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How to create a low maintenance garden

With the spring upon us and the snow dwindling away, thoughts of backyard BBQs and warm lazy afternoons fill our minds.  That is until our free time is consumed by pulling weeds, deadheading and endless watering. spoke to Melanie Lillies, designer and partner at Dynamic Terrain Contractors, to find out how you can have a headache free garden.

“When designing a garden, the number one request I receive is for it to be low maintenance.  People are busy and deserve to relax and enjoy their space, not be restricted by it,” says Melanie Lillies. Landscapes can be demanding, but with a comprehensive site assessment, great design and proper plant selection, you can achieve your dream and actually have the time to enjoy it.

Pick perennials

“Having a professional design based on your needs and site specifics allows you and your landscaper to choose appropriate plant material.  This is the key in determining how much care and how successful your new investment will be.”  Using perennials, which come back year after year, instead of annuals, saves you time and money.  Once established, perennials use less water than annual beds, which can dry out quickly during the hot summer months.  Save the showy annuals for a stunning seasonal container, you will buy less and enjoy them more.

Plant evergreens

To cut down on leaf debris and faded blooms choose evergreen trees and shrubs over deciduous (leafy) or flowering options.  These can provide year round privacy as well as winter interest and structure to your garden.  Try using native plant species whenever possible as they have been proven to succeed in our climate and benefit the natural environment.

Add mulch

“We always recommend adding mulch to finish off a planting bed.  It is beneficial, not only for the health of the garden but for the client as well,” says Melanie Lillies.  A three inch layer of shredded cedar mulch will reduce watering by helping to retain moisture at the root level where plants need it most.  Mulching also supresses unwanted weed growth which will save lots of time and energy.


Get rid of the turf

Mowing, weeding and fertilizing the lawn is time consuming so why not remove it from the equation all together?   Kick the turf to the curb and increase your usable space by installing permeable patios and mulched play areas for the kids.  These easy to maintain spaces keep your landscape looking neat and tidy without all the work.

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