Low Maintenance Landscape/Garden
One thing that we hear all the time is that a client wants a low maintenance landscape/garden. While there is always going to be some maintenance that comes with gardening, there are plenty of ways to keep that maintenance down to a minimum. It all starts with a well-planted garden that takes several things into consideration when choosing plants.
Choosing Your Plant Material
Make sure to choose plants that mature to an appropriate size for a low maintenance landscape/garden. Clients often say that a tree or shrub when first purchased and planted fit into the space well, but now has become out of control and too big for the spot. Start out with a plant that will mature to the size you need, not something that just looks good now, and you will be much happier with the results in the long run. A good choice for impact in a small space is a Japanese Maple. Check the sizes, as some can get quite large, but there are many dwarf varieties that fit into almost any spot, and they typically all come with standout foliage, fall color, and great form for winter interest.
Know Your Property
Choosing plants that will thrive in the conditions you have will help create a low maintenance landscape/garden. This will cut back on the amount of work you need to do to keep them alive. Putting a plant in the wrong conditions can put stress on that plant, and plants that are stressed are more susceptible to pests and diseases. Unhealthy plants will cause more work for you in the long run. Hot dry sun? Don’t plant anything that wants a lot of watering. Lots of shade? Don’t put anything that might get leggy reaching for the sun.
Perennials and Shrubs
Pick hardy perennials and shrubs that you don’t have to replace every year. Annuals are great for pops of color, but don’t have them as the main theme in your landscape unless you want to replace them every year. This can help with maintenance because its alleviates the need to dig holes every spring, water constantly all summer long, and then lastly the removal of them every fall. Perennials once established can be self sustaining with only the occasional watering during a drought (which if you have droughts often, see our second recommendation and choose plants that can handle drought situations), and just cut back in the fall, making for easy clean up. See our list of “Plants For Every Purpose” to see perennials and shrubs that thrive in our area.
Following these recommendations while choosing plants for your low maintenance landscape/garden will help with maintenance in the long run. So will keeping up with small tasks before they get too big and out of control. Check out our blog “Early Spring Landscape Maintenance Guide” so that you can keep up on what needs to be done in your yard before it becomes an issue. There is no such thing as maintenance free landscape, but by carefully choosing your plant material you can help keep this job to a minimal.
If you are having trouble finding something for your unique setting go to a reputable nursery in your area, with pictures and a description of you conditions. They are normally happy to help you find something that will work with what you have. There is something for everyone to make your property not just beautiful but thriving which in turn creates less work for you. Happy Planting!