Steps To Making Gardening Easier


Hydrangea arborescens ‘Incrediball’


Take an inventory of your gardening time, talley up of costs, and develop a plan how to make your garden space more beautiful with less work and cost to you.

Plant Smarter Simplify! For example, in my zone 6 garden, bigleaf hydrangeas disappoint  tow out of three years and they’re water hogs in the summer. Smooth (AG) hydrangeas (like ‘Incrediball’ hydrangea pictured), and Panicle hydrangeas are so much less demanding and require far less water.

Choose annuals and perennials that are pest and disease resistant, consume less water, and are self-cleaning like gomphrena (pictured), scaevola or celosia.

Some plants are poisonous to humans and pets. Rhododendrons and Oleanders are toxic to dogs and cats. Also, rethink using pesticides on lawns where pets and children play.

Use more native plants, but also include many low maintenance non-natives that are well behaved. Garden to attract more pollinators, particularly bees, butterflies and birds.

Mulch smartly to reduce watering and weeding.

Plant “waves of ground covers” such as ferns, fairy wings (epimediums), and hostas to discourage weeds and provide a tapestry of foliage and flowers.

Plant shrubs and ornamental trees that require much less maintenance.  Perhaps, it is a small long blooming shrub that can enliven an area that currently takes 4-5 perennials at twice the labor.

Downsize your growing area. Plant a rain garden or prairie border. Plant more perennials than annuals.

Emphasize safety.

Don’t strain your back or knees.

Prune less by selecting slower growing compact plants.

Grow more in raised beds that are at a comfortable working height.

Choose better quality ergonomic tools.

Summary: Rethink how you garden… Redesign your outdoor living area…More seasonal color…Less maintenance…Enjoy your garden.

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