5 Low Maintenance Garden Tips for a Relaxing Summer


Happy Monday, Friends! We're midway through May and summer will be here soon! When you think of spending time in your garden, do you look forward to relaxing or cringe inside as you mentally consider the chores involved? Maybe a little of both? Truth be told, most outdoor spaces require some maintenance, but today I'm going to share some of my tried and true tips to minimize your work time and allow you more time for relaxing this summer...


low maintenance garden tips for a relaxing summer


Create Cozy Spots that Invite Relaxation!



Having a cozy spot to retreat to can be a great motivation for keeping things low maintenance and doesn't require a lot of space or money. All you need is a secluded swing or comfy hammock that invites relaxation and provides what I like to call garden therapy. Maybe you're like me and kicking up your feet doesn't come naturally when you step outside because you tend to focus on your to-do list. Believe it or not, I've learned to change my focus and you can, too!


low maintenance garden tips for a relaxing summer


Use the Right Tools and Mini-Task 



Every gardener needs the right tools for the job, right? This is one of my favorite photos of Ginger Grand, taken five years ago before he and Youngest Daughter moved to Colorado. Back then, he was in my garden most every weekend and as a toddler, he loved carrying around my garden tools and "helping" me ;) We've all heard the adage before and it's no different in the garden where the right tool can save time and energy and even prevent muscle soreness. {Find some of my favorite tools at the end of the post.} 




low maintenance garden tips for a relaxing summer



Equally important is learning to mini-task--not multitask. If you're more likely to relax after chores, instead of spending the whole day slaving, designate 30 minutes for mini-tasks before curling up with a good book on the hammock. Plant a container or pull some weeds. Work on one flower bed instead of the whole yard. I find if I focus on a small task or two each time I'm in the garden, the to-do list is tackled but I tend to be more mindful of relaxing and enjoying my surroundings. 


low maintenance garden tips


Go Native!



I've learned from experience that you can exert a lot of time and energy by choosing plants that aren't optimal for your soil or zone. The opposite is also true. When you plant native, less maintenance is required and with minimal care, they thrive on their own. Here in Texas, lantana and blue sage are both drought tolerant and deer resistant natives. Win-win! A stroll around your local plant store will help you locate plants that are native to your zone. 


low maintenance garden tips for a relaxing summer


Did you know morning glory thrives in poor soil? My Texas hill country garden is hard and rocky so it definitely qualifies. In addition to the striking colors, morning glory is very thrifty to grow. I often buy morning glory seeds at the dollar store. To find plants that thrive in your area, take a drive around your neighborhood.  Pay attention to those that appear to be thriving--you'll probably see them more frequently. 


Low maintenance garden tips for a relaxing summer


Watch the Weather!



This may sound like stating the obvious, but by rotating certain tasks according to the weather, it not only saves time but can also be beneficial to the plants. For example, if there is rain in the forecast, I do my best to deadhead spent blooms first, allowing for new ones after soaking showers. It's also a great time to plant seeds. There's nothing like a good thunderstorm to add nitrogen to the soil--nature's fertilizer.


low maintenance garden tips for a relaxing summer


Likewise, weeding is best done after rain when the ground is wet and they come up much easier. 


low maintenance garden tips for a relaxing summer
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Let It Grow or Let It Go!



When I first started gardening, I was like a kid in a candy store wanting to try every pretty flower I saw. I still like to try new plants every so often because with gardening there is always a learning curve and I'm still learning! However, I have learned to pay attention to the way my garden grows. For example, while there are areas of Texas where you can find lush manicured green lawns, there aren't many around here. WIth summer temperatures that typically run from May-October and sometimes longer, most people aren't willing to spend the time and money to maintain them, myself included. I make a conscious effort to conserve water and when I realized that I could landscape with herbs which are fragrant, drought tolerant and stay green most of the year, the decision really lightened my garden maintenance. So I nurture to an extent but also let nature take its course whether a plant thrives and stays, or not. I also let go of the manicured lawn expectation resulting in fragrant paths and trailing vines that live up to the Secret Garden name I gave to my herb business.  Maybe you live in a climate where a lush lawn happens to be low maintenance, but there may be other ways you allow nature to take its course. I'd love to hear examples in the comments!   



low maintenance garden tips for a relaxing summer










low maintenance garden tips for a relaxing summer

How do you like to relax during the summer?

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MY HEARTFELT THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING FOR FEATURING THIS POST: 



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8 comments:

  1. All very good tips and advice! I try to get my heavy duty gardening chores (digging new beds, cutting back and pruning non Spring flowering plants, etc while it's still somewhat cool outside. Then do gardening chores in the morning or late evening. That way I'm not out in the hottest part of the day. And mulch goes a long way to control those weeds!

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  2. Great tips. Do you soak your morning glory seeds overnite and then score the hard shell with a knife so they germinate faster? I have actually been able to grow them to twine around my mailbox a couple of times! And, of course, being "awful" I have also wrapped a garland of silk petunias (looks like mg) around my lamppost several times, too. If you're driving down the road at 50, you can't tell! I have finally learned what seeds I can grow and what I should buy as seedlings.

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  3. Great post, Cecelia!!
    I learned to stop buying perennials year after year that just do not take in my back yard... And this year, it will be whatever comes up, comes up!! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit!!
    Hus,
    Debbie

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  4. All great ideas! It gets so hot here once summer arrives that it's hard to keep anything green and growing. Like you advised, I try to do a little at a time. If not the heat and the gnats vie for which will outdo me first!!!

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  5. I too do a few minutes here and there then sit and play fetch with the dog and relax by the fire (sometimes even in the day) on my lawn swing.

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  6. Great ideas, fun post! I am still setting up my gardens and plants...that's how little at a time I do it! It's just been too cold till now :-)

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  7. Great tips! I am so excited to get outside, but the weather is not cooperating at all. Soon...I hope!!

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  8. These are such great ideas! Mini tasking is one I need to work on. We are often outside in the heat working for hours on end. A little here and there can really add up!

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