10 Ways to Landscape Without Planting Something

Don't have a green thumb? Here are some great landscaping options that don't require planting.

1 / 10

nail the edging brick pavers
Family Handyman

Landscape Edging

Create a dynamic look around any existing lawn or garden feature with some landscape edging. You can go with a patio paver/stone or maybe brick to add a nice border.

2 / 10

Retaining Wall
Construction Pro Tips

Retaining Wall

A DIY retaining wall is a fantastic way to add character and dimension to a sloped yard. Retaining walls take ample planning and strong landscaping knowledge, so be sure of your DIY skills if you plan on building one. A poorly-reinforced wall won’t hold up for long.

3 / 10

planted path with stepping stones
Family Handyman

Stepping Stones

Break up the yard with some simple stepping stones. You can add them in the front or back yard.

4 / 10

Rock Garden

Don’t want to nurture plants and shrubs? Well, a rock garden is a great alternative and requires a fraction of the maintenance.

5 / 10

diy water feature
Family Handyman

Water Features

You can DIY a water feature or go the simpler route of purchasing one. Both are good options.

6 / 10

Mark R Coons/Shutterstock

Rain Barrels

A DIY rain barrel costs less than $100 and works just as well as any barrel you can buy. But first, determine if collecting rain water is illegal in your state. Planning to buy one? Here’s a list of our favorite decorative rain barrels.

7 / 10

FH02JUN_OUTROO_01-2 outdoor living room
Family Handyman

Create an Outdoor Living Space

If you’re more of a kick-back-and-relax type, consider building or hiring someone to build your dream outdoor living space. Whether you prefer an outdoor kitchen, a dining area or maybe a bar to entertain, there are plenty of options.

8 / 10

Applying Mulch
Family Handyman

Low-Maintenance Ground Covers

Sand, gravel, mulch and bark are all low-maintenance alternatives to grass. Plus, they can add a pop of color to break up the landscape.

9 / 10

permanent tiki torch pvc holders


Consider adding tiki torches or other outdoor lighting to your backyard oasis.

10 / 10

Turf grass close-up
Lutai Razvan / EyeEm/Getty Images

Artificial Grass

Tired of mowing a lawn? Artificial grass or turf might be a good option for you.

Alex Shoemaker
Alex is an avid DIYer but had little experience before purchasing his first home in 2019. A Family Handyman subscription was one of his first purchases after becoming a homeowner, and he's been hooked ever since. When he’s not working, he can be found fixing up his 1940s Florida home or relaxing on the beach with his family.