Monthly Archives: June 2012

Low-Maintenance Gardening In a High-Maintenance World

WHINER.  Arbovitae, easily sunburned, also has branches prone to snow breakage.

WHINER. Arbovitae, easily sunburned, also has branches prone to snow breakage.

My goal in life is a low-maintenance landscape.  I have no patience for spoiled, whiny plants.

You know who you are . . . you suckering aspen, you sun-scorched arborvitae, you neurotically reseeding salvias (especially you, Mr. Clary Sage), you blanket flowers (Gaillardia) and tickseed (Coreopsis) who need deadheading every 15 minutes.

Give me the strong, silent types who perform dependably year in and year out with no complaint.  I’m talking about you shrub roses, serviceberries, hawthorns, dogwoods (Cornus sericea and kousa, not Cornus florida), daylilies, sedums and crabapples.  A landscaper once told me he has never lost a crabapple tree.  Never.

When buying plants, don’t hesitate to ask garden center employees about plants’ maintenance needs and weed potential.  That way, you’ll avoid a tragic relationship with a ground-gobbling perennial or a breaky-branch shrub.

Gaillardia

WHINER. Blanket flower (Gaillardia x grandiflora) develops prickly seedheads that are difficult to deadhead.

WINNER. Livin’ Easy rose is a low-maintenance floribunda with excellent repeat bloom.

Cornus sericea 'Istanti'

WINNER. Isanti dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Isanti’) provides 4-season interest with no complaints.

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