Gardens look beautiful, but many people simply don't have time to spend hours every day landscaping an outdoor paradise. Luckily, even if you have a busy schedule, there are a number of plants you can choose that are low-maintenance and easy to grow. You can also set up your garden so that it is as maintenance-free as possible, no matter what you plant, through irrigation, stone, and more.
Every garden should have some colour, and one of the best ways to do that is to add flowers. Many homeowners avoid flowers because they think they need talent and time to make them grow. While no flowers will leave you completely free from work, there are options that work well for people with little time for gardening. Here are the best flowers to pick if you don't have a lot of time to spend on your landscape:
- Black-Eyed Susans: Black-eyed susans are wild daisies that don't really need much attention. In fact, they're kind of like weeds - really resistant to disease and hard to kill off. Fortunately, black-eyed susans don't look like weeds. They're a beautiful addition to any garden.
- Peonies: Peonies come in pink, red, white, yellow, and combinations thereof. They actually do best when left totally alone, so all you'll really have to do is a little pruning if the growth gets out of control.
- Russian Sage: Russian sage is a fall blooming plant that's blue in colour and needs little more than sun and water. They need a bit of pruning in the spring, but you won't have to worry about pests or disease.
- Chelone: Chelone (or turtlehead) is one of the easiest plants to grow. In really hot summer sun, you may need to water them, but that's about it. Chelone comes in red, white, and pink.
- Forget-Me-Nots: If your yard is filled with shade, forget-me-nots are a perfect solution. They're blue, pink, and white, and don't need much attention once you've scattered the seeds.
Trees need to be pruned and protected from animals for the first few years of life, but all in all, they make a big statement in your yard with little work. Keep in mind that evergreens are the best low-maintenance choice, since they won't shed their leaves annually, but even raking leaves of deciduous trees takes a few hours every year at most. One definitely downfall is the price - trees can be rather expensive - but they're easy to maintain even if you don't have much time.
An outdoor area doesn't have to have grass. Most people associate yards with landscaping, but yards - at least those made of grass - can be more trouble than they are worth. You have to cut grass, but you don't have to cut stone! Instead of laying sod, consider gravel or other types of stones to fill that space.
What kinds of stone can you choose for your landscaping? You actually have more options than you may realize. Stones for landscaping come in a variety of colours, including white, gray, red, brown, gold, and tan. You can also find stone that comes in a rainbow of different colours. Stone can be natural or it can be man-made. Natural stone is heavier and, in most cases, sturdier. On the other hand, man-made stone comes in more colours and textures. Both work well in your landscaping.
While stone does work well, there are other choices for replacing your yard as well. Clover, for one, works really well, because it is tolerant of drought areas, a natural insect repellant, and grows slowly. You can also choose moss, especially if you have a number of trees and other shady areas.
Mulch is a perfect solution for low-maintenance landscaping. You can fill beds with plants like the flowers listed above, you can surround tress and bushes, and you can even just line a fence or other features with it. Mulch is resistant to weeds, and it doesn't need to be mowed. You also don't need to water mulch, and if you're growing plants in the mulch, you should rarely have to water them either - mulch retains the rainwater for other plants to use. Other than replacing the mulch every few years, there's little work you have to do with this in your garden.
If you want a low-maintenance yard that will look great for years, consider spending the time and money right off the bat for an irrigation system. That one expense is the best purchase you can make, because once it is in place, you don't have to deal with ruts from running rainwater, dying plants, or other water-related problems. It is almost like having a staff of people taking care of your garden. Just flip a switch to turn on a sprinkler system in the summer and watch the drainage carry the water away when it storms.
Remember, for the most low-maintenance yard possible, stick to plants that are native to the area where you live. You won't have to convince them to grow. Also, don't forget that some plants attract animals more readily than others, and while you may want a little life in you yard, small mammals like rabbits can wreak havoc with holes and tunnels. A great yard doesn't need a ton of maintenance - just a little planning.Posted by: TrustedPros