With constant sunlight and little rain, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy garden during the Australian summer. However, keeping the design simple, removing unnecessary junk and planting the "right" plants will make your job a whole lot easier. The following commercial landscaping techniques will help you get on the right track.
Maximise Garden Space
Try to increase the size of your garden wherever possible. Maximising the size of your plot will provide a habitat for a variety of insects, which will reduce the chance of an infestation of once particular bug. To do this simply remove or re-turf unused areas: patio or decking that never gets used, overgrown bushes, a rickety garden shed. The idea is to expand the size in order to make the surface area greater, while also creating a single space that's easier to keep clean and tidy.
Keep it Simple
Simplicity is always key. Avoid using statues, water features or other design elements that will require care and maintenance – particularly items that will collect mould and mildew. Opt for easy-on-the-eye furniture that's less susceptible to weathering. Avoid wicker and steel. Aluminum isn't always the most stunning, but it's rustproof, durable and requires nothing more than periodic washing with mild soapy water.
Plant in Sweeps and Masses
Keep your plant selection limited. This not only looks less chaotic, but will prevent different types of plant from intruding into each other's space. Watering, feeding and maintaining one type of plant is also far easier than maintaining several. French lavender, butterfly bush and New Zealand flax are all low-water, easy-care plants that will add colour to your garden and thrive with minimal effort.
Pull the Weeds
Weeding sounds like more work – exactly what you're trying to avoid. However, just a few hours of weed maintenance each season is all you need to keep unwanted plants sprouting from your flowerbed. When you've pulled all of the weeds, mulch your flower beds with hay, straw or any other form of weed barrier to prevent them from getting through.
Use Natural Pesticides
Garlic plants will deter invasive insects; mixing diatomaceous earth with your soil will deter slugs and snails; lavender plants will deter cats and large rhodents; dripping canola oil over your plant leaves will keep away bugs and flies for months at a time. Try to incorporate natural pesticides into your garden, rather than having to constantly use commercial repellents.
If your definition of low maintenance truly is "low maintenance" consider paving over your entire garden. Just remember, nature will always prevail. Even if you get rid of grass entirely you'll still have to contend with weeds, mould and mildew.