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Despite gardening being a rewarding and relaxing task for some people, not everyone is willing to be consumed by the amount of hours and work it can take to make your outdoor area looking great. It doesn’t mean to say though, that you need to miss out on a space that ‘wows’ you. With some prep, planning, planting and design advice; you can boost your low-maintenance landscaping techniques and get back to enjoying the backyard instead of working in it.
The first step to creating a little to no maintenance garden is thoughtful planning. You don’t need to aim for perfection; but being design smart can save you hours of work down the track. The general rule of thumb is to follow the basic design strategies – maximise your space, minimise pest insects, enhance beauty and boost your crop’s produce (if you’re after an edible garden).
For smaller gardens, be design smart by utilising vertical space as much as possible. You can use stackable or hanging pots for easy watering and maintaining, and this will help to open the space up by keeping things simple. Container gardens can be ideal to avoid managing a bigger area and area great for harvesting fresh herbs or salad greens.
Homeowners have forever been attracted to timber decking. But whilst the appeal of the natural beauty looks absolutely stunning, it can be a headache in terms of upkeep to ensure it looks well-maintained. From regular staining and painting to replacing timber boards which are prone to weather, warping and rotting; timber decking isn’t ideal for maintenance-free gardens.
A great alternative that’s booming in popularity for its long life span and low maintenance properties is composite decking. These man-made boards are designed to create that natural timber look; without the hassle of painting, staining or replacing boards as they deteriorate from the weather. Utilising composite materials within your outdoor space will enhance the visual aspects of your garden, without any effort in keeping in looking good.
There’s nothing worse than a garden with blooms that are shrivelling up and dying. And you sure as hell don’t want to spend too much time attending to everything to keep them alive! For those that aren’t into the whole gardening scene, low maintenance plants like succulents are ideal to brighten up your space and can cope in challenging soil and direct sunlight. They come in a huge variety of colours, shapes and textures too which will add levels and dynamics to your outdoor space.
For a low maintenance garden, it’s best to limit the about of planted areas in the space. You’ll still want a few garden beds in, but keep them around the border of the garden and replace other areas with paving and artificial lawn. Try to stick between 5-10 different plant varieties, depending on the size of your outdoor area, to avoid needing to care for too many types.
By creating pathways through the garden, you’ll cut down on plant and grass maintenance areas and add visual dynamics to the space. Using imprinted concrete or landscaping stone for pathways will help to avoid weeds coming through that will need to be sprayed or pulled out.
Imprinted concentrate comes in different stunning designs that can be utilised to add character to your space. Outdoor landscaping looks fantastic with the right stone work too, but can work out costlier than concrete. Natural stones like bluestone are very versatile for outdoor living, or for a less expensive option consider a crushed stone like white or pea stone.
If you are opting for a low maintenance garden, then you’ll need to forget about having the perfect lawn. Instead, get your green perfection through artificial grass so you don’t have to spend time watering, mowing and maintaining it. If you are wanting real lawn, opt for one that’s draught resistance like creeping thyme. This will still require a lot of sun and well-drained soil to be effective though, and will need to be mowed to maintain.
Minimise any non-artificial grass you use by creatively using groundcovers and flower beds. This will eliminate the need for fertiliser, aerating, moving and other tasks needed to upkeep a healthy lawn. The grass clippings can also be used to put back into the soil to provide vital organic matter to keep it looking lush.
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for NewTechWood Australia – a pioneer in the development and manufacture of outdoor composite wood decking, fencing, wall cladding, screening and more. You can catch Jayde on Google+.