When it comes to gardening, aesthetics can’t be the only consideration. It is important to take maintenance into account. There are plenty of attractive plants that are also easy to maintain for an eye-catching garden that requires little fussing.
Before you begin stocking up on seeds and bulbs, don’t forget to assess your growing environment to make sure the plants you choose will thrive. You may even want to test your soil. Soil test kits are easy to find and will help you test your soil’s acidity as well as its levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These kits also include helpful information about interpreting the results.
For a garden that is both gorgeous and tolerant, here are four easy-going plants that are a cinch to grow for Canadian gardeners.
Sedum, also called stonecrop, has a reputation as a bulletproof perennial that will thrive in even the most challenging conditions. Though there are many varieties of this leafy succulent, they all bear appealing starry flowers in the late summer that attract nectar-feeding bees and butterflies.
The purple coneflower, or Echinacea purpurea, is a herbaceous perennial with daisy-like blossoms that are usually a pretty purple colour. They are easy to care for and quite tolerant of drought. Echinacea plants typically bloom from July to September.
The blanket flower, or gaillardia, is a cheerful flower that doesn’t mind being neglected. Blossoming in fiery shades of yellow, orange, and red, these perennials will tolerate almost anything including relatively poor soil. One of the best features of the blanket flower is its long blooming period from early summer to late fall.
The toad lily is a great alternative for those who dream of orchids but do not live in the right climate. Toad lilies are considered both frost and drought tolerant and their stunning spotted purple blossoms will add a touch of exotic flair to your garden! These late-blooming perennials tend to flower from late September to October.
If you’re not sure what to plant, go native! Planting native plants as opposed to imported ornamental varieties can be just as rewarding while offering additional benefits. Adding native plants to your yard can replace bird feeders and attract local birds. Native plants are also often hardier and easier to grow as they require little to no pesticides and fertilizers. To learn more about native plants in your area, have a look at the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s Native Plant Encyclopedia where you can search by plant or by area.