after all, it has survived in “nature” for thousands of years), there really isn’t much you need to do with it. It will continue to exude beauty for years to come.

Low Maintenance Landscape in the Front Yard

As far as the front yard, a lot of the same rules apply. 

For example, choosing plant material that’s not going to require a ton of upkeep is a wise choice. 

container gardens at front door of homeA lot of homeowners consider container gardens for the front yard. These seasonal arrangements definitely make an attractive addition that will add curb appeal 
Container gardens can be low maintenance with some forethought and planning. In fact, we can create self-watering container gardens that will only need additional water about once a week. You can even delegate that task to your landscape maintenance professional so that you never have to worry about them. When Blanchford Landscape Group handles container garden care, we even replace dead or dying plants as your containers need updating.

Also similar to the backyard, you might want to think about adding hardscape areas to your front yard, such as walkways or a driveway. Hardscaping is not going to require the upkeep that plant material does but will keep your property highly functional for you and your guests.

walkway around home near pondA beautiful stone walkway design can actually be an aesthetic addition to your property that enhances its overall appeal while also adding that functionality you’re looking for when it comes to traversing your property safely.

Delegating Vacation Home Landscaping

Whether you visit your vacation home frequently or you are hardly ever there because you rent it out, the last thing that you want to worry about is landscaping tasks. 

You’d rather just delegate those needs to a landscaping company that you can trust to handle them for you.

At Blanchford Landscape Group, we are frequently involved in vacation home landscaping both from the creation perspective (design/build) as well as ongoing maintenance. 

When designing and building landscapes for vacation homes, we are keeping those low-maintenance needs in mind. We understand that you don’t want your vacation home landscape to become an added stressor for you in any way. You want a landscape that will require minimal upkeep but continue to look great.

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When dealing with the maintenance aspect, we know that it’s all about trust.

We feel good knowing that we’re contributing to our clients’ properties in a way that allows them to get even more enjoyment out of them. We also love that our clients entrust us to be caregivers to their precious properties when they aren’t there. Thanks to building ongoing relationships with many of our clients, we really take pride in this work.

While no two properties are alike here in Bozeman and Big Sky, MT, we’ll create a customized solution for your property that will help you feel confident it’s in good hands. 

Are you ready to begin the process of creating a landscape design that you adore at your Bozeman or Big Sky, MT home, or are you looking for someone to perform ongoing maintenance needs? Let’s connect and talk about your project. Then, we can meet and begin talking about your ideas. We can’t wait for you to enjoy your beautiful (and well-maintained) outdoor space!

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Topics: Landscape Design, Landscape Maintenance

Posted by Andrew Blanchford

Andy grew up in southeast Pennsylvania. He holds a Bachelors of Science Degree from Pennsylvania State University in Landscape Contracting. He is a Certified Plant Professional and is the only Certified Landscape Industry Manager in Montana. When not at work he has fun with his family. He also enjoys travel, trail running, skiing, and the great Montana outdoors.