We’ve all made the excuses, not enough time, not enough space or “I just don’t have a green thumb”. Whatever the reason for not building the garden of your dreams we’ve all said it at one time or another. But the reality is that gardening does not have to be a labour of love. It can simply be a joyful pass time if certain actions are taken to ensure a low maintenance garden. Now let me just preface by saying low-maintenance doesn’t mean no-maintenance, however with a little up-front work and some basic weekly care you can enjoy a gorgeous landscape without feeling beholden to your garden beds daily. We’ve never had as much time as we do now so we might as well make the best of it!
Start with a good foundation: It’s pretty simple – healthy soil = healthy plants. If you ate nothing but junk food what sort of shape would you be in? Mix fertilizer, compost or nutrient-rich soil in your garden bed so the plants can get the nourishment they need. Ensure there is proper drainage in your beds so plants don’t drown. Comparably a nice layer of quality mulch over the soil will help to keep moisture in place when you don’t get a chance to water.
Choose low maintenance plants:
- Ornamental Grasses require no more care than cutting back in early March. That spring you will be rewarded as they fill and grow and grow all summer season. Different grasses are available that will require varied amounts of sun and shade, be sure to get the right grass for your landscape.
- Trees and Shrubs are by far the best plants for gorgeous and low-maintenance gardens. Some will require yearly pruning but others, not even that. Make very certain that you give the plants enough space to grow to their full size.
- Ground covers Great for filling space many ground covers are also very hardy. Make sure you keep them with larger plants or with LOTS of space to spread. Nearby perennials or tender annuals can be choked out by an aggressive ground cover.
- Bulbs – The lowest-maintenance bulbs are those that naturalize, which means they can spread on their own and come back for years. Keep in mind that to get real impact with bulbs you want to plant LOTS.
Weeding: Ok so this is the one you have to do pretty regularly – BUT let me explain! It is much easier to pull a couple of weeds than it is to spend hours toiling over weeds that have been left for weeks on end. Weeds that have been left will seed and spread meaning more weeds and more work. So grab a glass of wine and mosey on out to the garden, enjoy the evening air and rip any invaders out by the root!
Container Gardening: Looking for really easy garden impact. Forget the traditional bed and opt for containers, window boxes and hanging baskets. All readily available with plants perfect for specific exposures you can add a ton of colour with some thoughtfully placed planters. Maintenance is then limited to water and the occasional fertilizing for best effects.