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DIY Landscape Gardening – A Comprehensive Guide

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DIY Landscape Gardening

Low Maintenance Landscaping – Evergreen Gardening

For many of us the time it takes to continually maintain your garden takes away from the pleasure of enjoying it. Not everyone wants to spend each weekend mowing the lawn, pruning, weeding and all the other tasks that are required to keep your garden looking beautiful.

In this article we are going to explore ways you can use some DIY landscape gardening that will maintain the beauty of your garden while at the same time hugely decreasing the amount of maintenance required.

We will also discuss some evergreen gardening tips to keep your new landscaped yard looking great all year round with a minimum of fuss.

Reduce the amount of turf in your garden

Lawns are a high maintenance element of any garden; they need constant care. As well as the never-ending burden of mowing the lawn at least once a week during the growing season, there is also the constant weeding and feeding, watering and edge trimming.

By decreasing the amount of turf in your garden you can greatly reduce the time taken to maintain it.

Have a look at your lawn and decide which areas are most problematic, if you have turf that fails to flourish in shady or hot areas then consider removing it. You could replace it with a patio or even a pond. Many people use low-growing succulents to cover the ground instead of a lawn. These make great substitutes for lawns, if you choose the correct plants you will have low maintenance yet beautiful area where there used to be turf.

Some examples of ideal plants are: –

You could also use evergreen shrubs and plants to offer year-round beauty to your yard.

DIY Landscape Gardening

Use Drought Resistant Plants

Try to reduce the amount of time you must spend watering your plants by using species that have low water requirements. Good for freeing up your time and good for the environment too in these days where water shortages are a reality for many of us. There are many beautiful plants, shrubs, and trees that are available that don’t require much water or maintenance to thrive including: –

  • Agave
  • Sedum
  • Jade Plant
  • Portulaca

And many more, there are plants available that will thrive in most soil conditions and climates, so it is best to find out which will work best in your own circumstances.

Select Low-Maintenance Shrubs and Trees

The whole point of your DIY landscaping exercise is to cut down the amount of maintenance your garden requires in its upkeep. So, to fill your garden with plants that don’t need constant care like pruning, feeding and protecting from insects is one of the best ways you can cut down your gardening time.

There are plenty of plants and trees on the market that have been bred specifically for their small size, great pest and disease resistance and reduced pruning requirements. There are trees that have been bred to reach only 10 to 15 feet at full maturity, and shrubs and bushes that retain a small stature with minimum pruning requirements.

Some great examples of plants that will fit the bill are: –

  • Dwarf Conifers
  • Dwarf Globe Spruce
  • Upright Juniper
  • Barberry

There are so many options in this category that you really can have loads of variety without loads of maintenance.

Use Permeable Materials to Build Hardscape Features

A well-built patio using the right materials is one sure fire way to cut down your maintenance requirements when undertaking your DIY Landscaping Project.

Permeable materials like permeable pavers, sandstone, and other permeable rocks and gravel to name a few are far better to use when building that patio as they allow rainwater through and therefore continue to irrigate (not flood) your garden. It also reduces erosion and reduces runoff.

Paths, courtyards and patios that are carefully thought out, built with the right materials and in the correct place are fabulous additions to a low-maintenance garden.

DIY Landscape Gardening

Plant Densely

By using plants that are happy to have close neighbors you can bunch the plants together. This ensures that you minimize the weeding requirements by blocking the sunlight and reducing the nutrients available to weeds.

Other methods that you can use to reduce weeding includes mulching heavily and turning the soils rarely. Instead of turning your soil you can use earthworms to do the cultivating for you.

Use Evergreen Mosses to Replace Lawn

Similar to replacing turf with ground covering plants, but mosses can be a great evergreen replacement for grass. Most mosses prefer shady areas, which means it is great for using in areas where grass isn’t particularly suited anyway.

In fact, if you have areas of lawn where moss is a particular problem then the answer is staring you straight in the face. Moss is low maintenance, doesn’t need mowing and most varieties will flourish throughout the year for that evergreen look.

Rock Gardens

Rock gardens are a great and effective feature that can be added to any garden and once established with the correct plants are exceptionally low maintenance. The rocks themselves are a decor that never need watering or weeding and the space between them can be filled with some of the options that we mentioned above, to create a fantastic looking and no-maintenance flowerbed.

Add Low-Maintenance Evergreens

For that year-round show in your newly landscaped gardens use evergreen plants that make your garden a pleasure to be in whatever the season. There are literally hundreds of varieties to choose from, so for a low maintenance project then you should choose your evergreens accordingly.

Dwarf species like Birds Nest Spruce are an ideal solution for your rock gardens or for planting in flowerbeds and borders.

For creating ground cover plants like Creeping Blue Spruce are fantastic for replacing lawn areas with a carpet of stunning evergreen shrubbery that requires little or no maintenance.


For a DIY Landscaping project that is aiming for a low-maintenance result, you will have to put some work in to achieve it. But by following some simple guidelines and a bit of planning the result will be a beautifully landscaped garden that you have the time to enjoy.

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