Victoria Day weekend, also known as the kick-off to the upcoming gardening season, will be here before we know it. As the earth thaws and things are still looking a little bleak, it’s hard to imagine that one day soon your landscape will again be lush and green with colourful flowers popping up everywhere. This is the perfect time to plan out your low maintenance garden for the upcoming season. Gardening is good for the mind, body, and soul, so putting in the extra time to ensure yours is exactly what you want, is totally worth it.

Every good project starts with a plan and gardening is no different. But maybe you're not sure how to get started. If you're feeling a little overwhelmed by the whole process, don't worry—you're not alone. The truth is, garden planning can be intimidating if you've never done it before, or if you don't know where to start. That's why we're here to help with some simple tips for planning your front or backyard spring garden with some low maintenance plants that will turn your yard into a masterpiece to evy: 

Location Location Location

Just like in real estate, location is everything! Start with a map of where you want to plant your plants and a list where you want to put each plant. Think about colour and height and picture what you’d like the end result to be. Read some gardener’s magazines or go online for some inspiration. After you’ve gone down the rabbit-hole of Pinterest, you should have a good idea of what you are looking to achieve. You might even have an idea of what kind of plants you’d like plant. Or if you’d like flowers or vegetables. Be sure to take note of the amount of sun and/or shade in the garden you will be planting in and look up the planting zone that you live in. This is very important to the kinds of plants you’ll be using. Soil type is also an important factor when picking the right plants. If you're wondering how to tell what type of soil you have, we've got a few tips that'll help you out!

First, take a look at the colour. If it's dark brown or black, it's likely clay. If it's yellowish-brown, it's probably silt. If it's light gray, then it's likely sand. Next, check out the texture. Clay tends to be gritty and crumbly when dry, while sand is coarse and gritty when dry but smooth when wet. Silt is smooth when dry and crumbly when wet. The best way to find out what type of soil you have is to get a soil test. It's super-easy, and it will tell you the pH levels, nitrogen levels and other nutrients in your soil. You can take a sample yourself (just about any garden center will help), or you can hire someone to do it for you. Either way, once you have your results, you'll know exactly what kind of fertilizer and amendments need to go into your soil to make it healthier—and also how much water it needs!

Let’s get planting!

Now that you know what kind of soil you have and where you’re planting, it’s time to decide what you’re planting! If you are like most homeowners, you’re probably very busy and don’t have a whole lot of time to fuss over your gardens, but still want them to look nice. We have hand-picked 10 low maintenance outdoor plants that will do double duty!

Ornamental grasses

These drought resistant plants are easy to take care of and add a touch of elegance to every garden. There are dozens of varieties in many colours, sizes, and shapes, making them a gardener’s go-to favourite.


True to its name, daylilies blossom only last for a day each but continually bloom for weeks and even months all spring and summer long, giving that beautiful pop of colour to your landscape. They will still do well even if you forget to water them every few days which makes them an easy- to- care for flower.


There are 45 species of this hardy plant and whether you choose variegated, unvariegated, light green, dark green, white, small leaf, or large leaf, you’ll never be disappointed. They will thrive practically anywhere and with very little water. They even bloom lovely flowers mid to late summer!


Though there are some that are more common than others in our area, there are literally thousands of ferns to choose from. Ferns are well equipped for the cold of the winter or the heat of the summer and can do extremely well in the shade. these hardy plants have no problem taking root and blossoming into beautiful additions to any garden.

Creeping Thyme

Sometimes used as a lawn alternative, this ground cover is drought-resistant, and its beautiful small white flowers are irresistible to butterflies. Creeping Thyme is fasting growing, easy to take care of, and both fragrant and edible. Perfect for the stay-at-home foodie!


This aromatic plant can be started and grown in your windowsill and then transplanted outside in either the garden or in lovely pots on your deck, porch, or landscaped walkways. Be warned however, their invasive roots grow very quickly and can overtake a garden in no time. It might be worth the extra thinning out considering all the summertime mojitos you can make. And it even repels mosquitos!

Dusty Miller

Dusty miller makes a striking statement in any garden. The lacy, silver-gray leaves contrast with vibrant green foliage, so it works nicely as a lush backdrop for shorter plants or a border around taller plants. Easy to maintain, the deer-resistant plant requires little care once established, and it will happily tolerate both heat and drought. Although it’s considered an annual, dusty miller tends to return every year in warmer climates.


The color, size, and timing of clematis blooms differ by variety. Some explode with large, violet-petaled flowers in the middle of spring, while others produce small, white blooms, which arrive in late summer or fall. You can expect the hardy perennial to always fare best when positioned in full sun and planted in cool, moist, well-draining soil. It grows quickly and will climb over pergolas and arbors, giving you some much needed shade while beautifying your garden.

Coral Honeysuckle

Grow it in full sun or partial shade, this incredible looking vine can be grown into a shrub, groundcover or be trained to climb over outdoor covers. No need to get out the hummingbird feeders because its trumpet-shaped blooms attract these little guys by the dozens! This plant isn’t finicky and requires very little attention to keep it growing bright and strong.

Knock Out Roses

Last but certainly not least, these showstoppers are the perfect choice for the lazy gardeners. Plant them where they will receive plenty of sunlight and watch them grow! Available in many different colours, these hardy roses will bloom for many years to come and won’t have to lift a finger to make it happen!

This spring, take full advantage of the time in between winter and the warmer weather and plan out your garden. When you’re lying in the sun, sipping a cold mojito, and admiring all the beautiful and lush gardens in your low maintenance backyard, you’ll be happy you did! For all you real estate needs, give McGarr Realty a call, we’ll help you find the perfect home with the perfect garden.

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