The “Minimal” Garden

Some people who lead busy professional and personal lives, don’t feel they have the time to invest in the constant upkeep of floral and other gardens, but would still like to do something about landscaping or decorating their property. And there are others for whom gardens are simply not their “thing”, but they like a little decoration, without the fuss of digging, planting, and constant weeding. For them, the “minimal” garden or yard arrangements may be the best choice.

Strictly speaking, not all these ideas involve a garden, but do utilize garden accessories and other items of garden décor, to create the look or atmosphere that a homeowner can enjoy, while not feeling guilty about getting behind in the care of their plants and flowers.

If you are fortunate enough to have a large property, or if your yard borders on a field, the ideal “garden” that takes little care is one that’s planted with wild flowers. With the proper set up, not only will this provide you with colorful blossoms and beautiful grasses, but it will also attract a variety of birds and butterflies.

First, check to see what kind of soil you have, and whether it is suited to the wildflower seed that is available in your area. Next, if you don’t have a garden that you are letting revert to the wild, you may need to have someone use a rotor-tiller to break up a long swath of earth along the side or back of your lawn. Make sure this has been well-turned, and there is sufficient soil on the surface for the seeds to take anchor in, as opposed to scattering them on hard clumps of sod that may be dense with grass roots.

“Wild” garden seed can be purchased in containers, in pre-seeded strips of bio-degradable material, and in “sheets”, which are simply laid on top of ground that has been prepared and watered. Check the progress of your garden as it begins to sprout, and if there are any bare patches that show no promise of growth, you can scratch up the surface with a garden rake, and sprinkle some more seed. Even if you used the pre-planted materials, a little dirt added on top, with some seed, will help fill in the open spaces.

The effort put into wild gardens is all in the beginning. After that, you’ll be able to sit back in your Adirondack chairs under the trees, and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. As the flowers grow and begin to bloom, you’ll see just what kind of bonuses they bring. And you can increase the pleasure, by providing extras for the visitors to your garden.

Natural grasses that go to seed will attract birds. A birdbath at the edge of your garden, or even further onto the lawn will provide water for the visitors, and allow them to splash and drink, then return to their browsing in the garden. Designs in bird baths have gone way beyond the classic Roman column with a cement bowl, and now offer delightful reproductions of fairies, cherubs, angels, and animal figures, such as a squirrel holding a birdbath.

You may find that your yard is suddenly extra popular with all kinds of feathered friends, in which case, you might like to provide further feeding stations for them. Birdfeeders come in a wide variety of shapes, designed for placement at different levels. There are gazebo and stained glass feeders to be hung from tree branches, Pelican or fairy dish-style feeders that sit on the lawn for ground feeders, and the wasp-proof feeders that can be hung out, or mounted in planters for the tiny and charming hummingbirds.

Don’t forget yourself, once you have your “minimal” garden set up to admire. Place a garden swing on your patio, or a patio table and chairs in the shade where you can sit and enjoy nature at its best.

About the Author

Johann Erickson is the owner of Online Discount Mart and TV Products 4 Less. He is also a contributing writer for sites such as Helpful Home Ideas. Please include an active link to our site if you'd like to reprint this article.

Johann Erickson