The garden maintenance debate

Landscape gardener

What sort of garden would you prefer?

Would you prefer a garden that is full of plant life and diversity that requires hours on end of pruning, clearing and weeding to keep it in a maintained condition? Or a garden devoid of plant life, which requires little to no maintenance but as a result is hard and sterile?

We find the answer for most of our clients’ lies somewhere in between. Most of our clients’ lead busy and sometimes stressful lives, and often request gardens than are easy to maintain but also require some acts of ‘gardening’ which can provide a multitude of benefits.

Often a small amount of nurturing can both bring stress relief, enrichment and satisfaction. Children can also benefit from being involved with the garden and it is a great way for them to connect with nature.

Just a simple act of planting a plant, watering it every day and watching it grow can provide a huge benefit to developing a child’s connecting with nature and empowering a sensibility to nurture and be curious about the natural world.

Holding flower

We thought we would share with you are few of our landscaping design tips which helps to reduce the maintenance load for our clients.

1) Narrow versus deep plantings beds

For obvious reasons the size of a garden bed will impact on the amount of garden to maintain but good species selection can minimize this. Generally it is helpful to provide a depth of garden at around 1m so you can layer planting to create depth and contract in foliage. Sometimes this is not appropriate such as in a small walled courtyard space, a narrow garden bed of around 300mm at the base of the wall can create a green transition which can go a long way in breaking up hard surfaces. One thing to consider in this case is the depth and size of the footing of the wall because often it will encroach into a lot of the adjacent garden and not provide any soil space for plants to grow. Again, correct species selection can assist in these situations.

2) Using pots and planters

Keeping the garden beds small and raised can make looking after them a lot easier and manageable. Another form of this is a vertical garden system were the planting tubs are smaller and stacked, they are great for tighter spaces.

3) Planting trees

Trees are often fairly low maintenance but care must be taken to ensure that they are appropriate to the space. Tree section is critical in a typical residential landscape. Evergreen trees can be more beneficial as the usually don’t drop many leaves but often this may not be desirable if they are on the north side of a house as they can block winter light into the home which can make a big difference for providing passive warmth in the colder months. Fully deciduous tree obviously shed a lot of leaves but there are many varieties which are only partially deciduous so sometimes a balance can be found.

4) Limit the number of plant species by using mass planting to your advantage

Limiting the number of plant species will help make your garden look more maintained.  Find shrubs or groundcovers you love and plant them in mass, repeat each mass group planting a few times so the landscape looks cohesive.  This creates a simple planting palette that looks serene and requires minimal upkeep.

5) Select the right plant for the right location

Planting a shrub that grows to 3m when you only want it to fill a 1m space is an example of the wrong plant in the wrong location and increases the amount of time you will spend pruning it to keep it the size you want.

6) Plant groundcovers and apply mulch

This mix will help reduce watering, suppress weed growth and reduce maintenance whilst requiring less watering.

7) Hire someone to do it for you! 

Phase3 Landscape Construction offers a full service residential landscaping and service to clients in the Perth area. If you are interested in using our services, please feel free to contact us now.