Some of us fall in love with plants the way we do with people.
We don’t have to be keen gardeners to have love affairs with particular plants. We just have to be passing a garden centre or see a flamboyant flower in a magazine or somebody else’s garden to covet it for our own.
And, as with falling in love with people, out hearts tend to rule our heads and we don’t always make the right choice. But those of us who aren’t keen gardeners, and want a trouble-free garden that doesn’t take up too much of our precious time in establishment and maintenance, then we need to be more discriminating.
Some plants, like some people, need a lot of maintenance!
My book Great Garden – No Sweat! is about having an attractive and enjoyable garden that only takes two hours a week to maintain. To achieve this goal requires good planning and a realistic time-budget – and it also needs the right plants. Because what you plant now will save you precious time later. AND give you a garden to be proud of. When you buy a home you make a big investment – and surrounding that home with a good-looking garden adds substantially to that investment. So it’s important to get it right.
If you want to have a great garden for only two hours work a week then here’s what you DON’T grow:
Large, messy trees
Fruit trees – too much spraying, pruning and picking
Vegetables – very hard work often for very modest rewards
Herb garden – high maintenance, though a few herbs in pots or around the garden are easy to look after
Rampant, sprawling shrubs – too much clipping required
And here’s what you DO grow
Small tidy trees
Perennial flowers and bulbs (easy-care types)
Plants in pots – a few pots in strategic places are an easy way to beautify a simple garden
It’s critical to choose the right plants for your garden. And this means sticking to those that are tried and true performers in your locality. NOT just your climate zone but the actual area in which you live. Of course, you’ve already thought about the main climate influences when planning your garden and now you need to think about these again when choosing plants. And a few other things besides.
Remember this! Trying to grow unsuitable plants will mean a lot of hard work. And you’re not after a challenge. You’re after having a great garden for only two hours a week so you can devote the rest of your leisure time to other things! Factors that influence plant choice are:
Amount of rainfall
Amount of snow and frost
Minimum and maximum temperatures
Humidity or aridity
Strong winds, either hot or cold
Salt-laden sea breezes
The above is a brief extract from Great Garden – No Sweat! You can read about the book by clicking on the My Books tab above. To buy, or read an extract, go to:
For an investment of only $4.95 you have a manual that can change your life!
Choose plants that require little work and suit the size of your garden
These plants are not a good choice for a No Sweat garden
These plants are a good choice for the average suburban low-maintenance garden
Look for more “good” and “bad” plant for your No Sweat garden in future postings on this site.