Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:57 am

Suggestions for low maintenance backyard corner

I need some advice for my backyard corner raised garden. We built it like this so the rain run off would not flow heavily into my yard instead run onto the street and into the drain. I originally wanted to do a water feature a cascading waterfall with a pond or something similar. Ended up putting a lemon tree and some garden cover edging plants put the proved to be too much upkeep for the edging and they got away from me and lemon tree died. I have a row of mockoranges that run 35 meters along the fence. I need something that doesn’t require much upkeep and looks nice and neat to prospective buyers and safe for kids. I'm a pretty handy DIY guy located in Central Queensland, Australian so appreciate any and all information I receive Thank you.
back corner garden.JPG

Posts: 11362
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Suggestions for low maintenance raised garden

If yoou don't want much maintenance I suggest astro turf and a pavillion for outdoor entertainment. It can be a gazebo or a lattice sided square pavillion with a table and chairs and room for a grill or fire pit/ grill area outside of the pavillion. You can use lanterns for lights if it is a problem to run electricity out. Put a 2 step stair case with wide steps it makes it easier than a narrow stair case. Run a line for water out there. you will need it for the grill. Add an additional faucet in front of the on the side and install a faucet timer. Run either a sprinkler system or drip system to water plants around planted on the sides of the staircase. You can use ornamental grasses, agapanthus, liriope, Indian Hawthorne . Amend the soil with organic matter and fertilizer to make it rich and retain water in the dry season. Since monsoons are a problem make low beds about 4 inches high sloping forward to enhance drainage on th sides of the stair case. The plants mentioned are relatively low maintenance, but will require regular watering until they are established. The faucet timer will take care of watering, but you will have to change the battery and adjust the timer for the season. Put down weed block and run the drip system under the weed block. It helps to hold water in ad prevent evaporation and since you will be planting through the weed block it will help to keep weeds down as well. Especiallly after it is mulched. If you go with a sprinkler system instead of a drip system, just use a thick layer of mulch but leave about 4 inches around the plant base free so the mulch will not rot the plants and the water can get to the plants otherwise you have to water the mulch before any water ends up in the plants. Most of these plants do not require much trimming but probably ornamental grasses will need to be sheared to keep the heights down, there will still be some weeds that need to be dealth with. Agapanthus and liriope should be divided every 2-3 years. Indian hawthorne is a very slow growing shrub it needs pruning maybe twice a year once it is grown. Get the largest plants you can find for the spot, they take a long time to grow to size and fill in. I have an Indian Hawthorne hedge which I prune a couple of times a year and it is well established and it lives on rain and with some summer watering. Since 1989 it has grown about 5 inches after regular pruning. I suggest astroturf because it sounds like you don't do a lot of yardwork and grass is the one plant that consumes the most fertilizer and water and requires regular weeding and mowing like every week or two depending on the kind of grass you get. Astroturf eliminates the work and keeps the place from getting muddy and is a nice surface to walk or play on.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Looking for some suggestions or advice

I posted some "inspiration pictures" about using small backyard spaces here: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 22#p375722

Here's just one:


I think several of them would work well for you also, so do go look at all the rest.

Hasn't Australia had severe drought much of the 2000's? It looks like the area around the Gulf of Carpentaria has not been very drought struck, but the more south and west parts of Queensland have been. Even if you are getting a respite from the drought right now, we can assume there is more to come. Therefore, I think it is imperative that you think about water usage and plant drought tolerant things -- or take imafan's suggestion and don't plant.

Whether it is astroturf, decking, poured concrete patio (these days concrete can have stain incorporated and various kinds of stamping and can be really nice looking), pavers, flagstones, etc I think your corner could be very nice not planted, just with plants around the edges or lots of containers.

(Just as samples, all of these are concrete:




Image )
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Return to “Landscaping”