Gardeners will tell you that gardening is a lot of work. I am a gardener that enjoys the work a garden demands. I like the workout that you get from hauling wheelbarrows full of compost all over the place. I enjoy the punishment of pulling weeds and landing fingers on slugs. I don’t mind spending money on pots of plants that are pushing zones in the event that I could possibly keep them alive where I live- only to have them die of course (the ones that live are triumphs that fuel me too). Yes indeed- there are some gardeners like me to live and breathe this stuff. But I am aware that not every gardener is like me. And that’s perfectly fine.
I’ve spent some time in my own garden and the gardens of clients, figuring out some very basic ways to create a garden that stands out but that also requires minimal work for the person who has healthy obsessions in life (unlike myself). I believe I’ve come up with three big things that anyone can do that will create an amazing garden but will save time and energy too. This is so you can have a beautiful, functional landscape that you can also walk away from once in a while. Here are three simple ways to make your gardening easier.
- Invest in good quality, hard, well installed edging. Good edging that’s properly installed will help keep clean lines between lawn, beds, and landscaping clear and concise. Properly planned hard landscape edging will be easy to mow against and allow for a simple clean cut right up to the edge that’s not difficult to maneuver around with landscaping equipment. It’ll keep soil where it should be, lawn from traveling into areas you don’t want it, mulches in their beds, and tie the facade of the home to the rest of the property. Nothing tires a landscape faster than an unkempt basic design with weeds in beds, mulch in the lawn, and edging that’s falling apart and nothing will tire you more than the work it takes to keep improperly installed and cheap landscaping edging in proper repair.
- Don’t be afraid to use herbicides to combat weeds. Herbicides in this instance, if lessening work and appearance means a lot to you, will do more good than harm in your case. There have been many studies done that show the environmental impact of herbicides in small amounts, such as using to weed a driveway or typical landscape is negligible. Herbicides are volatile, meaning they quickly break down into natural and harmless chemical components quickly once they’re applied. Think of hydrogen peroxide- a common simple chemical that is in every household used for cleaning and disinfecting. Once exposed to air and sunlight, hydrogen peroxide quickly turns into water. Herbicides go through the same sort of process, turning into harmless chemicals quickly.
- Finally, choose plants that have growth habits that stay nice and tidy and never outgrow an appropriate size. Less pruning, less replacing plants that outgrow their space, less damage they do to foundations are all big time and money savers in the garden. Plant breeders work tirelessly to create cultivars that are beautiful, but also compact, neat, and easy to care for. Do some homework on your plant selection. Check out cultivars and ask about them. For an example, if you know you’re set on growing hydrangeas but think you might be limited on space for a full grown normal hydrangea, the cultivar ‘Bobo Dwarf’ would be a good alternative to the standard. ‘Snowbelle’ Mockorange is a smaller version of the full sized thing, and is a fantastic, heavily easy blooming mockorange that suits any size of landscape perfectly.