Table of contents:
- 1. Site functionality
- 2. Road and path network
- 3. Irrigation system
- 4. Choice of plants
- 5. Mulch
- 6. The size and shape of the lawn
Video: 6 Main Rules Of A Low-maintenance Garden From A Landscape Designer. How To Create A Garden For The Lazy? Photo
I have been doing landscape design for over ten years. When people ask - "Make me a low-maintenance garden", they first of all mean the presence of plants that do not require any worries. But we must understand that the term "low maintenance" does not imply a rejection of watering, fertilizing, pruning and other actions. There are no plants that do not require maintenance at all. For the garden to be beautiful and blooming, the plants need to be looked after. Our task is to make these works as comfortable as possible. In addition, being in the garden is not only about caring for plants, but also many other things and worries. Therefore, I propose to consider the concept of low maintenance in a broader sense.
1. Site functionality
The first thing we must take care of when creating a low-maintenance garden is the functionality of the site. You need to think over everything to the smallest detail, because everyday inconveniences cause so much trouble that all the pleasure of being in the country, in the garden will be spoiled by these very troubles.
I will list the points, the importance of which is somehow underestimated by the owners of the sites:
- The presence of a compost. And if the plot is large in area, then composting boxes should be arranged in different parts of the garden. It is extremely inconvenient and time consuming to dispose of plant residues if there is nowhere to compost them.
- A container for water, in my opinion, is a must. Another thing is how it will look and where it will be located, but this is a topic for a separate article.
- An economic entrance will help save nerves and money, although it will take some area from the garden. But when you need to bring sand, boards or something else, you will appreciate this convenience.
- Inventory storage should be organized so that tools are easy to pick up and find quickly.
- And even a place for drying clothes - think in advance where it is better to place it.
2. Road and path network
The second thing you need to pay attention to is a convenient road and path network. Everyone knows that after the construction of a house and other buildings, you need to make paths on the site and make them efficiently. But in practice, it is ill-conceived paths that lead to the fact that movement around the garden becomes inconvenient and complicates the care of it.
- You cannot save on the width of the paths, especially in the garden area. If it is impossible to use a garden wheelbarrow, or to walk calmly with a bucket in hand, then what is the convenience?
- Docks and intersections of tracks should be without sharp corners - this is a must! If you do not widen the site at the intersection of the paths, then the lawn will probably be trampled or the flowers will be broken, because a person will step into this place, because we always round the corners when moving.
- Layout of tiles - no cross-shaped intersections, this is especially important on heaving grounds.
- Choose a tile without a chamfer, such a track is difficult to keep clean, and this, you yourself understand, does not help to minimize maintenance.
3. Irrigation system
The third is watering. A properly organized irrigation system will free 30-50 percent of the time from all garden maintenance. A beautiful lawn, by the way, needs to be watered every day if there is no rain.
- Ideally, you need to do automatic watering on the site.
- If the autowatering device is not financially justified, then you need to make the correct and convenient piping around the site.
- In the area of the garden, it is advisable to do drip irrigation, these costs will pay off handsomely, believe me.
4. Choice of plants
So we got to the most interesting thing - the selection of an assortment of plants for planting. I will list them as the labor intensity of care increases:
- Coniferous trees;
- Deciduous trees;
- Coniferous shrubs;
- Deciduous shrubs;
- Plants with an inappropriate zone of winter hardiness and exotic plants.
It must be understood that species plants are always more resistant, which means they require less maintenance. Varietal plants should be selected according to the zone of winter hardiness and, importantly, under the microclimate of your site. If you go to a garden center and buy whatever you like on the “oh, that's pretty” principle, then there is a high probability that there will be no more low-maintenance plants in your garden. I advise you to first make a list of plants that you want to have, using reference books, the Internet and other materials. And then study their characteristics.
What to look for:
Frost resistance of plants
If you live in an area where in winter the temperature drops to -25 … -35 ° С, then the plant must correspond to the 4th zone of winter hardiness, this is the temperature range from -29 to -35 ° С. Then the plant does not have to be covered for the winter, and you will certainly admire the flowering of the shrubs that bloom on the shoots of last year. These are tamariks (comb), stefanandra, forsythia, chubushnik, some types of spirits (mainly early flowering - spirea Vangutta, Thunberg, sharp-toothed, nippon, oak-leaved) and others.
If the plant as a whole is winter-hardy, but more whimsical in terms of agricultural technology, then you will have to look for a place in the garden where the plant will be comfortable, or create such conditions on purpose.
For example, many varieties of the Thunberg barberry freeze above the snow cover and then recover for a long time, and if we choose a place that is bright, but protected from the wind, then we will help the shrub to winter more successfully.
Paniculate and tree-like hydrangeas are generally very unpretentious shrubs and can grow both in partial shade and in the sun, but if you plant a hydrangea in a sunny place, you will have to water it more abundantly.
Large-leaved hydrangeas in Western Siberia do not hibernate in open ground. Therefore, if you want to have a gorgeous flowering specimen, then this is possible only in a pot culture with annual transshipment, enhanced fertilizing and wintering in a greenhouse or basement at a temperature of 0 … + 5 ° C.
The right choice of conifers
When choosing conifers and shrubs, choose varieties that will not “burn” in your area. To understand which varieties they are, you will have to collect information: talk to neighbors, sellers in local markets, look for enthusiastic gardeners on social networks, ask them questions. This way you can significantly reduce the risk of acquiring unstable plants, which means you can save your time and money.
For example, the columnar thuja so beloved by us (all varieties) are prone to spring burns, so I strongly recommend planting them on the shady side. But spherical thuja with green needles, such as "Danica", do not burn even when exposed to the sun, although they feel good in the shade.
Columnar junipers are more resistant to needles burns, but among medium-sized and creeping junipers there are many varieties susceptible to this problem. Varieties with thorny, hard needles are especially badly burned.
Plants for vertical gardening
If you choose a plant for vertical gardening, then you need to know that girlish grapes, which have a lot of advantages (unpretentiousness, rapid growth, foliage that turns red in the fall, affordable price) tends to grow so uncontrollably that they will have to be cut several times a season to keep them in the necessary framework.
If there are few places for planting vines, then it is better to choose clematis, there are a lot of them and very different. If you want large-flowered clematis, then buy a variety of the third pruning group, such clematis bloom on the shoots of the current year, and you do not need to worry about preserving last year's lashes. Before winter, the plant is simply cut off, leaving hemp 7-10 cm.
Plants for flower beds
When choosing plants for flower gardens, give preference to consistently decorative ones. Such perennials are always beautiful, even in a non-flowering state: they have healthy foliage, they do not fall apart from rain and wind, and are not susceptible to diseases and pests. This Badal, hellebore, backache, Ligularia, hosts, peonies, astrantia, stevia, veronikoastrumy, Volzhanka, loosestrife, aconite, anemone for autumn, stonecrops prominent, Siberian irises, daylilies…
Of the perennials I have listed, only daylilies need abundant feeding for lush flowering, all the rest can be content with the food that will be laid in the planting hole for a very long time.
Of course, if you feed and water, then any plants will be rewarded with good growth and a blooming appearance. We are talking about those perennials that do well without much care and, in addition, grow for a long time in one place, without requiring frequent divisions and transplants.
There should be no bare ground on the site. The earth does not tolerate emptiness, and weed control is not part of our plans. All areas under decorative plantings and in flower beds must be mulched. It is better to mulch after covering the soil with geotextiles.
This also applies to the garden.
6. The size and shape of the lawn
Another important note is that the size and shape of the lawn must be carefully thought out and calculated. Designed to fit the mower's width and without sharp corners. Then you don't have to go through with the lawn mower once again or cut the "inconvenience" additionally using scissors. A lawn mower is better than a petrol one and, of course, with a grass catcher.
And don't put lights on the lawn! It is very inconvenient to mow them.
Dear Readers! I hope that my advice, gained by my own experience, will be useful to you. And even if you do not make some of the mistakes when creating your garden, it means that I did not write this article in vain.