Of all the requirements we get asked to fulfill, the request for the low maintenance garden is by far the most common. Plants, however, are living, growing, changing things that do not remain static. So, is the quest to control nature futile? Should we throw in the towel and accept a jungle aesthetic? Here are some tips to help manage the challenge.
In our experience, perennials require more maintenance than most shrubs. Deadheading, staking, dividing, fall clean-up are typical perennial maintenance chores (https://extension.psu.edu/care-and-maintenance-of-perennials ). The herbaceous nature of perennials also makes it easier for them to be invaded by weeds, making it more important to keep up with regular weeding. And, if you've ever had an invasive weed get into one of your perennials, you know it can be impossible to get it out! Shrubs, in comparison, provide dense shade to the soil below, making it difficult for weed seeds to germinate. If some do take hold, it’s harder for them to compete with the biomass of a shrub. Perennials can be a great way to inject colour into the garden but use them sparingly if you want to keep gardening chores to a minimum.