Low-maintenance gardens are all about easy landscaping and growing undemanding plants, such as perennials and wildflowers.
Love the look of a beautiful garden? Yet, due to a busy lifestyle or any other reason, trying to find a way to reduce gardening tasks?
If so, consider low-maintenance gardening. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean to stop caring for features and/or functions that come first on your priority list. Actually, what you need to do is reduce activities in other parts of the garden.
As lawns are time- and labor-consuming, opt for alternative solutions, such as meadows.
Start re-planning your landscape and keep things as simple as you can. Try to create a no-dig garden. Large raised beds and straw bale gardens are always an impressive choice!
Choose carefully your plants. Focus on less upkeep options, such as perennials, climate-specific grasses and native plants, and no-fuss flowers.
Create outdoor living spaces where to relax and entertain because it means to reduce the areas you need to care for. Try to incorporate features that add visual interest and appeal, such as trellises and attention-grabbing edgings.
1. Low-maintenance Landscaping
Transitioning to low-maintenance gardening should start with thoughtful, careful planning. Divide the garden into zones, such as entertaining, growing, pathways, garden structures, and more as to meet your needs and lifestyle. Focus on what you already have and what you want to change.
Don’t forget to test the soil in the garden. When treated right, soil considerably helps easy-maintenance gardening. Generally, focus on feeding your soil, not the plants because healthy soil grows disease- and pest-free plants. Always keep in mind that digging and tilling destroy soil life. In this regard, creating no-dig gardens is a step to transition to low-maintenance gardening.
Installing an automatic irrigation system can definitely help reduce garden work.
As already mentioned, large raised beds are a solution that reduces garden work, offers functionality, and adds visual appeal and interest. When used in a creative, unexpected way, a plethora of items, from old wheelbarrows, chairs, and bicycles to old farming equipment and musical instruments to dead tree trunks, repurposed as portable planters add vintage charm, personality, and visual interest and can lend any garden a unique look.
Consider incorporating permanent covers. Decks, stone-covered areas, meadows, and mulch are all suitable options, the choice depends on the features and functions of the space.
Wood decks and stone covered patios help create multi-functional outdoor rooms and add visual appeal and interest.
In the picture above, an inviting multi-functional outdoor room. A wood deck accommodates a kitchen corner, while the rest of the patio is covered by stone. A pergola with adequate seating is a stunning option for relaxing or entertaining. Curtains offer privacy when needed. Greenery adds color, scent, and visual interest.
Using mulch is a choice that offers a lot of benefits, such as weed and soil erosion control. In addition, it improves soil structure, regulates soil temperature, and helps the soil retain moisture. Not to mention that a layer of mulch can lend a visually appealing look to any garden and adds tons of personality.
When making a decision what kind of mulch to use, consider it in terms of cost, functionality, and aesthetics. Note that as they slowly decay, improve soil structure and have better water-retaining properties, organic materials are always a preferable option. Actually, anything from fallen leaves, pine needles, and grass clippings to shredded pruning or paper/ or a mixture in different proportions of the above-mentioned options/ in a layer thick about 2-3 inches can do the job. However, you should apply mulch/if not 100% organic/only to the soil surface as a protective layer.
Different kinds of mulch have different uses, though. Pebbles and gravel are used for pathways, driveways, and raised beds. As they require less maintenance, it is a smart solution to replace grassy walkways with gravel pathways. Rocks are also a raised bed option. Furthermore, when river stones of a uniform size are arranged, they create a dry creek bed, which imitates an actual waterway.
Above, an adorable low-maintenance garden. Pavers, rocks, and pebbles create a permanent cover in this outdoor hideaway. Garden art and greenery add color and visual interest. A swing positioned under an arbor offers a space to relax in privacy.
Shown above is a small yet charming space with a pebbles cover. A cushioned seating area complemented by a simple fountain and a lavender bed create a definitely wow-worthy outdoor room.
In the picture above, smooth dark river stones complemented by boulders create a dry creek bed. What a way to add visual interest and personality to a low-maintenance garden!
Unquestionably, lawns are the most time- and labor-consuming parts of any garden. In this regard, if you have a well-manicured lawn, but its maintenance is too demanding, letting parts of it go wild is a smart solution. If not completely sure about the result, simply reduce its size and start with a small area at the farthest end of the garden or under the trees/if you have any/.
Birdhouses and bird feeders, piles of logs, simple wood benches, and a small pond can completely transform the look of the space and turn it into the favorite part of your garden where to relax and enjoy your piece of paradise!
Just consider meadow benefits. In summers, its colorful look will definitely add visual interest to your outdoors. Not to mention that less mowing means less pollution. In addition, the more the flowers, the more insects and birds. Generally, when it comes to low-maintenance gardening, it’s always a wise idea to work with nature, such as including pest-repellent plants.
Artificial grass is also an option, especially if you have kids and pets, it requires no upkeep at all.
In the picture above, this meadow is definitely a feast for the senses. Simplicity can be so beautiful!
For adding extra personality, vertical interest, and architectural effect, display garden art. Sculptures and even large, empty containers can do the job. Other options are to use pieces of furniture or mosaic patio inserts for creating focal points.
Being an eco-friendly solution, solar lights are also an affordable choice. With so many products in terms of designs available on the market, solar lights are still another option to add visual interest to any outdoor space.
Above, in this adorable low-maintenance garden, a piece of art adds extra visual interest and personality.
2. Low-maintenance Plants
Growing undemanding plants is another way to transition to low-maintenance gardening.
Above, a cozy garden chair offers the possibility to enjoy in privacy the charm and beauty of this peaceful low-maintenance garden.
As plants need different quantities of water and sunlight as well as different soil types, it is a smart solution to make groupings with similar necessities. Mix and match greenery of different color, size, and texture to create a garden, which offers beauty, scent, and visual interest.
Opt for a limited number of flowers, which are attractive in all seasons and plant them in blocks, and the larger the block, the better.
When possible, choose pest- and disease-resistant and drought-tolerant plants.
With so many low-maintenance plant options it is not that difficult to add color, interest, and drama to any garden.
Always consider lavender, it is a gorgeous choice. Undemanding yet attractive, it can enhance any garden. Plus, lavender scent is proved to be a bug repellent.
Actually, when it comes to low-maintenance plants, together with perennials and ornamental grasses, shrubs and trees need little maintenance and are usually a favorite solution. Shrubs, in particular, can deliver a year-round beauty, color, texture, and charm.
In the picture above, an enchanting garden. Lavender is a stunning addition to this colorful mix of trees, shrubs, and blooming flowers.
Generally, for less upkeep, opt for vibrant yet non-fussy flowers and climate-specific plants.
Above shown, Black-eyed Susan looks gorgeous when paired with Russian sage. These perennials are drought-tolerant, attract wildlife, and can definitely make a bold statement in any garden!
Whatever the reason, sometimes transiting to low-maintenance gardening is a necessity. However, a low-maintenance garden doesn’t mean it could not be an adorable space where to relax and entertain with family and friends. Although it would take time, which some planning and redesigning, any low-maintenance garden can become an inspiring, exciting, heavenly beautiful space.