Nothing sets off a home more than a beautiful garden surrounding it. You can add interest and colour, create shade, create a place for the children to play, entertain guests or just relax by yourself in a beautiful space when you have the kind of garden that gives you pleasure. Unless you want to hire a landscape gardener on a permanent basis, much can be said for ensuring that the garden you create is low maintenance.
Why? Here are 4 reasons to consider when deciding what kind of garden you should have.
- A low maintenance garden will always look attractive without you having to spend all your spare time attending to it. This is especially important when you work outside the home or have children. Both will leave little spare time in your life and you may prefer to use it for something else rather than pulling weeds and pruning bushes. If you like to go out of a night and sleep in on the weekend, or if you would rather play golf than dig, a low maintenance garden is for you.
- A low maintenance garden is good for the planet. Not only does it use up less water; it takes less fertiliser and pesticides. If you are concerned about water usage, or don’t like the idea of poisons draining into the waterways, going for an easy care garden is a no-brainer. And using less water means you are saving money.
- If you go for frequent holidays or business trips, a low maintenance garden will not be full of weeds or dead from lack of care when you get back home.
- If you plan on staying in your home as you get older, it is wise to ensure your garden will still be manageable as you become more frail. Older people often have arthritis or other problems with mobility, but you can still enjoy the garden if you don’t have to do too much to keep it looking nice.
So what does a low maintenance garden look like? It has plants that are not annuals or even perennials. Plants that only last a short time have to be replaced which means more frequent digging. Garden beds containing plants that last for years can have attractive pebbles or pine chips over the top of the soil to help keep weeds out and moisture in.
Plants should be carefully chosen to meet several criteria: –
- Attractive foliage/flowers/berries/bark
- Drought and frost hardy
- Minimum water needs
- Lasting several years or more
- Won’t require pruning
- Their seeds won’t come up in the garden or lawn
Choose only plants that are suitable to your climate and location. Low maintenance gardens also make use of other elements apart from plants to enhance them. You may want to include wide pathways or an area that is attractively paved. A large rock or a single attractive clumping grass species can become a centrepiece. Colour and interest can also be created using whimsical ornaments, statures or an easy care water feature. Or you could have a single tree with an attractive timber bench underneath it in the centre of the lawn.
If you prefer to go lawn-less and save mowing, you can have paved or gravel areas – or both – or choose a lawn grass that does not grow tall. These things do not have to be accomplished all at once. Take it gradually and plan each step as you go and your lawn and garden will soon be much easier to handle.