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There are so many different types of plants that can be chosen for your kind of a garden. However, when planning your garden, it is advisable to be realistic about how much time and effort you can afford to keep it looking its best. In this case, you might opt for a low or high-maintenance garden, depending on how much time you have available for its upkeep.
High-maintenance gardens tend to be stocked with a wide variety of choice plants that require specific growing needs matched for their proper growth. Regular manipulation of growing conditions and careful placing of the plants keeps these kinds of garden looking their best all though the year. They also require constant attention to keep them from outgrowing their space.
Some plants you might consider for high-maintenance gardens include tulips, Plumosa aurea (Sambucus racemosa), some varieties of roses, Melianthus major, lilies, lavender (lavandula), Hosta, Helenium, Erysimum, Echinacea purpurea, Dicksonia Antarctica, dahlia, Cornus sanguine, Buxus (if kept clipped), Astrantia, canna, Aster (some), etc.
Filling your garden with dense growing plants mostly reduce weeding, but increases competition for water and light causing a wide array of issues. Most of high-maintenance plants require planting and lifting each year. Annuals grown from seed have specific pruning, feeding and watering needs. Some of them are prone to diseases and pests. Apart from this, the garden requires weekly upkeep to keep everything looking good.
These kinds of gardens are perfect for people that have little time to spare but still want a magnificent outdoor space. Ordinary lawns can be replaced with decks or patios, and the soils covered with special membranes to cut down on weeding, and then topped with cobbles or bark after planting. For this kind of gardening to work, quality irrigation systems need to be installed, and the plants selected that don’t require much attention.
Some low-maintenance plants you can choose for this kind of gardening include Vinca (periwinkle), Trachelospermum asiaticum, Stipa tenuissima, Phyllostachys nigra, Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’, Phormium, Nandina domestica, Mahonia, Jasminum nudiflorum, Ilex aquifolium ‘Silver Queen’, Hemerocallis (day lily), Fatsia japonica, Cotoneaster horizontalis, Choisya ternata Sundance, Aucuba japonica, Arbutus unedo, Acer, and many more.
Why opt for low-maintenance gardens?
These kinds of gardens offer year-round interest, and yet require little attention. Evergreen trees and shrubs are perfect because most of them require little pruning and do not drop leaves during the fall season, meaning that they will keep your garden looking great throughout the year. Large specimen plants offer immediate impact. But whichever the case, minimal utilization of herbaceous plants has the positive effect of lessening end-of-season work. The use of well-spaced large plants decreases the need for constant trimming and watering.
When is the best time to prune your low-maintenance plants?
Specialists based in Manhattan garden centers recommend pinching and pruning your plants while they are still young so as to keep them in shape. If you allow them to become overgrown before pruning, it might take an entire growing season to gradually reduce the size of your plants without causing them undue stress. Wait until early spring, just as new growth starts, and remove around one-third of the length of the stems.
Typically, removing unnecessary stems encourage new growth from below the cuts. During the growing season, make certain to remove spent blooms and take some of the steps too. This encourages bushy growth while keeping the width and height of the plants under control. Almost all types of low- maintenance plants could have this sizes reduced this way. To keep them looking attractive all through the year, simply cut back the stems after the flowers are spent. New flowering stems will be produced lower down on the plant.