Every garden requires at least a little bit of maintenance.  The no maintenance garden simply does not exist but it can be kept to a minimum.  But how do we reduce the amount of time spent maintaining the garden and maximize the enjoyment we get from our outdoor space.  Don’t get me wrong, I love pottering around in my garden. However, I don’t want to be bound to slogging away every weekend, especially in summer, the predominant growing season.

So, what does a high maintenance garden look like?

Regular care of trees and shrubs too large for the space. This means pruning branches simply to get to your car, picking up leaves and branches that seem to drop endlessly in yours and your neighbours’ over shaded gardens.  Plants wilting or dying in the hot Australian sun, requiring daily watering.  Large scale attack from pests and diseases, like Psyllids on some Lilly Pilly varieties and Blue Butterfly larvae feasting on Cycads.

Good design can give you a low maintenance garden and will include plants well placed for the dimensions of the garden bed areas.  This ensures that plant species are not too big, have low pruning requirements and low nutrient application rates.  Soil preparation prior to planting is essential and will give your plants adequate nutrients for establishment.  The addition of mulch will reduce the weeding, water and fertilizing requirements in the future.  Plant selection for drought tolerance will reduce the need for extra watering and doesn’t have to be xeriscape, or include dry climate loving plants like Agaves and Yuccas in particular.  You can create a low maintenance garden, no matter which Climate Zone you live in Australia, using the right plant selection.

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