Other than vegetables, I subscribe to the “if it needs extra water, it doesn’t deserve to live” theory, which means that a lot of the ornamental that were in my front yard when I bought my house didn’t make it through their first year with me. It’s like the Marines, I like to tell myself: “the few, the proud - the ones who can do without water for four months.” A co-worker of mine says “I don’t kill plants – I just watch them die,” and I find that distinction very comforting when I think about the fate of those dearly departed perennials. (I don’t even know their names. I’m a monster.)
In the empty spots that somehow keep popping up in my front yard, I plan to plant things that are tough ‘n hardy, purty, impervious to neglect, and will give the crab grass a run for its money. Native plants are excellent for this sort of application – many of them are adapted to where I live anyway, so won’t require much care once established. Plus, they have the added bonus of providing food for local wildlife. One of our books, 50 High-Impact, Low-Care Garden Plants is also an excellent source of plants that require minimal care – every single plant in there is of the “plant it and forget it” variety. (Or, rather, “plant it and forget it, except when you are noticing how attractive it is.”) Thirdly, there is a book that we’ll publish at the end of the year that sounds right up my alley – The New Low-Maintenance Garden, by Valerie Easton. The parts of the book that I have seen are gorgeous and chock full of all kinds of beautiful, low-maintenance gardens, any one of which I would be happy to find serendipitously plopped down in front of my house. This book will go on my Christmas list.
I love a beautiful garden, but I have trouble keeping up with 4 raised beds of vegetables, and that’s only about 120 square feet. So I am always pleased to find books that recommend plants and techniques for fuss-free garden beauty. Maybe someday I'll have a full-fledged, 40-hour-a-week garden - but I'm not aiming to have one of those anytime soon.
Chani West-Foyle, Marketing Associate