I’m a lazy gardener. With the hours I work (for which I’m grateful, of course) it’s hard to find time to putter around the yard for hours. I recognize that many of my clients are in the same boat, but with the added problem of not having over a decade of experience caring for plants. As a result I make a low maintenance landscape design a priority for my clients throughout northern Virginia. Here are five of the ways I do this:
1- Pick the right plant for the space. Yes, this is basic landscape design, but it’s amazing how many people (even professionals) ignore this. You want to stick a Manhattan Euonymus in the stupid little 3’x3′ square the builder left you between the driveway and the front walk? Have fun doing a lot of trimming.
2- Mulch is not a groundcover. I like creating designs that involve lush, layered plantings. Done poorly, this creates more work. Done properly, your plants will fill the beds, suppressing weeds and requiring less and less mulch each year. Mulch is functional, not pretty (and don’t get me started on dyed mulch).
3- Using gravel? Use edging. I’m not a fan of edging on all the beds or anything (you should be able to keep mulch in place with just a sharp spaded edge) but a gravel path needs edging or you’ll be picking gravel out of everything.
4- Use pro-quality LED light fixtures. Don’t get the solar-powered LED fixtures; the blue light is just weird and the battery’s don’t hold up well at all. Replacing fixtures is just like maintenance, isn’t it? Instead, invest in high quality wired (12 volt) fixtures that last a long time and you’ll be happy. LED bulbs will last for literally thousands of hours.
5- Keep bird feeders (and berries that birds may like to eat) away from paved areas and cars and furniture. Trust me on this – you’ll have way less to clean!
What are some tips and tricks you like to use for easier landscape maintenance?
Thanks for the information. Just like you said, I’m always looking for ways to make my landscaping a little bit easier. That makes it so much easier for the landscaping job to get the work done quickly. I’m going to make sure I follow your tip about picking the right place to put birdfeeders and plants.
Thanks Mia, happy to help!
Can you give me a couple ideas re: your above comment; –
“I like creating designs that involve lush, layered plantings. Done poorly, this creates more work. Done properly, your plants will fill the beds, suppressing weeds and requiring less and less mulch each year”
This (less mulch) is exactly what I would like to do – I’m getting too old and too tired of hauling mulch around our large yard every year