LOW MAINTENANCE GARDEN, SIMPLE, NATURAL – HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
Let's imagine ourselves as investors who invest free money in their garden. Our profit is a beautiful and harmonious view around the house. Here, as in business, generating income (beauty) is the result of well-thought-out actions.
DETERMINING THE GOAL
What kind of garden do we want to see? Will it blend in with the home and surroundings? What are we going to do in it: relax more or take care of plants? How long will we be there? What are your favorite gardening jobs and what are your least favorite?
For example, our site is located in the floodplain of a river, the house is tall, brick, for permanent residence, in the summer almost all weekends are devoted to hiking and rafting. And I prefer cutting plants rather than weeding. I also like to drink coffee outdoors. The goal is obvious: a low-maintenance garden, simple, natural, with reliable and decorative plants in all seasons, with a small vegetable garden and places to relax.
WE CALCULATE THE BUDGET
We estimate the amount we are willing to invest in our investment project. Of course, if you have enough funds, it is better to hire a broker - a landscape designer. He will draw the project and calculate the budget. Or risk doing everything yourself. Then it is advisable to learn a little so as not to spend extra money on alterations and transplants or buying unsuitable plants.
So, about ten years ago, having decided to make a low-maintenance garden around the house, I read many articles on the topic “Garden for the Lazy” and compiled for myself a list of reliable plants - “true friends” that grow quickly with virtually no care.
These are mainly conifers and shrubs, hardy perennials and groundcovers. Mountain pines, thujas and junipers, spirea and bladderworts, dogwoods, willows, paniculata and tree hydrangeas. They form the basis of the garden. As well as hostas, astilbes, Siberian irises, catnips, geraniums and cereals. Ground cover plants include awl-shaped phlox, aubriet, arabis, variegated periwinkle, parsley and armeria. All of them are resistant to diseases, they do not need to be covered in winter, they do not require constant feeding, and are easily propagated by cuttings and division.
Using simple plants can significantly reduce your budget. For example, even during construction or on an undeveloped site, you can make a couple of beds where you can place a “kindergarten” and a mini-greenhouse for plants. Plant shrubs and perennials there for growing and subsequent propagation. And in a couple of years there will be enough of your own seedlings to immediately transform your plot.
For example, the gorgeous pink astilbe Amethyst, planted in large tracts throughout the garden, was propagated from one bush. Every year in early spring I divide it and plant it in a bed in the garden for growing. And then I decorate the shady corners with it. And I get a beautiful view for free! Planting perennials from seeds provides good savings. Catnip, oak sage, echinacea, lavender are fashionable and expensive perennials if you buy them as seedlings. After all, to create a spectacular look you need a large number of identical specimens. And the seeds are inexpensive, and in a maximum of two seasons you can grow many beautiful plants. So in two years I got a lavender border near a path of 46 bushes, simply by buying seeds and spending a little time growing seedlings. Or you can buy rare varieties of perennials or shrubs and propagate them by cuttings or division. This is much more economical than planting annuals every year.
CHOOSE STRATEGY AND TACTICS
We draw up an action plan and break it down into separate steps. We determine which work will be done first, which plants are best to buy right away, and which ones later. For example, I built my garden gradually.
Most likely it was a reconstruction. Old fruit trees were removed, and mixed borders and a lawn appeared instead of beds. But there was a goal: a natural garden with mountain pines and mats of ground cover plants. Therefore, the first tactical step was to purchase slow-growing conifers. Mountain pines are expensive, so we purchased them small. But immediately - in large quantities. Since they do not tolerate transplantation well, I buried many specimens in the garden directly in pots, replanting them every year in larger containers. And years later, when she was mastering a new piece of the garden, she planted mountain pines in permanent places.
Arborvitae and junipers also grew in the beds. First of all, trees were planted in the garden - tapeworms on trunks: Pendula goat willow, Hakuro-Nishiki willow and weeping larch. They immediately gave the garden volume and structure. But I gradually bought and propagated the rest of the plants.
WE PREDICT THE PAYBACK PERIOD
A garden is a long-term investment. We get a beautiful view only a few years after planting, when the plants grow, occupy a certain volume and reach the peak of their decorative value. But with the help of ground cover plants planted between small conifers and shrubs, you can transform the garden next year. And laying out the lawn makes it decorative in just a couple of weeks, when the young grass grows.
A quick decorative effect can be achieved by using fast-growing perennials and shrubs in flower beds. And if you need to add shade to a sunny garden, you can plant Matsudana willow for the first time. It gives more than 1 m of growth per year, and its curly, slightly yellowish shoots look gorgeous in the autumn-winter period.
If you approach garden planning like a game on the stock exchange - soberly assess your investment opportunities, study the market and development trends, do not give in to impulsive impulses and advertising, strictly follow the chosen strategy - you are guaranteed success.
Reference by topic: Inexpensive, budget flower garden - cheap and cheerful!
BUDGET LOW MAINTENANCE GARDEN – VIDEO
© Author: Tatyana Mager, landscape designer Photo by the author
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