We often tell our clients that a lushly planted Pollinator Garden is far easier to care for than a more formal, traditional garden. I am sure a few are skeptical of that statement, but recent events remind me that indeed, it is true. It was far too long since I had been at the Wimberg Focal Garden in Ault Park. Our recent move to our new location, which will have a very extensive Pollinator Garden, has kept me a bit occupied. Then the heat that settled in was enough of a deterrent for this gardener.
So with little attention, no hand watering, no irrigation and a complete reliance on Mother Nature, I can happily report that the garden is thriving. I weeded, perhaps for two hours, after many weeks of being away. While I weeded I took photographs and talked to several park visitors about the plants.
The key to creating a garden you can spend more time enjoying than working on is plant selection and placement.
I rely heavily on long-lived plants such as Echinacea, grasses and Rudbeckias. Then I add them in generous groupings. Should the stands intermingle a bit, all the better. My goal is to have little mulch showing and a gentle melding of plant communities to give the garden a more natural look.
My lush planting, as I have shared before, also ensures weeds are kept to a minimum and if a plant is lost, an obvious gap in the garden seldom results.
I also call on some plants to add a dramatic punch. For several years, the Rudbeckia Maxima and Rattlesnake master have offered such dramatic flare. It is a rare visit to the garden when someone doesn't comment on either plant and inquire about adding them to their own garden.
There are tried and true plants and then there are dramatic plants. A successful garden has a balance of both to create a landscape that is reliable and visually stimulating.
Life's too short for boring gardens and gardens that take all our time to maintain.
Perhaps this is why the popularity of Pollinator Gardens continues to grow: they offer both.