Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Friday, August 02, 2013

Our Urban Low Maintenance Landscaping Plans

One of the reasons we decided to move from our rural location back into an urban setting was the 2010 purchase of our vacation home in Florida.  The first year we spent 8 weeks divided between two trips there so we quickly realized the logistics of owning two properties and spending extended periods of time away from both.  Things like yard maintenance, snow removal, and home security still need to be attended.  Houseplants need to be watered and the house kept an eyes on for pests especially rodents getting in.  While rodents were a given in our rural setting we had hoped it would not be in our urban setting but quickly found out otherwise.  At any rate, our goal when we moved here in September of 2011 was to make our property as low maintenance as possible,  not an easy feat considering we have a pool, fruit trees and small garden area.  We also wanted to make it less attractive to certain pests known to be in the area (eg. rabbits, mice, snakes).

The entire back yard with the exception of about 200 square feet is scheduled to be fully decked, two levels.  A good portion of it is already decked.  We are working on removing the remaining side gardens as well as replacing the fence and building all new decking.  The 200 square feet space will be home to two 4' x 10' raised beds (edibles, herbs) and separating paths that will be either patio stones or cement which will dramatically cut down any possibility of weed issues on the paths.  We are planning on adding a couple of built in planters on the decks and I have a lot of creative container gardening ideas to extend garden possibilities on the decks.  Essentially, the entire backyard will have no grass and no in ground gardens so will be about a low maintenance as we can get.

The front and side yards have gardens along the house and an interweaving brick driveway and sidewalks.  We removed all vegetation from the front and side gardens then put down hard 'no did' edging, landscaping cloth and stone (walnut nugget).  We just finished the stone yesterday!  It really looks nice with no plantings at all.  I'll post pictures of our progress shortly.  We are planning on taking our time deciding whether or not to add any vegetation.  One alternative is a grouping of planted containers as a focal point.  A deciding factor will be how the house looks after the porch and front entry looks when we are finished.  I'm working on that now.  At the moment the only maintenance work in the front and side yards is grass cutting and trimming.  We use an Epic battery powered mower and a Yardworks cordless trimmer/edger for these chores.  Both are eco-friendly alternatives that lower our carbon footprint while eliminating our need for gasoline to fuel either.  An added plus is the mower is very quiet compared to other mowers.  So basically, the front and side yards are now very low maintenance.

That does not mean our yard is without personality or colour.  I have relied heavily on containers this year for adding splashes of colour.  I found this takes a bit more planning but offers a higher degree of flexibility.  This fall I am finally going to start my plan to naturalize crocuses in the front and side yards.  I've seen this done and it is gorgeous giving a blast of late winter, early spring colour with maintenance.  I'll post more on that method in the fall when I do it.  For now though, we are right on track with creating very low maintenance landscaping that is still very much a work in progress but will definitely meet our needs while giving us the edible growing space we want.

1 comment:

  1. This is the perfect little article for me. Thanks for much for your tips and advice. I have also been looking at some cheap garden decor to help spice up my yard as well. Thanks for your post!


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