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  • Writer's pictureSusan Flint

How to Create a Sustainable Garden

Updated: Jun 14


Garden in the Woods Framingham MA
Garden in the Woods, Framingham MA

Creating a sustainable garden can be a rewarding experience that saves you time, money, and effort. Here are some steps and tips to help you achieve a beautiful, low-maintenance garden:


Determine Your Sustainable garden Goals

Think about what you want to achieve with your garden:

  • Less work: Do you want a garden that requires minimal maintenance?

  • Time-saving: Are you looking to save time on garden upkeep?

  • Cost-saving: Do you want to reduce the amount of money you spend on gardening?

  • Habitat creation: Are you interested in providing habitats and food sources for local birds, bees, and other pollinators?


Focus on Less Work

If you enjoy "tinkering in the garden" but prefer less maintenance:

  • Consider native plantings: These plants are adapted to your local climate and often require less care.

  • Design principles: Use principles of space, light, flow, texture, color, and shape to create a beautiful garden.

  • Plan for plant growth: Understand the size and shape that plants will naturally grow into, and use this knowledge to your advantage.

  • Create magical moments: Consider how plants will look with morning dew, frost, and seasonal changes.


Create Multi-layered Spaces

Design your garden with layers to reduce maintenance and enhance beauty:

  • Overstory of trees: Include tall trees like Beeches, Oaks, Maples, Hickories, and Pines.

  • Understory of smaller trees: Consider Amelanchiers, Ironwood, and Witch hazels.

  • Shrubs: Plant Mountain laurels, Azaleas, Winterberries, and Red-twig Dogwoods.

  • Ground covers: Use Bear berries, Gaultheria, Partridge berry, Bluebells, Ferns, Carex grasses, or Anemone for ground coverage.


Benefits of a Native Plant Garden

By establishing a garden with native plants, you can enjoy several benefits:

  • Less mowing: Save time by reducing lawn space that needs mowing.

  • Lower fuel costs: Spend less on gas for lawn mowers and trimmers.

  • Minimal watering: Once established, native plants typically need less watering, except during very dry summers.

  • Environmental benefits: Create habitats and food sources for native birds, bees, and other pollinators.


By following these tips, you can create a sustainable garden that is both beautiful and easy to maintain. Congratulations on taking steps towards a more sustainable and rewarding gardening experience!

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