By making a few adjustments, you’ll be able to cut back on chores these holidays and still have a beautiful garden
1. GO A LITTLE WILD
Leave a corner of your garden to its own devices by planting species of wild grasses such as aristida and Natal red top (Melinis repens). You can also plant clumps of bulbs, wild flowers and perennials. Easier still, go out and buy a pack of meadow mix seed, scatter the seeds, water and wait.
If you choose species endemic to your area, your meadow, once matured, will survive on rainfall alone and require no looking after.
“Grassland plantings are a big trend at the moment with the move towards eco-friendly and water-wise gardening,” says landscape designer Jan Blok of Blok Designs.
2. GET THE EDGE
A simple way to keep your beds looking tidy is to put down edging. This can be in the form of pebbles, wooden poles or cobbles.
“Edging helps maintain the shape of your beds, prevents grass and weeds creeping into your plantings and keeps soil in place thereby cutting back on maintenance. It also gives your garden an instant facelift,” says Darryl Richardson of Richardson Landscaping & Design.
“Pots can be used as focal features and points of interest and these can easily be planted with perennials and seasonal colour for an instant revamp,” says Darryl.
Group your containers together for easy watering, and if you have an irrigation system, make sure they’re placed near a sprayer so the plants are watered during each cycle. Keep in mind that glazed and plastic pots retain water longer than porous terracotta pots.
4. STAY IN FOCUS
Accessories are the lazy gardener’s best friends when it comes to creating an effortlessly stylish garden. Add garden statuary, large urns and other decor items as points of interest in dull areas.
“Turn your garden tools into a feature by hanging them on patio or courtyard walls – this will save you having to get them from the garden shed when you need them,” says Jan Blok.
“Succulents are ideal for low-maintenance gardens as they’re water wise, evergreen and require very little in the way of fertilising and pruning,” says Darryl.
Attractive succulents include aloes, echeveria, euphorbia and vygies. Other hassle-free plants that almost thrive on neglect include lavender, rosemary and indigenous species like wild iris (Dietes sp.) and agapanthus.
6. KEEP IT TOGETHER
For maximum effect with the least amount of work, choose a small flower bed close to the house or entertaining area like in this garden landscaped by Malcolm Sinclair of Park Island Landscaping and either plant species with contrasting textures together or mass plant the same species.
“This is a simple tool for the low-maintenance gardener who wants to create the greatest impact with the least amount of work,” says Darryl Richardson.
Plant herbs and veggies in an area close to the kitchen for easy picking during this month of frequent entertaining.
7. LET IT GROW
Good news for gardeners is that lawns are best kept a little longer during midsummer, so sit back and let the grass grow under your feet this holiday season.
Longer grass develops a stronger root system, which means your lawn can go longer between waterings without drying out. When you do need to cut it, set your mower to its highest setting.