With the majority of us leading busier lives, there is often little time to give our gardens the care and attention they need and deserve. With some careful planning and planting, your garden can still be the sanctuary you desire and can therefore enjoy.
No garden will ever be totally maintenance free, but there are many ways to ensure that your gardening tasks can be kept to a manageable level. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Things to consider
- At the design and planting stage, give thought to how much time you have for your garden. If time really is premium, it would be wise to plant evergreen trees and shrubs as they will require less maintenance.
- Watering – watering your garden in the early years of establishment is vital for your trees and shrubs’ survival and ensure they will flourish and give you many years of enjoyment. If watering is a major issue (for example if you are frequently away), it would be wise to avoid planting up lots of containers. These require a lot of care – from the initial planting to re-potting, weeding and feeding.
- Consider planting a mixture of large specimen plants and some younger plants. Your large specimen plants will give you instant impact, but younger plants can establish more quickly and therefore require a little less attention.
- Borders and weed control – laying a weed suppressing membrane overlaid with mulch or attractive gravel can reduce weeds. It is vital however, to lay the membrane and mulch to the canopy of your plants. You must keep the top surface of the root systems of your plants exposed so that they can breathe. Please see our planting guide for further information on how to plant correctly. Covering over the root system will stunt the growth of your plants, stop them from flowering, make them much more susceptible to disease and eventually kill them.
- Keep the design of your borders simple – preferably with straight edges, as curves are harder to mow or edge successfully.
Plants to consider
Choosing low maintenance plants is key to your garden design. There are many interesting shrubs to choose from, including:-
Pittosporum tobira ‘Nanum’ (dwarf Japanese Mock Orange) Pittosporum tobira ‘Nanum’ is an evergreen shrub. It has deep green, glossy leaves with small heads of creamy-white scented flowers which appear in the summer. Pittosporum tobira ‘Nanum’ is an excellent shrub for coastal conditions. It can be planted in full sun to partial shade and is tolerant of windy and coastal conditions. Pittosporum tobira ‘Nanum’ will grow on most soils except waterlogged or chalky conditions. It is slow growing and has a compact growth habit.