Kevin and Carmel’s Low Maintenance Garden
We chose this garden bed to do our makeover as it was a nice size and shape, and it was begging for a low maintenance garden.
The hard thing about this job is that I had decided to use over 1 ton of river stone and we only had 2 hours to do the job. We had some help, so there were three of us with a 15 square metre garden bed to complete in 2 hours. We wanted to complete the garden and photograph it with Kevin and Carmel before the light failed.
First job was to dig the garden, rake it over, smooth it and clear out the old plants and weeds. We also dug the soil away from the brick edge so that the river stones could cover the weedmat on the edge of the garden bed with the stones fitting flush with the bricks.
We gave the whole garden bed a final smooth with a steel rake and we were ready for the weedmat. We laid 2 sheets side by side over the bed and pinned them down with a few handfuls of pebbles. We then placed the plants in position and Marie, using a Stanley knife, cut a cross in the weedmat where each plant was to be planted. I dug a hole in the soil beneath the cross and put the surplus soil in pots so that I didn’t end up with too much soil on the weedmat.
We planted the plants, swept the weedmat clean and closed the cross up around the plant to get good weed protection.
At this point it was around 4.00pm and neighbours coming home from work were driving slowly past and they seemed surprised by the instant garden.
Daisies Garden Supplies gave me over a ton of really nice coloured river pebbles. To make the job go quickly I picked them up from their yard in Carrum Downs and got them to put them into big buckets so that I could take the buckets off my truck and tip them directly onto the weedmat. This is a very clean way of operating and saves a lot of shoveling (pebbles are hard to shovel). I would like to thank Daisies Garden Supplies I have used them for over 30 years and they are my favourite garden supplier because they carry a wide range of product, give good advise and charge a reasonable price. Daisies Garden Supplies have yards in Carrum Downs, Ringwood and Ashwood. I showed the chap in the yard a photo of the kidney shaped garden bed and asked him what volume of pebbles it would take. He said about 1 metre and he was exactly right.
I carried the buckets of pebbles and tipped them onto the garden bed and Marie spread them.
At 4.30pm the job was done and Kevin and Carmel looked slightly stunned!! They gave Marie and Nikki a big kiss and a hug, they seemed to appreciate the finished garden bed and we took final after photos at 4.30pm.
I chose 2 large Yucca Sculptures to go at either end of the bed. Yucca Sculptures are Yuccas that have been grown up, cut back and then they re-shoot back with large Multiple Yucca Heads facing out in all directions, these plants add some age and character to the bed.
We then planted a border well in from the edge of the bed to give them room to grow an alternating planting of Agave attenuata and Phormium Platts Black Flax. The brilliant green of the Yucca and the soft blue-grey of the Agave and intense purple-black of the Platts Black Flax make an exciting contrast. Many Flax grow big and unruly and lose their colour. Platts Black stays compact and keeps its colour.
These plants require very little water, fertilizer or trimming and are well suited to a low maintenance garden. In fact, Chris and Marie’s Plant Farm is the home of low maintenance gardens!
Large Yucca Sculpture 2 x $70.00 = $140.00
12” pot Agave 10x $39.90 = $390.00
8” pot Platts Black Flax 10 x $24.90 = $249.00
Large sheet of Weedmat 1 x$39.90 = $39.90
1 metre of pebbles 1 x $120.00 = $120.00
Total cost of this instant makeover that looked completely finished $938.90 and quite a few aches and pains.
If you bought smaller sized plants this job would cost:
10” pot Yucca 2 x $29.90 = $59.80
8” pot Agave 10 x $9.90 = $99.90
6”pot Platts Black Flax 10 x $12.75 = $127.50
1 mete of pebbles 1 x $120.00 = $120.00
Large sheet of Weedmat 1 x $39.90 = $39.90
Total cost $$447.10
Planting smaller plants requires much less physical effort.