The New Low-Maintenance Garden: How to Have a Beautiful, Productive Garden and the Time to Enjoy It Info

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Do you ever lament that you'd love to be able to garden
more, but just don't have the time? The demanding pace of modern
life leaves little space for the pleasures of gardening. On the other
hand, gardening itself could be the culprit: elaborate, traditional
perennial borders; water-hungry or disease-prone plants; needy lawns;
and high-maintenance plants that require staking or clipping all suck up
precious hours.

Simply put, we need to start gardening in a
whole new way. In this inspiring book, Val Easton shows exactly how to
have a low-maintenance garden that doesn't sacrifice style. You
won't have to give up your favorite plants or settle for expanses of
ugly bark nuggets. You just have to unlearn some bad old habits and
pick up some good new ones.

So, how do you go about making a
"new" low-maintenance garden? First, design your garden with
maintenance in mind—good-looking hardscape will both save weeding
time and showcase your favorite plants. Second, simplify your garden
routines—learn the most efficient planting and maintenance
techniques and don't get stressed if everything isn't
letter-perfect. Third, learn how to work with nature rather than against
it. And finally, embrace home-grown fruits, herbs, and vegetables; well
planted containers; and thoughtfully chosen plants.

The
New Low-Maintenance Garden
doesn't just tell you how to
garden in a whole new way—it shows you, through profiles
and beautiful photographs of real gardens that embody low-maintenance
techniques.

The pressures of life are not likely to ease up
anytime soon, but the lessons of this timely book will help you banish
guilt over undone garden chores and revel in your garden
successes.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for The New Low-Maintenance Garden: How to Have a Beautiful, Productive Garden and the Time to Enjoy It:

4

May 12, 2013

Definitely has me motivated with ideas for my yard. We have LOTS of places needing work and these low-maintenance ideas are wonderful. They sound so creative and actually doable. This book is not actual garden plans but it starts the process of thinking outside the normal scope of gardening.
3

Mar 23, 2018

I bought this book during a period when I was tired of all the work I had created for myself in my garden (small as it is, it was still getting overwhelming.) The days of salivating over new plant introductions & having to have "one of each" specimen at the nursery were over. I wanted exactly what this author said she wanted ~ to look out her window, see a beautiful, livable garden space but not an endless list of chores waiting to be done.

Ms. Easton gives some basic rules to live by in I bought this book during a period when I was tired of all the work I had created for myself in my garden (small as it is, it was still getting overwhelming.) The days of salivating over new plant introductions & having to have "one of each" specimen at the nursery were over. I wanted exactly what this author said she wanted ~ to look out her window, see a beautiful, livable garden space but not an endless list of chores waiting to be done.

Ms. Easton gives some basic rules to live by in creating such a space: simplicity, repetition, personality, stringent editing & earth friendliness. All concepts I'm ready & happy to buy into!!! Two years later, I'm still working at achieving this goal, the progress has been slow. Weeding out excess plants and gardenalia requires divesting yourself of emotional attachment & sometimes showing ruthless abandon toward items that tug at your heartstrings. Not my forte! Low maintenance, not sterile or homogenized is possible tho & my new mantra compliments of reading this book. Within its pages, you'll find examples of gardens created for minimal fuss but not necessarily with minimal expense (an important consideration to keep in mind.) I like the idea of growing food in the garden, mixing edibles with ornamentals. There's also a section titled "carefree containers." I confess, I'm less interested in that than the actual garden itself. I personally don't mind investing time in a beautiful container but I want the rest of my landscaping to be time efficient. I also like that the back of the book includes recommendations for perennials, grasses, ground covers, shrubs & trees. There's even a short list of "what not to plant."

I found a lot of good ideas in the book & plan to keep revisiting it, for encouragement, as I work toward the goals of getting maintenance under control and elevating the enjoyment factor. As always, the ideas presented have to be tweaked to each gardeners style. ...more
3

Mar 19, 2019

Starting a garden

Lots of flowery writing (har har). This is definitely targeted to people who are avid gardeners. However, being someone who isn't a gardener but looking to start there were a handful of themes that I hope to remember that will start me off on the low-maintenance foot.
3

Feb 03, 2019

For me, the basic consensus is to get the best quality of everything you can, choose plants that will thrive where you plant them, and don't use harmful chemicals. Beautiful pictures of gardens throughout. Good information.
2

Sep 25, 2018

Didn't get very much from this.

Huge focus on hardscaping which I didn't particularly enjoy and long lists of plants with instructions to Google them if you want to see how they look.

4

Nov 02, 2011

this book is more of a 12 step intervention for all-star plant collecting fanatics entering middle age, starting to feel it in the knees. if i had ten grand, i suppose i could hire a crew and a bulldozer to reform the clover patch my house sits in. bring in boulders and bluestone slab pavers, contract a professional landscape architect to subcontract a machine shop to dip a bunch of found industrial metal objects in chrome and so on.

conceptually the jist of this book is very helpful. go native, this book is more of a 12 step intervention for all-star plant collecting fanatics entering middle age, starting to feel it in the knees. if i had ten grand, i suppose i could hire a crew and a bulldozer to reform the clover patch my house sits in. bring in boulders and bluestone slab pavers, contract a professional landscape architect to subcontract a machine shop to dip a bunch of found industrial metal objects in chrome and so on.

conceptually the jist of this book is very helpful. go native, go edible, limit your palette, plan plan plan for the use you want and then buy a limited selection of hardy native, perennial, and edible plants to complement that use. raise your beds, hardscape. unfortunately i read the book with these ideas already in mind. i didn't need conversion by a lady who had to literally sell her house and flee her elaborate garden and buy a condominium to get into a low-maintenence mindset. after her husband/indentured gardening servant of 30 years almost had to drop on the job. she's preaching to the choir and i could use more specifics.

the author should have labeled every species of plant more clearly, addressed more common plot sizes and shapes, and relied less on uber-designed garden architecture to anchor the book.

helpful aspects included a great tutorial on how to kill your grass over the winter, a photo of hardscaping that actually interested and excited my husband on page 91 with what looks like truly low maintenance native perennials (who can tell with none of the plants identified), and a nice emphasis on succulents, again sparsely identified and not much in the way of growing tips.

so, another glossy coffee table book. i'll photocopy 4 pages for reference and return it to the library. unlike the author, i don't think gardening should involve subcontracting. ...more
3

Jun 05, 2013

The problem with this book is Valerie Easton's endless description of the virtues of low-maintenance and sustainable gardening techniques and how they are being used in each garden featured. What I saw in the photographs were expensive gardens designed by professions which would be out of reach for most Americans. The photographs are beautiful and there are many interesting gardens, but to use the 'green' terms low-maintenance and sustainable is a huge exaggeration. Perhaps part of the The problem with this book is Valerie Easton's endless description of the virtues of low-maintenance and sustainable gardening techniques and how they are being used in each garden featured. What I saw in the photographs were expensive gardens designed by professions which would be out of reach for most Americans. The photographs are beautiful and there are many interesting gardens, but to use the 'green' terms low-maintenance and sustainable is a huge exaggeration. Perhaps part of the disconnect is that the gardens featured are all in the Northwest where the challenges of the bitter cold and blistering hot are unknown. As a practical gardener in the Midwest, I would never consider the use of numerous containers low-maintenance or sustainable as they require endless watering. Yes, I use them in specific applications, but I would never brag about their advantages. Also, the gardeners I know use timber or stone to create raised beds, and would never consider investing huge sums in steel and/or poured concrete planters. It is hard to figure out how the gardens featured are low maintenance until you realize that rather than lawns Easton is recommending permeable solid surfaces like gravel, pavers and stone. Easton recommends planting bushes that do not need to be trimmed, a statement which I found confusing as unless you ultimately want a jungle all bushes will need annual trimming. Likewise she features a sustainable garden with 3 hens and 2 rabbits-not something I would describe as low-maintenance. Positively, the book does have valuable garden design and plant selection ideas, and identifies numerous additional resources. Overall I recommend the book, but it does not meet the author's own expectations or claims. ...more
4

Jan 16, 2012

Loved this book: really made me think about how much time I want to spend maintaining my garden versus enjoying it, and then provided examples of many different kinds of low maintenance garden as inspiration.

I appreciate that the book focuses more on general principles than specific plant choices, as the latter vary so much from climate zone to climate zone. For this reason it might be best for a gardener with at least some experience, although an absolute beginner could very much benefit from Loved this book: really made me think about how much time I want to spend maintaining my garden versus enjoying it, and then provided examples of many different kinds of low maintenance garden as inspiration.

I appreciate that the book focuses more on general principles than specific plant choices, as the latter vary so much from climate zone to climate zone. For this reason it might be best for a gardener with at least some experience, although an absolute beginner could very much benefit from the discussion of garden design. Love the very short section on how to kill your lawn (and get it ready to be planted or otherwise used).

I also loved that most of these gardens were on the smaller side: nothing worse than opening a beautiful gardening book and realizing that all the gardens featured are ten times the size of your yard. Lots of modern gardens were featured as well.

Great book! ...more
5

Aug 05, 2016

If you'd rather enjoy sitting in your garden than working in it to battle constant problems from weeds,drought, problematic locations, etc., Easton's book will provide both a manifesto and lots of examples of low-maintenance gardens in a variety of styles--and not one of them a flat green yard with a mustache of rectangular shrubs out front.

The low-maintenance gardens featured here are stylish and beautiful, whether lushly layered or spare and serene. Even if you can't rip everything out (or If you'd rather enjoy sitting in your garden than working in it to battle constant problems from weeds,drought, problematic locations, etc., Easton's book will provide both a manifesto and lots of examples of low-maintenance gardens in a variety of styles--and not one of them a flat green yard with a mustache of rectangular shrubs out front.

The low-maintenance gardens featured here are stylish and beautiful, whether lushly layered or spare and serene. Even if you can't rip everything out (or sell your house and buy a new one) to start over, you will find lots of ideas for eliminating labor without the loss of the natural beauty that drew you to gardening in the first place. ...more
4

Jan 10, 2011

Was irritated at beginning for all the designers and their gardens I will never spend money for, but book does have great resource listings at end of each chapter and nice tips for different approaches and plants. Book was a gift, and I guess there is enough to reference that I need to keep it. Author is based in Northwest. One idea I like for raised bed is to put layer of soil for planting on top of a hay bale. Let's see if I can find any traditional rectangle bales though. So many big wheels Was irritated at beginning for all the designers and their gardens I will never spend money for, but book does have great resource listings at end of each chapter and nice tips for different approaches and plants. Book was a gift, and I guess there is enough to reference that I need to keep it. Author is based in Northwest. One idea I like for raised bed is to put layer of soil for planting on top of a hay bale. Let's see if I can find any traditional rectangle bales though. So many big wheels around here. ...more
2

Jan 14, 2015

I would have liked to see diagrams showing the layout of the gardens and more "big picture" images. There were too many pictures of small elements that I couldn't get a feel for the overall look of the gardens featured. I also thought there was too much hardscape and pavement. The descriptions often pointed out that here was yet another garden that didn't focus on plants. But I happen to like plants. I was looking for ideas for a low maintenance garden with lots of plants but this one wasn't for I would have liked to see diagrams showing the layout of the gardens and more "big picture" images. There were too many pictures of small elements that I couldn't get a feel for the overall look of the gardens featured. I also thought there was too much hardscape and pavement. The descriptions often pointed out that here was yet another garden that didn't focus on plants. But I happen to like plants. I was looking for ideas for a low maintenance garden with lots of plants but this one wasn't for me. The gardens are pretty just not what I wanted. I read about one third of the book. ...more
4

Apr 21, 2014

Really dug this. I live in Oregon, so the gardens featured were right in my wheelhouse in terms of climate as well as aesthetics. As a new gardener, I found the section toward the end with suggested plants and "don't plant this" lists to be particularly helpful. Since I also intend to eventually eliminate my lawn in favor of more ecologically and aesthetically pleasing plantings, the suggestions for "steppable" ground covers were also welcome. This gave me a lot of lovely ideas for eventually Really dug this. I live in Oregon, so the gardens featured were right in my wheelhouse in terms of climate as well as aesthetics. As a new gardener, I found the section toward the end with suggested plants and "don't plant this" lists to be particularly helpful. Since I also intend to eventually eliminate my lawn in favor of more ecologically and aesthetically pleasing plantings, the suggestions for "steppable" ground covers were also welcome. This gave me a lot of lovely ideas for eventually transforming my yard into a garden that's beautiful and welcoming without being overwhelming. ...more
3

Feb 28, 2013

Ideas and tips for planning and implementing a low-maintenance garden. The biggest idea I got from it was "low maintenance = hardscape over the lawn." Which, honestly, I would be all for if I didn't have little ones who could use a cushioned landing spot every summer. It does require a different mindset to pare down and only plant what you really really love (and what will grow in your zone without much help). Something to think about.

3

Feb 11, 2016

On the whole good advice, I liked to itemized lists at the end of the chapter. Wasn't convinced that containers were the low-maintenance as here in Canada having plants survive winters in containers is iffy at best. Lot of the ideas seem to have a high initial cost even though she talks about using found objects.
2

Jun 26, 2012

Easton's book contains good ideas for having a garden that you can enjoy without too much work. I particularly appreciate her use of "editing" with regard to developing a low-maintenance garden. Unfortunately, I live in zone 5A, considerably colder than the author's area so I have to discard many of her plant recommendations. If you are south of zone 5, you will love this book.
3

Apr 25, 2015

If you are looking for a book for a first-time gardener or basic landscape "start here" guide, this really isn't it. It would have been helpful if it was made clear that all the examples were from the west/northwest. It wasn't noted until the last chapter that all the plants mentioned were for a 6-9 hardiness zone. Too bad mine is a 5.
2

Dec 02, 2011

I found this to be a slight book with beautiful photos. It didn't delve into plant choices. The garden designs were in the modern style. There were interesting plant containers and I did like the mention of rainwater barrels. I did think there were some political leanings (climate change, organic food). Also, it seemed as if this book was targeted for small urban gardens.
5

Oct 13, 2010

LOVED this! Totally changed my way of thinking for my someday yard!
4

Apr 13, 2012

I have to admit I mostly looked at the pictures in this book, but enjoyed what I read. The idea of a garden that requires less time but is beautiful appeals to me.
4

Feb 24, 2011

Another gardeneing book to deal with these economic times but most importantly haow to enjoy your garden and us it for what it was intended!-Not just labor but reflections.
4

Apr 17, 2010

Loads of good ideas, pictures, descriptions and everything in between. One word of warning, a brief look through this book will have you wanting an entire backyard renovation.
4

Aug 02, 2011

Super book, great photos, good ideas. This is the first garden book that I was ever distracted by the writing - it was repetitive and a bit of a downer in parts. Still - super book!
3

Mar 21, 2010

Interesting books showing different ways to garden and have that outdoor room without a tremendous amout of work. Be interesting to see if the premise works.
1

I'm just tired of coffee table books that focus on trendy garden aesthetics. I wish there was a shift to food and native plants.Full Review
2

I would have liked to see diagrams showing the layout of the gardens and more "big picture" images. There were too many pictures of small elements that I couldn't get a feel for the overall look of ...Full Review

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