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Landscaping for "lazy" gardeners
Many perennial flowers are also a time-saving plant group. They grow from year to year in one place and may well be (although, of course, not all) very unpretentious and frost-resistant.
It is better to plant flowers and ornamental plants in romantic groups, and not to build a border out of them - it is too much trouble with it. And so, in a free composition, perennials will be quite effective, and they will practically not take your time.
Just try to successfully combine ornamental plants with each other, for example, red-leaved forms are incredibly effective with silvery ones, and yellow-leaved ones with green ones.
A separate topic is ground cover species of perennial plants. This is generally a real find. They are beautiful, unpretentious, and even play the role of a kind of "live mulch", displacing and suppressing weeds. By planting them in a flower bed, you will free yourself from mulching and loosening its soil! They quickly tighten unsightly places, forming an elegant carpet, and the presence of a large number of paths, platforms and other paved elements on your site will not allow them to grow too much.
An idyllic picture can be complemented by undemanding annuals and biennials. Precisely undemanding ones, like alyssum, lobelia, pansies and nasturtium. It is better not to mess with other plants of this group, since they bloom for a very short time, and almost more cucumbers and tomatoes combined are required to hassle and care. It is better to place them in bright informal curtains, planting flowers in part of the flower bed or filling in the gaps between perennials. But it is better to avoid clear geometric patterns and geometric flower beds - ideal outlines require constant and painstaking care, and at this time you are unlikely to find.
The basic laws of creating a "flower garden for the lazy"
1. Plant preferably perennials (preferably those that can grow in one place for many years). It is advisable to supplement them with a small number of unpretentious and fast-growing biennials and annuals.
2. Give preference to the most unpretentious plants that do not require frequent watering and feeding, and are not affected by diseases and pests.
3. When choosing plants for a flower garden, consider the time of their flowering. Ideally, during the entire summer season, at least something on it should bloom or just look spectacular (many interesting plants bloom inconspicuously, but they have very beautiful foliage that remains such from spring to autumn). Try to plant those plants whose flowering period is long enough.
4. In order not to waste time weeding, be sure to mulch the soil between the plants with peat, small pebbles, brownish decayed wood (this is easy to find inside rotten stumps) or needles. This is not only beautiful, such an operation will save you from weeding, and from loosening, and from additional watering. It is very beautiful to mulch the soil in flower beds with cedar husks and shells, which, by the way, are sold in specialized stores at a solid price, and you may be wasting it in vain.
5. Do not try to immediately decorate the entire area with flower beds - it is not easy. It is better to decorate it with new small flower beds as free time appears, and over time you will already have several areas that will delight your eyes.
6. It is very important to fence off the flower garden with a border. Ideally, it should be slightly raised above ground level. This can be achieved by digging so-called curb stones (tiles) around its perimeter. But you can do it even easier, replacing them with pieces of slate, bricks or at least boards. If you don't have the time and energy for this construction, but you have money, buy what is called a "garden constructor". These are special (usually plastic) fences in the form of a wide band or a small solid fence.
Ordinary moss is also planted as a border - on the edges and gas routes you can find many very spectacular forms of low-growing moss, from which it is easy to make beautiful borders that can be formed very quickly and at no cost to your wallet. Only such curbs are best done along a complex curve, and not in a straight line - it looks much more interesting. I thought of the moss curbs a year ago and I don’t regret it - the soil around the flower beds does not crumble, the weeds do not grow, and in addition, a fabulous effect of a velvet carpet is obtained.
By the way, if you think that moss will interfere with other plants, this is not so - I have it growing in the company of junipers, heathers, ground cover and ornamental shrubs. There is no need to take care of the moss curbs, just water it from time to time, and on the garden soil the moss becomes simply luxurious. By the way, as it turned out, he is indifferent to acidity and grows calmly not only on acidic, but also on neutral garden soil.
"Lazy" alpine slide
Most likely, you have already read a lot of various instructions on the construction of alpine slides and realized an important point for yourself - it will take a lot of time and effort to build it.
And the most disgusting thing is that the alpine slide initially presupposes complex structures made of stones, which, not only with gentle female hands, but also with courageous male hands, are difficult to drag to your site and hoist in the right way. These stones look spectacular only in photographs, and when you try to drag even one, you will immediately feel that you lived well without a slide.
I wondered for a long time how to make this notorious alpine slide without harming my own spine. And the way out turned out to be quite simple - heavy stones can be replaced with stumps, which are quite lifting and there are sufficient quantities in the nearest forest. Hemp will be able to create the required volume and structure, and the free space between them can be easily filled with soil and thus obtain a sufficiently strong structure.
You just need to choose more effective hemp, strong enough and from conifers so that they do not quickly rot, and your structure could exist for several years, and then you will come up with something else. In addition, it is important to find a good position of the stumps in relation to each other so that the structure turns out to be effective and reliable.
Thus, you can create interesting alpine slides with gentle slopes, on top of which you will then need to lay beautiful mossy stones, spectacular driftwood and plant a variety of alpine plants, diluting them here and there with fragments of low moss. By the way, such alpine slides, built not on stones, but on stumps, have an important advantage - the plants on them will not freeze in winter, while some of them may freeze on the stones in the Urals.
Alas, on insufficiently fertile soil, most plants do not want to grow, and ornamental plants and flowers do not look so impressive, develop poorly, and there are not so many flowers. And the soils in the Urals, frankly, cannot be called fertile. Therefore, not only vegetables and apple trees, but also ornamental plants and flowers have to be fed, and this takes precious time.
There is a way out, and it is very simple - it is enough to transfer them to long-acting fertilizers - APIONs. And then fertilization and feeding will not be required, and you will finally be able to admire your flower beds. Just when laying a flower garden, or in general at any time (if you have created a flower garden for a long time and are not going to re-plan it), put APIONs of the necessary brands under the plants, and then just water if necessary.
The picture will change dramatically in 10 days. The decorativeness of plants will increase: they will be distinguished by greater foliage, brighter and thicker foliage, more active growth, and subsequently a larger number of flowers. On APIONs, even slowly growing ornamental plants such as junipers, thujas, cypress trees, yews and the like will grow much faster.
It should be noted that APIONs are especially good for ornamental shrubs, conifers, climbing plants (lemongrass, actinidia, hops, clematis, etc.) and large flowers: peonies, chrysanthemums, hosts, etc. Under each adult bush of chubushnik, barberry, clematis in spring or early summer, you need to put two APION-100K at a depth of 20-25 cm and at a distance of 20-30 cm on both sides of the bush. Under lemongrass and actinidia, which, as a rule, are planted with a narrow tape, it is worth bury one APION-100K at a depth of 20-25 cm along the entire tape after 50-60 cm.
Under spirea, Kuril tea, junipers, thuyu, stefandra, etc. under each adult bush in spring or early summer or when planting, it is worth putting one APION-100K at a depth of 20-25 cm. If the shrubs are small, the size of Japanese quince, then one APION-50K is enough for the bush. For flowers - chrysanthemums of peonies and others - it is enough to bury one APION-60 at a time. As a rule, the introduced APIONs are enough for one season, but maybe even one and a half, if you introduced the APION of a larger brand for a not so large plant.
Flower garden project: rocky garden
This rocky, alpine flower garden is designed for a sunny and dry place. Its estimated area is about 30 sq. m. In addition to plants, the expressiveness of an alpine slide depends on stones, gravel dumps, soil, paths and wooden structures
A small rocky garden like this can be the most desirable corner in your garden. Gravel dumps in the foreground highlight plants in all their beauty, and boulders attract the eye.
All plants prefer bright sun and well-drained soil. Well-designed paving usually means a layer of sand and fine gravel underneath the stones to ensure good drainage.
The flower garden is made in silvery pink tones and has a decorative look from spring to the first snow.
In May, against the background of the silvery foliage of Steller's wormwood, Fassen's catnip, crown lychnis, gray-green pillows of creeping thyme, silver-blue hedgehogs of gray fescue and silvery foliage of David's buddleya, the seaside armeria will play in the sun with bright pink shades.
In June, they will be joined by the lilac inflorescences of Fassen's catnip, fragrant inflorescences of grayish-blue carnation and creeping thyme.
In July, Armeria will bloom, leaving behind compact pads of grass-like leaves, and a grayish-blue carnation (the inflorescences of which should be cut off), but crown lychnis will come into play. Like crimson moths hovering above the silvery foliage of its inflorescence.
In early August, the buddlea of David bushes will bloom, emitting a honey aroma and attracting many butterflies to the garden.
Flower garden - a plot (limited area) where ornamental plants are grown. Most often these are herbaceous flowering plants, but shrubs and small trees may also be present. Among the plants there can be both flowering (angiosperms) plants themselves, and representatives of other plant divisions - conifers, ferns, etc.
Flower beds are used to decorate gardens, parks, as well as the space in front of the entrance to the building. A lawn is often used as a background for flowering or other prominent ornamental plants in flower beds.
Plants for flower beds are selected in such a way that their flowers and vegetative organs are in harmony with each other in color, shape and size, and the plants themselves - in terms of development, time and duration of flowering.
Depending on the plant composition, the nature of the site, its geometry and other factors, several types of flower beds are distinguished (the classification of flower beds is rather arbitrary and can differ significantly from different authors).
DIY slide creation
This is a complex event that includes three main stages. First, you need to choose the optimal site in terms of resource allocation and the possibility of growing healthy plants. Then the stone base is created, which is the "body" of the slide, and, finally, the final stage is the flora itself.
Site selection and preparation
Although, with some experience, an alpine slide can be organized on any site, it is better to choose a place on a small hill in order to spend less effort on landscape reconstruction. It must meet the following criteria:
- upland or stepped slope
- not washed away by groundwater (while the presence of a reservoir nearby is not an obstacle)
- sunny side (if you choose the shady side, this will create restrictions on the choice of plants)
- no trees or shrubs nearby that can create shade.
If the surface of the site is flat, then stones, sand or soil can be used to create artificial unevenness. It is permissible to form a structure adjacent to the wall, fence.
Site preparation begins with its clearing (although the very first step should be drawing up at least the simplest scheme so that the result is consistent with expectations). Weeds, old roots, large stones should be completely removed (they can be used to form a slide). Then the most important task has to be completed - to prepare a high-quality drainage system, which determines how strong the slide will be and what water and air supply the plants will receive. The drainage system is a multi-layer structure that must function for a long time and be resistant to shrinkage, temperature changes and increased stress (during snowfalls).
Selection and laying of stones
The alpine slide itself is made up of stones and boulders; to create a special shape, you can use wooden structures, for example, for a stepped slide. You can use stones of any type, you just need to take into account that the stones do not oxidize the soil and do not collapse under the influence of moisture and contact with the soil. It is worth considering right away that a lot of stones will be needed, depending on the size of the site - up to several tons. The larger the slide, the larger the boulders can be used.
In addition to stones, you will need peat or compost, gravel, sand and turf for laying. The structure of the slide should look like this:
- the soil (base of the site) with a layer removed of at least 30 cm
- drainage layer from fine gravel, sand, removed soil layer, evenly crushed and mixed. It is important to know - if the soil is clayey or very wet, drainage should be created by pouring rubble and sand on top
- is laid on top of the slide planting layer.
All layers, except for the top one, should be tamped and rinsed. The layer for planting is prepared like the layer for planting in beds, ordinary flower beds.
The remaining stones can be used to decorate a decorative fence, make a decorative stream, or simply lay them beautifully on the hill itself. If you do not plan to use evergreens on the site, which will cover the ground in early spring and late autumn, then try to create a decor of stones so that the slide does not look "empty". You can add various details to them - for example, shards of glass or porcelain, cones, branches, etc.
A hill is formed according to the principle "from larger to smaller" - first large boulders are laid, then smaller ones, evergreen and long-flowering plants are also planted closer to the base, and seasonal plants closer to the edges. Fertilizers are applied as needed, taking into account plant varieties.
Selection and planting of plants
One of the main advantages of this type of landscape decoration is the ability to use a wide variety of plants. Contraindications can only be:
- fast growing plants
- shrubs and tree seedlings
- conflicting types of herbs and plants
- it is not recommended to use heavy boulders that can change the structure of the slide
- Also, do not use decorative waterfalls that can blur drainage.
It is recommended to plant a rock garden with plants of seasonal flowering and those that remain green from early spring to late autumn. This will allow you to see the transformed slide beautiful for a long time.
Among the most popular plants for rock garden are evergreen small shrubs, small shrubs - heather, lavender, cranberry, if the soil allows. Climbing plants and creepers always look spectacular. You can also use some vegetables (for example, onions), herbs of practical use - basil, parsley and others. If the climate permits, you can plant cacti or other exotic plants.
To decorate the slide, you can use:
- lamps, garden figurines and other decorative elements.
If desired, the slide can be framed with a decorative stream, fountain or pond, the main thing is to ensure that they do not erode the base.
There is such a variety as a stone slide, where the plants are given a minimum of attention, and the flower bed consists mainly of stones. This is a good option for the lazy, as well as for those who would like to disguise an unsightly part of the garden where it is impossible to equip a full-fledged rock garden. With a large number of stones, terraces can also be formed - dry masonry with small plots of land for planting.
Arranging an alpine slide in winter is also an interesting activity. With the first snowfalls, such a megaclomb does not lose its relevance. It can be decorated with evergreens (or just branches of pine, spruce, fir), stones, and a small New Year's composition can be arranged, which will be very relevant at this time. And even a simple snow slide with garden refreshment and a small amount of pine needles and stones can look very attractive.
In terms of decor, there is one controversial issue that interests many novice gardeners - symmetry or asymmetry? As a rule, gardeners choose "natural clutter" as an imitation of natural vegetation, but using symmetrical plantings is also not a crime. It is only important that the slide is in harmony with the overall design, and also does not have "bald" spots at the end of the flowering season.
As you can see, creating an alpine slide with your own hands on any site is a feasible task for both an experienced gardener and a beginner. The efforts put into it will pay off annually, since it is a perennial composition, created in such a way as to last several seasons. If you are not confident in your abilities, try starting with a small slide, and you will see that this is a fairly simple and fun activity that gives an effective result.
Flower garden laws: beauty without sacrifice
The approach to creating flower beds should be based on the law of three "E": ecology, economics, aesthetics. Oddly enough, the priorities are in that order. Will you spend all your free time in the garden or become the owner of a "weekend flower garden" that requires minimal labor, depends on the correct assessment of the environmental conditions on the site.
No matter how we try to reduce or increase soil moisture, increase the humus content, change the lighting conditions, nature will still try to restore the "disturbed" and eventually return us to our original positions. And besides, caring for plants and maintaining flower beds requires money and time. Therefore, when creating flower beds, first of all, build on the environmental conditions of the site.
Estimate soil moisture
Soil moisture is of great importance. In the famous "dry" garden Beth Shatto in England, all plants are watered only once or twice in a lifetime - after planting. The rest of the time they receive only natural moisture. Undoubtedly, this garden is an experiment where strict conditions of natural selection are created. We do not need this: when a drought sets in, even the most hardy plants die off the aboveground mass, and the garden regains its decorative effect only in September, during the autumn rains. Therefore, in a dry flower garden, plants will be watered, if necessary - the main thing is that with their correct selection, in accordance with the moisture content of the soil, this will only need to be done occasionally.
In the photo: A fragment of the gravel garden of Beth Shatto
Dry sandy soils
Dry sandy soils will need improvement. Beth Shatto makes a hole for each plant in her dry garden when planting and fills it with a mixture of fertile soil based on compost. She believes that this increases not so much the fertility of the soil as its moisture capacity. In such conditions, they feel great sagebrush, obriety,thyme, variousstonecrops, saxifrage, milkweed, lichnis,catnip, navel, amsonia, katran.
In the photo: A fragment of the Beth Shatto garden
If the site is dominated by clay soils that retain moisture well, you will first have to work on improving their structure. Experts believe that it is better not to add organic matter to the floating clay - you just need to loosen it with fine gravel (fraction 5-10 mm) and leave it alone, and create a fertile layer by sprinkling compost, sand, peat and other light soil components on top.
Heavily waterlogged soils need to be drained. A lot of work? Undoubtedly, but you will have to work only once. Subsequently, having chosen the right assortment, you can only deal with the flower garden for a few hours on weekends. On improved wet soils, they thrive peltiphyllum thyroid,primroses, marsh marigold, volzhanka, some speciesiris, astilboides,buzulniki.
In the photo: A fragment of the Beth Shatto garden
Lighting conditions for a flower garden
Photo: A fragment of a shady flower garden in Beth Shatto's garden
Plants not suitable for a low-maintenance flower garden
In a real low-maintenance "weekend" flower garden, you will have to abandon the species that need frequent (once every 3-4 years) transplants for normal development: astilbe,primrose,bearded irises... If you cannot imagine a flower garden without these plants, allocate as little space as possible for them in the most accessible places where it is easy to reach without the risk of damaging neighboring plantings. Up to 10 years in one place can grow Volzhanki,hosts,anemone japanese and forest,species daylilyand, raven... It is worth spending time looking for such an assortment so that you can later admire the fruits of your hands not for 5-6 years, but for 10 or more.
In the photo: A fragment of a nursing flower garden
Unfortunately, in a low-maintenance flower garden there is no place for plants that need a garter due to their height (delphinium cultural) or with a decaying bush (perennial asters,heleniums, solidago). True, if the delphinium in the "weekend" flower garden really has nothing to do (agricultural technology is difficult, it often gets sick, and it requires transplants every 5-6 years), then for other tall species the British have come up with ways of garters without manual labor. You can use tree branches - they are stuck into the soil around the planted plants so that they form a natural attachment system. Or make a frame from a plastic mesh and fix it with wooden sticks vertically - in the form of cylinders or horizontally - in the form of a canopy of a certain height. Such a structure is created for several years at the time of planting. In spring, the growing shoots pass between the mesh cells or between the branches and remain upright throughout the season.
Plants suitable for a low-maintenance flower garden
Perennial and biennial plants that produce self-seeding will be welcome guests in the low-maintenance flower garden. In this case, we will only have to remove the extra seedlings annually. The structure of such a flower garden can change: last year, foxgloves gave vertical accents in one place, and this year - in a completely different place. For a flower garden "weekend" just created forget-me-nots,bell peach, mullein, lunaria, daisies,aquilegia, lupins.
In the photo: A fragment of the sunny flower garden Beth Shatto
To give the flower garden a structure, you can and should use shrubs. Their choice will also depend on environmental conditions. Advantage of beautiful blooming hydrangea,spire, cinquefoil and decorative leafderenov,bladder,barberries.
The decorativeness of an easy-to-care flower garden is undoubtedly an amateur: it will not have lush dahlias,roses, delphiniums, varietal daylilies, most likely, it is not suitable for ceremonial places. But it is indispensable for lazy (in a good way) gardeners who come out of town to relax, and not for exhausting gardening work. Give flower beds as much time as you enjoy.
How to take care of the flower garden less
In order to spend as little time as possible on weeding, you need to carefully prepare the planting site. The soil is not only dug up, but also necessarily cleared of weeds. If there are a lot of them, it is possible and even necessary to use herbicides, and in order to prevent the weeds from returning to the flower garden, it is necessary to use mulch (both on dry and wet soils). The rule is this: either the entire area of the flower garden is planted with plants, to the point that any free space is given to ground cover crops, or mulch is used, for example, wood chips (layer thickness of at least 5 cm).
Special literature will help you choose an assortment for both dry shade and wet open spaces. As a cheat sheet, we can recommend a book R.A. Karpisonova "Choosing perennials for areas with different conditions."
If the size of your site allows you to organize on it a large reservoir with a stream that imitates a mountain river, place stones along its banks, and plant flowers between them. But when choosing plants, keep in mind that they should respond positively to high humidity.
With the help of golden conifers and ground cover plants with yellow-lemon flowers, you can organize a dazzling sunny rock garden.
But keep in mind that plants will have such a bright color of flowers, leaves and needles only in a sunny area. In the shade, they will turn pale or even green.
We plan and create a lazy garden and vegetable garden with our own hands, photo
As a rule, the maintenance-free site should be a single ecosystem. Therefore, it is best to create it from scratch and must be carefully planned.
Weed-free garden planning
First of all, when decorating such a site with your own hands, you should take into account the location of the beds and large trees. Garden crops should not be shaded by branches and shrubs.
Also, the plan should be drawn up taking into account the characteristics of the area. We plant on open surfaces and elevations open to the sun: peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes. And in the lower reaches: radishes, beets, cabbage.
The near-stem circles of fruit trees can be turned into spectacular flower beds of perennial plants. To do this, you can use decorative cereals, which will help to retain moisture, will saturate the soil with microelements, and at the same time, will decorate the plantings.
Onions and carrots protect each other from pests
The site for the lazy is built on the principles of natural farming. One of which is the combination of plantings of not just compatible, but also useful crops. Some of the plants are able to protect others from pests, promote the development and growth of fruits. Examples of good crop combinations in a vegetable garden include onions and carrots, basil and tomatoes, eggplants and green beans.