A garden doesn’t necessarily need to be worked on constantly
Often, when we think of a beautiful garden our mind immediately goes to hours we will spend maintaining said beautiful garden. While any garden will require work, it does not need to become your second job. Below are some keys to creating and maintaining a low maintenance garden in Georgia.
The first key to a lowl maintenance garden – Perennials:
First and foremost, it is all about plant choice! There are many beautiful perennial plants that require little to no trimming or hedging and thrive year after year. Some of my favorites include…
1. Liriope- It has grass-like foliage and blue-violet summer flowers. It stays evergreen in mild winter climates and is useful as a border or groundcover, especially on hard-to-mow slopes. It is drought-tolerant and deer and rabbits tend to leave it be.
2. Hostas- Hostas come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes and are a perfect choice for a garden lacking in sunlight. They are reliable, hardy, and super easy to grow. The only maintenance required is a quick chop after they die back in late fall.
3. Azaleas- This evergreen bush blooms gorgeous flowers in the spring (and fall if you get the right variety; Encore Azaleas are my suggestion) and require little to no pruning when you choose dwarf or semi-dwarf varieties. The only caveat to this low-maintenance plant is water. With our hot summers you may need to pull out the hose or sprinkler to help keep it hydrated at times.
4. Star Jasmine- This evergreen plant will amaze you with its fast growing vines and stunning white flowers every spring. And while the flowers don’t last past spring, the green, glossy leaves remain and continue to twine around whatever you plant it by. The perfect choice for covering an ugly chain-link fence, a boring mailbox, or sprucing up the lattice around your deck. It does best in full to part sun and will grow up to two feet a year!
Keys to a low maintenance garden: Let’s talk about water
This is the downfall of so many plants here in our hot, humid, sub-tropical Georgia. This is especially true for grass. If you are looking for ultimate ease and have the money to spend, an irrigation system is the way to go. Investing in an irrigation system can save money on utility bills as well. Many homeowners are unaware of the unnecessary amount of money they are wasting while hand-watering their gardens. Irrigation systems are built to provide your plants and landscape with the ideal amount of water throughout each season.
Another easy solution: Mulch
Mulch is an affordable and easy investment to help maintain a low-maintenance garden! It breaks down into compost to slowly fertilize your plants and prevents the nemesis of all southern gardeners: weeds. Mulch is especially low maintenance as a replacement for grass in small areas. You don’t have to mow it or water it and you only have to replace it in the spring.
If you are going for color and blooms that continue through a season, consider non-fussy flowers like Daylilies and Iris in the spring. Cone Flowers and Black Eyed Susan in the Summer. Daisies or Aster do well in the fall and Hellebores are perfect for the winter. All super easy and require little more than good soil and a good soak after planting.
You haven’t broken a sweat but that can be our little secret. Plan a backyard BBQ and enjoy listening to your friends and family as they ooh and ahh over your impressive yard and “hard work”. Hope you enjoyed the keys to a minimal maintenance garden!