Low Maintenance Anyone???
How often do you think I get the request for low maintenance landscaping with a new design project? Probably every time I talk to a new client. No one has ever asked me for high maintenance! That’s why you hire a professional……………to get it right the first time. At least that’s the way it should be.
There are several ways to achieve low maintenance landscaping. First of all, you’ve got to get the right plants in the right places for success. There is a plant for every situation. You just have to know which ones they are.
Secondly, a natural design pretty much maintains itself as opposed to something formal. Many folks like the look of neatly trimmed shrubs, hedges and sharp bed edges. This is fine but requires more maintenance. Beds that are well laid out with taller plants in the background and shorter things in the front that grow up to the grass and stop are about the lowest maintenance you’ll find. Trees in beds of groundcover are very pleasant to look at and low maintenance.
With a well designed, natural landscape, you should only need to prune out the occasional stray branch and pull the odd weeds. Sorry, there’s no such thing as NO maintenance. (Landscapers in Arizona come out once a month to blow debris off the gravel lawns!) Pruning can be limited to once or twice a year. This is good for about 10 to 20 years. No plant stops growing until it’s dead, so eventually, something might have to be removed after a long period of time. As for the weeds, many of them are easy to pull. And with beds packed with “good stuff” there’s less room for weeds to gain a foothold. However, certain persistent and spreading weeds might need to be controlled chemically. For lawn grass that encroaches into the bed you might use a selective herbicide that only kills grass.
All plants have their distinctive natural shapes. If we just pick the right ones we can pretty much let them grow naturally where they are planted to fill in and look pleasant. But the fast growing plants ( which are typically cheaper and bigger when they are bought) are often placed in a tight area and then chopped back to keep them in bounds. That’s maintenance folks. I think it’s a man controlling nature thing. You can go to southern climates and see the same boxy pruning done to tropical plants as we find here in Central Ohio with our taxus and boxwoods. It boggles the mind.
I hope you are well and enjoying the frost in the pines!