The foundation of good garden is one that will enhance your health, happiness and relaxation. Gardens by their very nature will require some degree of maintenance but with clever planning and plant selection, every garden can be a Garden of Eden.
Spring is a time when gardeners often consider a makeover and change of garden style. Taking stock of what works and what doesn't is a good starting point before a complete overhaul of the garden. Consider the removal of any messy trees or shrubs that don't provide any ecological benefit, functionality or may be a financial liability, such as those that drop leaves in pools, ponds and gutters, increasing home maintenance. Trees should serve a purpose in the garden, not just be objects of decoration. They should provide fruit or should create shade in recreational areas of the garden.
Change things up with seasonal pots that can play an important role in any garden. Use single specimen plants in smaller pots and exuberant mixtures of annuals and exotics such as bananas, palms, agaves and coleus in larger ones to create a tropical feel. Succulents and cacti are also ideal for containers and stunning combinations can be created with a variety of species.
Consider showing the lawn the door, lawns can take considerable effort to keep them looking good. In smaller gardens it's just not practical to dedicate limited space to lawn. The space could be turned over to a much more appealing ornamental plantings or a vegetable garden.
Grasses and strap leaf plants are still very much in vogue and Australian native grasses are an excellent choice for low maintenance and water efficient gardens. Planted randomly, en masse or in linear form, these plants can provide an arresting display in a relatively short time. Lomandra are by far the toughest low maintenance drought hardy plants on the market. Tanika has been adorning landscapes for over a decade but there are others such as Shara and Katie Belles well worth a spot in any low maintenance garden.
However native plants don't necessarily equal low maintenance. Many native plants require regular pruning to keep them dense, compact and floriferous which is a case in point with many of the brush flowering hybrid Grevilleas.
Gardens will always be valuable living spaces and functionality is the key to achieving the most out of any garden. Remember every space and plant in the garden should always have purpose.