It’s the great Australian dream to own a thriving garden full of luscious plants and a lawn so perfect that you could play golf of, but for most us who lack the time — it remains a dream.
A common misconception is that having the garden of your dreams requires countless hours of weeding, pruning, mulching, watering and fertilising. Unfortunately, not all of us have the luxury as our lives are busy enough as it is.
So where does this leave us? Are we supposed to be satisfied with an overgrown garden that’s covered in weeds, or maybe no garden at all?
This is where a low maintenance garden comes in.
A low maintenance garden lets you grow a gorgeous garden that’s easy to look after, doesn’t require much time or effort, and still manages to satisfy your inner green thumb.
You could say it’s what dreams are made of.
Here are some tips on how you can create a low maintenance garden in your own backyard.
Start with a plan
The first step is to decide what kind of plants you want in your garden. There are some plants that prefer more sun while others prefer the shade, some that require more water and some that only need to be watered once every three weeks.
If you prefer watering less, you can always opt for a waterwise garden, which utilises native and drought-resistant plants of Australia that require little watering as well as maintenance.
Plant a native garden
Native plants thrive the most when planted in their local environment and will require very little maintenance.
Australian native plants are extremely hardy and are well equipped to cope with periods of droughts and floods, extreme sun to complete shade, and starved soils, just make sure you choose the most suitable native plant for your location. These plants are only low-maintenance but will also attract wildlife.
Some native plants to consider include:
- Coast banksia — Plant between autumn and spring, requires light shade to full sun and grows up to 15 metres high and 6 metres wide. Water sparingly during the establishment phase.
- White correa alba — Plant between autumn and spring, requires light shade to full sun and grows 1 metre high and 1.5 metres wide. Water sparingly during the establishment phase.
- Woolly grevillea — Plant between autumn and spring, requires light shade to full sun and grows up to 30 centimetres high and 1.5 metres wide. Water sparingly during the establishment phase.
- Prickly spear grass — Plant between autumn and spring, requires light shade to full sun and grows 80 centimetres high and 50 centimetres wide. Water sparingly during the establishment phase.
View our tips on how to prune your trees properly.
Lawn alternatives are better
Astroturf or synthetic lawn is an excellent lawn alternative that stays green all year around without a single drop of water and best of all? It does not require any weeding! This means zero time spent on your knees ripping out weeds with a garden fork and more time enjoying all the benefits of a luscious green lawn. It’s safe for children and pets, easy to install and is UV and fade resistant.
You can also consider using mulch to keep your soil fresh even under the heat. It also retains water, keeping your roots moist and deters weeds from growing.
Add steppers and pathways
It offers a low maintenance alternative as opposed to covering these areas with grass, which will require constant watering and weeding.
Don’t exclude outdoor furniture
These days it’s not just about what you can plant that makes a garden, it’s the entire landscape as a whole which makes your yard, which can include alfresco areas, pool surrounds, and outdoor kitchens.
Eye-catching focal points can be made using just a few pieces of outdoor furniture that have been strategically placed in the middle of your garden for both practical and visual appeal.
Landscape to save
With an increase in our need to entertain more outdoors, we have seen a rise in new Aussie house designs often replacing the gardens with decorative concrete or pavement as people have less time to garden.
Is this a bad thing? Absolutely not. The garden has moved away from traditional methods and has slowly evolved towards all in one outdoor entertainment areas.
These high functioning areas including alfrescos, pool surrounds, outdoor kitchens and patio areas, now allow you to integrate vertical gardens, potters, hanging plants and more to create a natural element that’s low maintenance.
However, attempting to DIY outdoor entertainment areas without a professional opinion can lead to costly mistakes. This is why we recommend speaking to a consultant who can help you design and build your dream landscape with minimal mistakes and costs.