Creating a beautiful garden border can really enhance your landscape. But some avoid adding borders thinking they require too much effort to maintain.
The good news is there are many low-maintenance garden border ideas that allow you to have striking borders without constant work.
If you want to improve your garden with eye-catching borders but don’t have time for high maintenance, consider these 15 easy-care low maintenance garden border ideas.
1. Evergreen Shrubs
Evergreen shrubs like boxwood, yew and holly make excellent low maintenance garden borders. Their lush greenery stays attractive year-round with minimal care required.
Mix in ornamental grasses for added texture. Evergreen shrubs give structure while grasses provide seasonal interest to your low maintenance garden border.
2. Hardscape Borders
Use hardscape materials like rocks, pavers, gravel or steel to create low maintenance garden borders. Hardscape borders are extremely durable, weed resistant and eliminate trimming. Accent with potted plants for color.
3. Ornamental Grasses
Tough, drought tolerant ornamental grasses need little care when used as low maintenance garden borders. Their texture and movement is very appealing. Cut back once a year to keep your grass border looking neat.
4. Perennial Flower Border
A perennial border offers seasonal color with minimal care required. Choose a mix of early to late blooming plants. Deadheading and cutting back after frost are the main maintenance needed for this low maintenance garden border.
5. Mixed Shrub and Perennial Border
Combine evergreen shrubs with perennials and ornamental grasses for a beautiful, low maintenance garden border. The shrubs provide structure while the plants offer seasonal interest and color.
6. Succulent Border
Succulents make ideal low maintenance garden borders. Their ability to thrive in heat and drought with no care makes them perfect for lazy gardeners. Sedums, sempervivums, and echeverias are great succulent border plants.
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7. Mixed Evergreen Border
Blend various evergreen shrubs, trees and groundcovers to create a low maintenance garden border with year-round interest. Allow space between plants for spring bulbs and perennials.
8. Low-Growing Hedge Border
Neat, trimmed hedges of boxwood, yew, arborvitae or juniper make excellent no-fuss low maintenance garden borders. Keep them trimmed to your desired height.
9. Container Plant Border
Use containers and planters filled with plants to create movable, low maintenance garden borders. Easily change plants as needed.
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10. Gravel Border
A gravel or crushed stone border is an ultra-low maintenance garden edging. It deters weeds and gives beds and fences a crisp, clean look.
11. Raised Bed Border
Raised garden beds contain soil neatly and offer many low maintenance benefits. Their contained structure makes weeding, watering and drainage much easier.
12. Drought-Tolerant Border
Choose drought-resistant plants like sedum, salvia, agastache and penstemon to create low maintenance garden borders that need minimal watering once established.
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13. Layered Landscape Border
Create a layered border using hardscape, low plants, medium-height grasses and flowers, and tall shrubs for depth and low maintenance.
14. Simple Mixed Border
Blend evergreen shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses for a timeless mixed low maintenance garden border with year-round neatness.
15. Mulched Border
A thick mulch border alone suppresses weeds and reduces watering needs. Shredded bark or pine straw makes an attractive edging. Replenish mulch yearly.
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Garden Border Maintenance Tips
While the border ideas above are innately low maintenance, keep these tips in mind for best results:
- Mulch annually to suppress weeds
- Water new plants until established; water mature plants during drought
- Prune shrubs and cut back perennials as needed
- Divide overcrowded perennials and grasses every 3-5 years
- Remove spent flowers and foliage at end of season
- Refresh hardscape borders by cleaning debris and adding fresh gravel/stone as needed
There you have it – 15 fabulous low maintenance garden border ideas that will elevate your landscape without becoming high maintenance. Follow these suggestions for creating stunning borders that add beauty without extra work.
Q: What are some good low maintenance plants to use in garden borders?
A: Evergreen shrubs, ornamental grasses, hardy perennials, drought-tolerant plants, and succulents are excellent low maintenance options for garden borders.
Q: How often should I water a low maintenance border?
A: Water new plantings regularly until established. Mature, drought-tolerant borders only need watering during extended dry periods.
Q: What kind of mulch is best for reducing maintenance in garden borders?
A: Organic mulches like shredded bark, wood chips, leaves, or pine straw are ideal for suppressing weeds and retaining moisture in garden borders.
Q: How often should I trim or prune a low maintenance border?
A: Evergreen shrubs may need occasional pruning to maintain shape. Hedge borders can be trimmed 1-2 times per year. Perennials can be cut back in late fall.
Q: Should I fertilize a low maintenance garden border?
A: Fertilizing is generally not necessary for mature plants except in very poor soil. New plantings benefit from a balanced organic fertilizer to encourage root growth.