No garden is completely carefree, but you can take design steps to create a garden that is forgiving when you need to take a break from garden chores.
Mulch Matters: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the more plants and less mulch you have, the better. A lushly planted garden does an excellent job of keeping weeds at bay. And should some emerge, it will be difficult to see them under the garden’s dense foliage. Unfortunately, in large stands of mulch, when a weed does emerge it’s quite difficult not to notice it straight away.
Use pine straw! A common issue I see in the gardens of soon to be new clients or during walks around my neighborhood is plants covered in mulch. Mulch up against perennials, deep within the ground cover, piled up trees’ trucks or in the crotch of shrubs and multi-trunked trees only causes issues. When you could be relaxing, you will find yourself pulling mulch away from plants. However, if you were to use pine straw, there's no concern. Pine needles blanket the forest floor and drift up against tree trunks and all is well. The same can be true in your own garden.
Water wise plants: If you don't have irrigation, the last thing you want to do is haul hoses around. When you add a new garden, take the time to amend the soil. Breaking up tight, clay soil is one of the best things you can do for your landscape. Then, select plants that do well with reduced water. While no plant can survive with a complete lack of water, many gorgeous plants do quite well on a scaled backed water regiment.
Go Natural: When you select plants that offer great summer and winter interest, your summer garden chores are drastically reduced. How? Simple! Plants selected for attractive spent flowers and seed heads are left standing for winter viewing, therefore there’s no need to rush out on a hot day and deadhead plants.