Now I will share with you my Beautiful Gardens with Little Work method, so you can enjoy a nice garden — and one that does not require your throwing a lot of chemicals, fertilizers and a ton of money at it in order for it to thrive.
Beautiful gardens are often created by designers and use exotic plants that need special soil and a lot of chemicals and fertilizers to look good. Without these inputs, if you are lucky enough for your exotic plants to survive at all, it will likely be little more than a green (or brownish) shrub, with few or no flowers.
Frequently, beautiful flowers only bloom because of chemicals. If you don’t add these to the soil (or leaves), plants will refuse to give you any bloom, and you will see only green, or the feared brown of an unhappy plant. Therefore, you will have to spend a lot, poison your soil and be aware at all times about the needs of your plants.
So, how can we get beautiful gardens without spending a lot of money, time and effort? Read on.
Steps for getting a beautiful garden with little work:
1. Know Your Limits
First of all, you need to understand that not every plant grows happy everywhere. Nature has designed climates (and microclimates) that support the life of a certain array of living organisms. You should not try to grow in Las Vegas those Orchids that come from rainforests in the tropics. They simply won’t take it when you ask them to thrive in 40% relative humidity.
2. Observe thoroughly
Before designing your dream garden, you should take a piece of paper and write down how many micro-climates (or nano-climates) you have in your garden. You have to take great care in observing areas with shade, full sun, morning sun, afternoon sun, soil humidity, water availability and other aspects.
The more you observe, the better the results you will obtain later. Once you have discovered how many micro-climates you have, you can move to the next step.
3. Take a walk in the neighborhood
Having your microclimates in mind, go for a walk in your neighborhood, preferably in the woods or natural surroundings.
Try to find plants that you like, flowers that give off color for free, fine leaves that look beautiful in the wild. Once you have located plants you would like to have in your garden, check out if they look healthy. If so, they are happy. You should then observe where are they planted, and try to find in the list of your garden’s micro-climates if there is one similar to where the plant is thriving.
Here you can see a few happy plants in my neighborhood and home from pictures taken today:
Happy Arachis Pintoi
Happy Bellis Perennis
Happy Mirabilis Jalapa
Also, there are sad plants, just look at these:
Sad Rosmarinus Officinalis
4. Adopt some plants
If you find a match, maybe you can take a few of these plants and adopt them into your garden. Surely, they will grow happy, they won’t ask for chemicals or more attention than a small pruning from time to time. They may even not ask for water… whatever nature gives them may well be sufficient.
These are plants that grow with no attention. No one gives them water; there is no soil preparation, chemicals, fertilizers or weeding. They still look beautiful and often they bloom with love for life.
See this happy Monstera
5. Still want some exotics?
If you still want some exotic plants, then you have to keep investigating.
Of course, the instructions in the back of the seed envelope at the hardware store will not help that much. You have to check houses in the neighborhood.
Go out and check the gardens in your area. Try to find the most neglected garden. There you will find the exotic plants that still thrive in the area, even though they do not get much attention.
Look at this very well adapted exotic Thunbergia Mysorensis
This way you can decide on plants that are not endemic but grow happy in the area and don’t ask for much. With this information you can go and buy some seeds, seedlings or fully grown plants.
Of course, you always have to observe where they are planted (their micro-climate) and plant them in a similar situation in your garden.
6. Natural fertilizers
Even though endemic plants often grow well under the same conditions, you also have to observe the condition of the soil where you saw your model plants. Often, neglected gardens or open areas have a lot of organic debris in them. This material rots and gives off a great deal of nutrients that plants use for their needs. Then, if in your garden there is little debris or nothing at all, you can do two things: Keep the debris under your plants and clean only the patches of grass, or make your own organic fertilizer.
Photo by Darren Collins
You can make a compost drum with a small empty barrel where you can put your grass clippings, your pruning debris and other organic materials. Add a little bit of lime. Always add some water after each charge of material.
Depending on your climate and the material used, after a few weeks since your last charge you can empty your barrel and use the material. It will be good quality natural fertilizer.
7. Tips of design
The human mind finds beauty in symmetry, in order, in arrangements; then, try to avoid cramming up a lot of different plants in the same place.
A lot of beautiful flowers, all different and in several colors may look like a rat’s nest.
The human mind will not understand it and so will regard it as disarray instead of something beautiful; therefore, you should put a few similar plants together, and mind the height and size of them. Always put the smaller ones at the front, and the taller ones at the back. Try not to use more than three rows: small, medium and large.
Do not use hundreds of the same plants, since that will attract predators.
After you have observed these steps, you may be close to enjoying a beautiful garden without the need to buy chemicals, fertilizers and new plants every now and then, since your endemic plants will flourish naturally.
If you want to add some edibles to your garden, try to follow the same steps.
Trials always take more time, but it is the way to go. If you have success in planting new species in your garden, always share with us your findings.
Having a beautiful garden filled with edibles and lovely flowers will give content to your heart, especially if you don’t have to spend a lot and sweat too much in your weekend t-shirt.
Hope you get a wonderful garden.