For some of us, spring showers and summer humidity bring verdant green yards. For everyone else (really, anyone living in California, Nevada, Arizona—anywhere with unprecedented dry weather), it can be increasingly difficult to keep lawns as lush as you may want them. But rather than face disappointment every summer when your flower beds wilt and your grass gets crispy, consider making them heatproof. According to Houzz’s 2022 Summer Trend Report, searches for drought-resistant landscaping are up 99 percent from this time last year. Not sure where to start? Here are three low-maintenance ways to ensure your outdoor space always looks good…no matter the time of year.

Try Hardscaping

Photography by Sara Liggoria-Tramp

An easy and durable alternative to laying down sod or wildflower gardens is to cover the ground with large pavers or gravel. Designer Jess Diab coated the floor of her client’s Los Angeles backyard’s firepit area with a layer of small pebbles; it’s now a cozy space to spend warm evenings. The trick is to test different size pebbles to figure out what feels best underfoot.

Ditch the Watering Can

Photography and Design by Dabito

Whether your area doesn’t get a ton of rainfall or you have water-usage restrictions, outfit your garden with low-hydration, happy plants as Dabito has done here. Mexican sage, agave, and aloe still ensure his California yard has plenty of visual interest and variety. Note: If you’re not into succulents, opt for local flora that is already used to your home’s climate. 


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Go Faux

Photography by Karyn Millet

Looking for as little maintenance as possible? Abandon live greenery entirely in favor of the synthetic alternative. Designer Raili Clasen’s front lawn is clad in fire-resistant artificial turf, perfect for family bocce ball tournaments. Plus there won’t be a single muddy footprint to clean or a sunken chair leg to pry out of the ground.