Low-Maintenance Plants and Flowers

A young family or a busy job may leave little time for gardening -- you may just want to be able to enjoy the yard without feeling guilty about the work to be done. Here are some ideas for plants that will look after themselves for most of the year, and not require a lot of pruning or fussing over.

From: DK Books - Family Garden
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Anemone Hupehens Profuse Summer Blooming Flower

Anemone Hupehens Profuse Summer Blooming Flower

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Anemone hupehens is a late summer blooming anemone producing slightly cupped flowers which have rose pink, sepal like petals and a prominent center ring of yellow stamens. Flowers are borne on branching stems above dark green foliage.

Plants 

If you want to keep things low maintenance, you will not have the full gamut of plants to choose from. Learn to love foliage, and forsake some flowers. For instance, annual bedding and perennial borders are among the most time-intensive ways of gardening. 

Surfaces 

Lawns take up a huge amount of time. They need mowing regularly, and have a fall and spring maintenance regime of fertilizing, scratching out dead grass, and aerating. If you can do without one, you will make your life a lot easier. Care Weeding and watering are among the most time-consuming elements of yard and garden care. Before planting, lay a weed-suppressing cloth. Cut holes to plant through it and then cover with mulch to keep moisture in. It takes more initial work than simply planting, but you will save yourself time in the long run. Slate chippings on the surface of the soil look good and cut down on weeding and watering. 

Choice of Plants 

Low-maintenance plants generally look after themselves, and look good even if they are slightly neglected. Slow-growing evergreens and conifers are among the easiest to look after, once they are established, as they simply grow slightly larger each year. There are a few flowering plants, such as hardy geraniums and fuchsias, that qualify as low maintenance as they flower over a long season with so little input. 

  • Anemone hupehensis var. japonica 
  • Aucuba japonica “Crotonifolia” 
  • Berberis darwinii 
  • Choisya ternata Sundance 
  • Euonymus fortunei “Silver Queen” 
  • Fatsia japonica 
  • Fuchsia “Mrs. Popple” 
  • Geranium himalayense “Gravetye” 
  • Hebe cupressoides “Boughton Dome” 
  • Phormium “Sundowner” 
  • Picea glauca var. albertiana “Conica” 
  • Sedum Autumn Joy 
  • Yucca filamentosa Fuchsia “Mrs. Popple”

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