Let’s get one thing straight, an organic garden doesn’t have to be hard work! Organic gardening is essentially an approach that relies on recycled natural materials rather than synthetic pesticides and insecticides. Plants are chosen because they suit the soil, climate and growing conditions rather than simply for their aesthetic appearance.
If you’re passionate about living in a cleaner and greener world but aren’t exactly the next Alan Titchmarsh, you’ll want to avoid certain plants. Some plants are just best suited to people with hours to whittle away in the garden.
For example, roses need deadheading and feeding, bedding plants need watering, feeding, and replanting, while others need cutting down at the end of the season.
Sunflowers are fabulous flowers but with such a short season, they’re not exactly ideal for your garden. However, the relative of the sunflower, coreopsis, is a great alternative. It will thrive in dry and sunny areas with poor soil, so it’s a great filler for those pesky problem areas.
As it’s tolerant in USDA zones 3 to 11, you can be sure it will thrive in your garden.
Ornamental grasses grow very well and are the ultimate perennials if you’re looking for a plant to thrive on neglect. Grasses only need cutting down once a year, so there’s no need to worry about staking or tying up.
Fox-tail barley (hordeum jubatum), blue oat grass (helictotrichon sempervirens), or tufted hair grass (deschampsia cespitosa) will all give you plenty of foliage without overtaking your garden.
If you live somewhere with a hot or dry climate and simply cannot remember to water your garden, drought-tolerant succulents are the perfect solution. Aloe, scilla, gasteria and haworthia will thrive in the heat. However, Autumn Joy can survive in zones 3 to 10, making it a great choice for those looking to create a low-maintenance garden.
Many gardeners like conifers as they provide colour and shape all year round, with some changing in winter. Be careful which type of conifer you choose as there are some fast-growing ones, like Leyland cypress (leylandii) which does make a good hedge but needs cutting at least twice a year.
For less hassle, arbor vitae (thuja occidentalis) is a good choice. However, the dwarf types are also good for ground cover.