Having a beautiful yard is one of the biggest benefits of owning your own home, but that doesn’t mean you want to spend most of your weekends maintaining it.
Surprisingly, there are a few garden styles that require very little maintenance. If you design things properly, you’ll then be able to spend more of your time doing the things you really enjoy.
Use Native Plants
Start by choosing plants that are native to Manitoba. These plants require far less care and watering than those found in other areas. Some examples are Maximilian’s sunflower, perennial sow thistle, silky milkweed, yellow evening primrose, and honeysuckle.
Another good reason to stick with native plants is other species can become invasive. The seeds from the plants in your garden could spread to nearby parks and nature preserves, then start pushing other types of plants out. The Invasive Species Council of Manitoba offers suggestions of which plants to avoid and which ones to use instead.
Perennial plants and flowers are ones that either last year-round or come up again and again. Annual plants are ones you’ll need to replace each year. Obviously, if your focus is on creating a low-maintenance garden, you’ll want to stick with perennial plants.
Aside from a bit of pruning, watering, and weeding around the base, you don’t have to work hard to make these plants look good. If some of your favourite flowers are annuals, though, you could still primarily plant perennials, then add your annuals in the front or in pots around the yard.
Create an Outdoor Living Space
A patio area gives your family space to hang out, and it makes it easier to entertain friends. Even better, the space it takes up is one area where you won’t have to weed, water, or mow.
Consider including some type of outdoor living space in your backyard. It might have a barbeque or fire pit. It might just have comfortable chairs for relaxing. The larger the space, the less yard work you’ll have to do. Think about how your landscaping can be the ideal backdrop for you to create the perfect backyard setting to celebrate summer!
Bring Colour in with Potted Plants
You might want flowers to add colour to the yard, but that doesn’t mean you have to go crazy creating large garden beds. You can often get the same benefits by including a few potted plants around the yard. Vary the look by mixing and matching different sizes of pots. These pots can go anywhere you might have planted flowers in the ground.
Incorporate Rocks into the Design
Rocks require no water at all, and you rarely have to weed a rock bed. That’s why they’re such a good choice for those who want a low-maintenance garden. You can use them to create walking paths throughout the space, and even use them in place of mulch around things like trees. With a wide variety of colours and sizes, it’s easy to personalize the look.
Consider Grass Alternatives
When you picture that perfect yard, you’ve probably imagined it with grass. However, grass requires a surprising amount of care. You have to fertilize it, water it, and cut it every week. You might even need to add pesticides to make sure weeds don’t grow. That takes up a lot of your time.
Instead, consider some alternatives to grass. For instance, you might consider some ground cover plants like Bishop’s goutweed. You can also ask at the garden shop about the various types of no-mow grasses that might be available or consider using turfgrass.
Build a Grid-Like Garden
Another good way to get the look of a garden with less work is to create a grid pattern. Using concrete pavers, stones, or any other type of “pathway” material, you divide your lawn up into manageable pieces. Inside the garden areas, you can place a variety of flowers or even ground covers.
Consider Professional Landscaping
While you can definitely use any of these ideas for DIY projects, it’s helpful to have a professional help you create the design of your yard. Be upfront about how you want to make it a low-maintenance garden, and the landscaper should be able to give you a variety of options that could work for your particular home.
Your home can look just as beautiful as you’ve imagined without all the work a typical garden entails. The right choices make all the difference.