Gardening is not an exact science. In approaching any aspect of gardening, there are a number of possible solutions. While the different approaches can be equally correct, some are easier than others. If you choose to take an easier path, the time and effort involved in gardening can be significantly reduced. Gardening can become less physically demanding and more mentally stimulating!
Some garden features require more time and effort than others. By eliminating, or reducing, the labour-intensive garden features and replacing them with labour-saving features, time and effort can be saved – without any reduction in the beauty or interest of the garden. In fact, the quality of the garden very often can be increased. However, the garden shown would have high labour requirements.
Plants will succeed, and need less care, if the conditions are right. Plants are living organisms that want to stay alive and will do so if they have the right conditions. As gardeners, we are the providers of conditions for garden plants, and it is up to us to see that they are provided with suitable conditions. This means finding out the needs of plants and supplying them, if possible, and to avoid growing certain plants if we cannot provide the right conditions.
First of all, take note of the garden in terms of local climate, soil, size and situation. Then before buying a plant, find out what it needs. If the garden cannot provide it, forget about growing that particular plant. There are lots of others: equally beautiful, equally interesting!
Plants are fiercely competitive about staying alive: they compete vigorously with each other for space and light above the soil, and for nutrients and water below soil level. We can use the competitiveness of plants in the battle against weeds and therefore make life easier for ourselves. The garden shown will be much easier to keep.
Equally, plants are far from helpless against pests and diseases. They have very good defence mechanisms against both – another aspect that we can take advantage of. But remember that plants can only defend themselves if they are growing well in the right conditions – the right plant in the right place.
Easy-care gardening is smarter gardening. It requires a little more thought to avoid physical effort and expense. Easy-care gardening is gardening with Nature, not gardening against Nature. Mother Nature always wins and the challenge for easy-care gardeners is to intervene as little as possible to achieve the desired results. Work with Nature – don’t fight it!
Like to learn more? Go to Garden.ie's Know-How section >