Gardens are either a pleasure or a hassle, depending on your point of view. There is no denying that a beautiful, well-tended garden is a real asset to a home, but if you hate gardening, there is nothing worse than looking out of your window to see acres of grass and weeds. Yes, gardens can be time consuming, but if you create a low maintenance garden, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. So, if gardening is not your forte, here are some design tips to help you achieve a nice, easy to maintain garden.
Hard Landscaping Tips
Take a look at Japanese gardens if you have visions of a low maintenance outdoor space. The Japanese have gardening down to a fine art. They are masters at using hard materials such as decomposed granite in Los Angeles, CA to create beautiful, serene spaces.
Gravel, stones, paving, and pebbles are all great materials for a low maintenance garden. You do not need to cut the lawn when you replace it with gravel and paving. This type of material is also drought resistant, which is ideal if you live in an area where rainfall is scarce during the summer.
With the right design and planting, hard materials can be just as beautiful as a bed of flowers. Use different materials to divide your garden into distinct areas. For example, paving for paths and pea gravel for other areas. Intersperse large rocks with hardy shrubs and ornamental grasses. In time, your garden will mature into a quiet, relaxing place where you do not need to spend much effort to maintain the status quo.
Replace Grass with Artificial Turf
Cutting grass takes up a lot of time. Even a relatively small lawn can take an hour to cut, and during the growing season, most lawns need cutting at least once a week.
One way to reduce the time you spend maintaining your garden is to get rid of the grass and replace it with artificial turf. Modern fake grass looks exceptionally life-like and at first glance, you will not be able to spot the difference. It is ideal for kids to play on, as it does not wear out under constant foot traffic. Your dog won’t mind it either, although you will need to hose it down after he has done his business.
If you do decide to replace your lawn with artificial turf, consider your options carefully, as there are several different grades of turf to consider.
Replace Flowers with Shrubs
Bedding plants provide a riot of color during the summer months, but they are not exactly low maintenance. It takes time and effort to plant and care for delicate bedding plants. If you don’t have the time, think about replacing flowers with shrubs.
There are hundreds if not thousands of different types of shrubs, many of which are highly decorative. Shrubs require less maintenance once they are established, but you may need to cut them back if you purchase a fast growing variety.
To make life even easier, dig over the beds first and cover the soil with weed membrane to keep weeds at bay. Once this is in place, plant your shrubs and cover the exposed surface with bark chips or gravel. As time passes, the shrubs will grow and mature, hiding the weed membrane.
Grow a Wildflower Meadow
If you really can’t bear the thought of doing much of anything in your garden, give it back to nature and allow your lawn to blossom into a wild flower meadow. Cut a path through the middle to create order and structure; it also makes it easier to walk from one end of the garden to another.
Regular grass will soon become infested with weeds, but you can prettify it by planting wild flowers at intervals or throwing some random seeds into the middle and waiting to see what germinates. This approach is not for everyone, but the local wildlife will love it.
Things to Avoid
Avoid hedges, as these will need to be trimmed at least twice a year. If you must have a hedge, look for a slow growing variety.
Try to avoid planning flowers and bulbs in planters, as these will need watering every day in hot conditions.
Research plants before you buy, as some species are more high maintenance than others are.
A low maintenance garden makes life easier for everyone. It can also add value to your home if your buyer hates gardening too.