10 Secrets to a Successful Low-Maintenance Garden
Imagine if you will…
A well kept garden, with bright green grass manicured to a reasonable height that has a neat pathway running through it, leading to a patio and an assortment of colourful flowers.
This image might conjure an array of tasks you need to do on a daily basis to maintain the picturesque garden. However, we want to propose this: you can have a beautiful garden and it can be easy to maintain.
That’s right – there are plenty of ways to reduce maintenance and, in turn, make gardening enjoyable. You see, a low-maintenance garden will help you can eliminate (or at least reduce) repetitive chores like mowing, trimming, edging and watering plants. In fact, you can make a stylish garden that only needs a few hours of maintenance each week.
Interested in how you can achieve this?
Sit back, relax and dive into today’s article and the 10 secrets to creating a low-maintenance – yet beautiful – garden.
1. Reduce grass or install artificial grass
Mowing the lawn and maintaining it can take a lot of your time. You can reduce this by minimising the amount of grass in your garden by installing pebble paths instead of grassy walkways. Pebble paths are also helpful because they allow water to drain freely, stop weeds from growing through them and don’t require weekly maintenance.
Another way you can reduce the amount of grass in your lawn is by surrounding your trees with plants instead of grass. Woodland plants are ideal because they easily thrive around tree roots.
If you are completely pressed with the time required to maintain a lawn, consider replacing natural grass with an artificial lawn. This way instead of watering, feeding, or mowing on a weekly basis, all you have to do is keep it clean by occasionally vacuum it.
2. Create paths and seating areas with stone pavers
One way you can reduce the maintenance hours required to look after your paths and seating is by making the paths wide and big with soft and simple lines, built from porcelain or stone pavers. This way, you can keep these areas of your garden weed-free and all you need to do is hose them down or brush away fallen leaves and debris when required.
Another simple trick of the trade that helps to minimise the time spent cleaning your garden is by installing your paths and seating in areas that get full sunlight where they can dry faster if (and when) it rains. If you place the seating or paths under trees or damp and shady areas, they will get wet and slippery and will need regular pressure washing to keep them clean and free from mould.
3. Sprinkle compost on your garden beds
Simple ways you can keep your garden thriving is by feeding the soil in your garden beds with compost, mulch or compost tea. Compost provides your plants with vital nutrients to keep them thriving, alive and healthy. You can also conserve the moisture in your garden bed, suppress weeds from growing and balance the shifts in temperature by applying a 5-10cm layer of mulch to your garden, twice a year. This way, your garden will only need minor watering, feeding, and weeding to keep it looking beautiful and nourished. As for compost tea, you can spray an aerobically brewed tea on poor soil to efficiently improve its texture and tilth.
4. Choose plants that suit your climate and soil
Another way to reduce the amount of time you spend tending to your garden is choosing plants that suit the type of climate you live in. For example, If you live in a hot, dry climate, pick plants that love this kind of weather. If you live in a cold, wet climate, choose plants that love this type of weather. Next, if your soil is acidic, choose plants that thrive in acidic soil.
In the same vein, choosing native plants is always a winner because they have proven time and time again that they thrive in the climate of your area. As a result, once planted they will thrive and help reduce the time and money you need to spend on watering, pruning and feeding them. What’s more, if you choose native plants that are drought-tolerant, you will instantly reduce your garden’s water consumption during long, dry summers.
Other plants that are easier to maintain in an Australian garden include perennials and drifts of ornamental grasses. These only need to be trimmed once a year and with plenty of ground-cover installed between them, you will be able to reduce weeds growing through them and the amount of watering required.
5. Grow a variety of plants together
Growing a variety of plants together will help you maximise your space as well as reducing the time required to maintain them separately. You can combine evergreens with native border shrubs, perennials, and bulbs. What’s more, when plants are close to each other, less soil is exposed to the sun thus locking in moisture and inhibiting weed growth. You can also grow plants that bloom at different seasons and showcase their ornamental leaves throughout the year making your garden attractive and colourful all year around, without having to lift a finger more than necessary to do so.
6. Add lavender to your garden
Lavender is a very special plant for several reasons. Firstly, it will add a relaxing aroma and burst of colour to your garden. Secondly, if you live in a climate with limited rain, you only have to water lavender 1-2 times a week. And finally, lavender is a natural bug-repellent for your garden and if you own woollen clothing, lavender is an excellent source of keeping your clothes from being chewed by wool flies. Simply cut and dry some lavender flowers and sprinkle them over your woollen clothes when you store them away in the summer months.
7. Plant in large pots or containers
Another way to reduce the time and energy required to maintain your garden is by utilising pots and containers to help style your backyard and grow plants that won’t thrive in its soil. Pick plants that enjoy good drainage (like olives, lavenders, ornamental grasses) and can go for long periods without watering (such succulents, drought-tolerant bedding plants). Plant them in large pots or containers that will retain moisture or use water-retaining gels to reduce the amount of watering required.
Potted plants make an ideal additional to a low-maintenance garden because you only need to water the plant in the pot and in the same vein, you can easily move it around to catch the sun, rain or store it in the shade on a hot day. Potted plants also help add a splash of colour to different parts of your garden. Additionally, if you have pets, planting in large pots is a great way to deter your pet from digging them up and causing a mess and destroying your garden.
8. Add edging around your garden with stone pavers
Building edging around your garden can help separate your grass and garden, making it look neater and easier to maintain. This detail will also make it easier for you to mow or sweep without having to edge your lawn. If you want to add character to your garden, consider installing the edging in a curved format. Curved stone pavers will enhance your landscape all year around and very easily transform your garden into a beautiful oasis.
9. Plant flowers, herbs, and other greenery in large beds
Instead of growing a little bit of this here and a little bit of that there, reduce your garden maintenance by growing plants and vegetables in large beds. This will keep them organised, reduce the growth of weeds, give them the necessary space to grow in a specific area and add depth to your garden. You might want to consider raising the garden beds or lining them with boards or granite slabs so that plants don’t get crushed by foot traffic, kids or pets. These type of garden beds look pretty while simultaneously promoting good plant health and allowing them to grow within a designated area where you can prune them at the same time, halving the maintenance required.
10. Use crushed stones or pebbles in your garden beds
A simple and cost-effective way to reduce the time and water required to nourish your garden is by adding crushed stones and pebbles as a mulch replacement. These can help conserve water and you never have to replace them. So if you want to spend less time watering your plants and replacing the beds, consider adding them to your garden.
Creating a stylish garden that needs little work
There you have it!
10 simple and effective ways you can create a low-maintenance garden, because caring for a garden should be fun, not a chore. These tips can help you create a stylish garden that requires little maintenance. What’s more, with less work, you can spend more time sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the view.
If you need any assistance or have any questions about the best natural stone pavers, stepping stones, garden edging or garden pebbles for your low-maintenance garden, reach out to our natural stone experts at Armstone online, call us at 1300 560 560 or visit our Sydney showroom in Glebe.
We would love to help bring your garden to life.