Gardening is good for us, physically and emotionally. I love my garden, but to be honest, I don't like gardening to be a battle. I can't be bothered with plants which are hard work to get to grow and keep alive. There are many flowering plants which are easy to grow and basically look after themselves as long as I water them in hot weather, do a bit of cutting back and pull out a few weeds. Here are three of my tips for making gardening easier.
1. Plant more shrubs and perennials Many shrubs such as lavender, rosemary, geraniums, pelargoniums and daisies need little attention once established. They need less water once their root system is established which saves on water as well as time and energy. A bit of fertiliser before flowering and a good cut back after flowering are the main things needed.
I started with one lavender bush and took some cuttings. I now have four lavender bushes in my garden and have given away young plants I have grown from cuttings. They make a nice present.
Lavender is easy to grow so I love it Image by Marie Vonow
2. Grow Australian native plants Australian native plants do not require much water. If you choose ones suited to your local area gardening is much easier.
Some attract native birds to the garden which adds to the delight of your garden. I have an eromophila which attracts noisy miners and New Holland honeyeaters when it is in bloom. The less time I spend doing arduous work and fiddly tasks in the garden, the more time I have to sit back and quietly watch the bird activity.
Sign listing advantages of growing local native plantsImage by Marie Vonow
3. Grow annuals that throw seed If you rather like a crazy garden that pretty much looks after itself, you might like to include some annuals that throw seed prolifically. Four years ago I planted a packet of mixed spring seeds in my front garden. One of the flowers was a yellow Californian poppy.
The following spring numerous of these came up by themselves. Each spring an increasing number of these appear, not only in my front garden but in the back garden as well. They add welcome colour and help keep the weeds down. Bonus.
Incidentally, if they come up where I don't want them, they are ever so easy to pull up.
Yellow Calfornian poppies grow like weeds in my garden Image by Marie Vonow
My aim is to make gardening a joy rather than a stressful activity. I also want the maximum amount of time to just enjoy looking at the flowers or picking a bunch to put in a vase.