Low-Maintenance Gardening for Busy People

Andrew Little

June 27, 2024

Low-Maintenance Gardening for Busy Homeowners

Gardening for Busy People

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, finding time to tend to a garden can be challenging. Yet, a beautiful garden offers a peaceful retreat and enhances the aesthetic appeal of your home. For busy homeowners in Melbourne, the key to achieving a vibrant, thriving garden without the constant upkeep lies in low-maintenance gardening. As a professional gardening and landscaping business based in Melbourne, we’re here to guide you through creating a stunning garden that requires minimal effort

Understanding Low-Maintenance Gardening

Low-maintenance gardening focuses on selecting plants and designing landscapes that thrive with little intervention. This approach involves choosing hardy, drought-tolerant plants, implementing smart garden designs, and using sustainable practices. The goal is to create a garden that is not only beautiful but also resilient and self-sustaining.

Designing a Low-Maintenance Garden

Plan Your Space Efficiently

Divide your garden into zones based on plant needs. Grouping plants with similar water, soil, and sunlight requirements can reduce maintenance time and effort. Try creating distinct areas for different activities, such as a relaxation zone with comfortable seating, a play area for children, and a vegetable patch if you enjoy homegrown produce. Clearly defined spaces are easier to manage and maintain.

Choose the Right Plants

Native plants are well-adapted to Melbourne’s climate and soil, making them a perfect choice for low-maintenance gardens. You can visit your local garden centre and enquire about plants that will be suitable for the local climate.

Succulents and cacti, such as Agave, and Aloe are excellent for dry conditions and add interesting textures and forms to your garden.

Perennial plants like Lavender, and Salvia return year after year with minimal fuss, providing long-lasting colour and interest.

Incorporate Hardscaping

Reduce lawn space and high-maintenance planting areas by incorporating paved pathways, patios, and decking. These elements not only lower maintenance but also create usable outdoor living spaces. Try using mulch extensively to suppress weeds, retain moisture, and improve soil health. Organic mulches like bark, straw, or compost are environmentally friendly and enhance the garden’s appearance.

Mulch helps to suppress weeds and also creates a polished look for your garden beds.

Install Efficient Irrigation Systems

Drip irrigation systems deliver water directly to the plant roots, reducing water waste and the need for manual watering. These systems can be automated with timers to ensure your plants receive consistent moisture.

Collecting rainwater in tanks for garden use is an eco-friendly way to maintain your garden without relying on municipal water supplies.

Plant Recommendations for Low-Maintenance Gardens in Melbourne


Lavender is a popular choice for low-maintenance gardens due to its fragrant flowers and silvery-green foliage. It adds a touch of elegance and charm to any garden setting. It thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. It prefers slightly alkaline soil but can tolerate a range of soil types as long as they are well-drained.

Lavender requires minimal watering once established, making it ideal for drought-prone areas. Prune it lightly after flowering to maintain its shape and promote new growth. Avoid over-watering, as it can lead to root rot. We’ve got more information about planting lavender in Autumn in Australia.

2 Men and a Shovel - Planting Lavender in Australia
Lavender, with its delicate fragrance and stunning purple blooms, has long been cherished for its beauty and versatility in gardens worldwide.


Salvias are a diverse group of plants known for their vibrant, long-lasting flowers and aromatic foliage. They come in a variety of colours, including blue, purple, pink, and red, providing a striking visual appeal. They also prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. They are tolerant of dry conditions and thrive in Melbourne’s climate.

Salvias are generally low-maintenance, requiring occasional watering during prolonged dry periods. Deadheading spent flowers can encourage continued blooming. Most varieties are hardy and can tolerate light frosts.

Salvia - Low Maintenance Plants - 2 Men and a Shovel - Gardening and landscaping Melbourne
Salvias are a great addition to the garden for its beautiful flowers.


Also known as African Daisy, Osteospermum is a hardy, sun-loving plant that produces a profusion of daisy-like flowers in a range of colours, including white, pink, purple, and yellow. Its cheerful blooms and glossy green foliage make it a fantastic addition to any garden.

They thrive in full sun and well-drained soil. It prefers slightly acidic to neutral pH levels and can tolerate sandy or loamy soils. It is particularly well-suited to Melbourne’s temperate climate.

Osteospermum is drought-tolerant once established, requiring only occasional watering during extended dry periods. Regular deadheading of spent blooms will encourage continuous flowering throughout the season. It can be pruned back lightly in early spring to maintain a compact shape and promote vigorous growth.

Osteospermum also known as African Daisy - Low maintenance plants for Melbourne Gardens - 2 Men and a Shovel
Osteospermum, also known as African Daisy, bring a pop of colour to the garden.


Agave plants are striking succulents known for their rosettes of thick, fleshy leaves. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, from small, compact varieties to large, architectural specimens. Agave prefers full sun and well-drained soil. They are extremely drought-tolerant and can thrive in poor, sandy soils.

Agaves are virtually maintenance-free once established. They require little to no watering and are resistant to most pests and diseases. Remove any dead or damaged leaves as needed to keep the plant looking tidy.

Agave - Low Maintenance Plants for Busy Gardeners
Agave plants are a great low-maintenance plant option for busy people.

Maintenance Tips for a Low-Maintenance Garden

Regularly check for and remove weeds before they become established. Using mulch and ground covers can significantly reduce weed growth. Prune shrubs and deadhead flowering plants as needed to promote healthy growth and maintain a neat appearance. Choose plants with low pruning requirements to further reduce maintenance. Use slow-release fertilisers to provide consistent nutrients to your plants without frequent applications. Composting and mulching also naturally enrich the soil.

When it comes to pests and disease management, monitor your garden for signs of pests and diseases. Opt for organic and sustainable pest control methods, such as introducing beneficial insects by planting flowers to attract the beneficial insects.

Finally, prepare your garden for each season by adjusting watering schedules, adding mulch before summer, and protecting sensitive plants during winter. These seasonal tasks are crucial but can be managed efficiently with a well-planned garden.

Garden Maintenance - 2 Men and a Shovel

Creating a low-maintenance garden doesn’t mean sacrificing beauty or interest. With thoughtful design, the right plant choices, and efficient gardening practices, you can enjoy a lush, vibrant garden without dedicating endless hours to upkeep. As a gardening and landscaping business in Melbourne, we’re here to help you achieve a garden that complements your lifestyle and the local environment. Whether you’re looking for professional advice, design services, or ongoing maintenance support, we have the expertise to turn your low-maintenance garden dreams into reality. Get in touch with us for an onsite quote for gardening maintenance and landscaping.