The right plants for your No Sweat garden

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

Fiddly flowers

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

Shrubs

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

Plant choice

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:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZBDU8C

For an investment of only $4.95 you have a manual that can change your life!

Dahlias are among the easiest flowers to grow

Dahlias are among the easiest flowers to grow

A few easy-care plants, hard surfaces such as gravel instead of lawn, and an eye-catching no-maintenance ornament come together to create a garden that requires very little work to keep looking good.

A few easy-care plants, hard surfaces such as gravel instead of lawn, and an eye-catching no-maintenance ornament come together to create a garden that requires very little work to keep looking good.

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

Oaks are too big for most gardens and shed messy leaves in Fall (Autumn).

Oaks are too big for most gardens and shed messy leaves in Fall (Autumn).

Azaleas are beautiful and popular but need a lot of care - big old Indica varieties are the easiest.

Azaleas are beautiful and popular but need a lot of care – big old Indica varieties are the easiest.

Roses are a lot of hard work...

Roses are a lot of hard work…

...and so are orchids!

…and so are orchids!

These plants are a good choice for the average suburban low-maintenance garden

Coniferous trees require no work but choose those that suit the size of your garden

Coniferous trees require no work but choose those that suit the size of your garden

Gordonia is an excellent small tree

Gordonia is an excellent small tree

Metrosideros is an easy-care shrub...

Metrosideros is an easy-care shrub…

...and so is this Calliandra

…and so is this Calliandra

...while Camellias are a great choice for just about any except the very driest and coldest climates

…while Camellias are a great choice for just about any except the very driest and coldest climates

Bulb plants like this daffodil are easier than they look, once planted

Bulb plants like this daffodil are easier than they look, once planted

...and so is this Ixia...

…and so is this Ixia…

...and this tough Oriental Lily

…and this tough Oriental Lily

When it comes to edging a bed bulb plants such as this tough Tulbaghia (Society Garlic) are a good choice...

When it comes to edging a bed bulb plants such as this tough Tulbaghia (Society Garlic) are a good choice…

...though not quite as easy and care-free as this philodendron border

…though not quite as easy and care-free as this philodendron border

Look for more “good” and “bad” plant for your No Sweat garden in future postings on this site.

 

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