There’s hardly anyone who doesn’t enjoy the sight of a perfectly landscaped garden. Apart from adding an aesthetic element, landscaping can even improve your quality of life. It’s estimated that a single tree is capable of getting rid of at least 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, which is equal to the emission generated by a car traveling for 11,000 miles. Moreover, a landscaped lawn with green grass can lower the temperature significantly, helping you reduce air conditioning costs.
However, many homeowners shy away from landscaping because they’re afraid of the backbreaking work it takes to keep the garden in top shape. That’s why our resident experts at Mr. Tree have put together five low maintenance landscaping ideas for houses in Portland, Oregon. So here’s how you can spruce up the look of your dull yard:
1. Mulch It On
If you want to prevent your garden and flower beds from the wrath of the sun, make sure to add adequate mulch. Mulch helps improve the soil quality and prevents the growth of weeds in your garden by blocking the sunlight. For low-maintenance, it’s advisable to opt for inorganic mulches, such as rubber or stones so that you don’t have to replace the layer every year. Once you apply mulch, you won’t need to water your plants as frequently since mulch absorbs and retains the moisture from the soil.
Whenever you’re applying mulch, make sure to spread it at least 6 to 12 inches away from the tree’s trunk. Otherwise, you may run the risk of rotting and rodent infestation.
2. Plant Evergreen Trees
These trees are a real low-maintenance option. Since the trees retain the leaves year-round, you don’t have to allocate additional time to rake the yard. One of the most popular options for houses in Portland, Oregon, is a Douglas fir. Also known as Oregon pine, this is one of the most well-known trees of the region. In fact, it has been designated as the state tree. A Douglas fir grows at a medium rate and has the potential to add more value to your property. These trees can grow up to 60 feet.
Evergreen oak is another option you can consider. Once you plant it correctly, it requires hardly any care. It grows at a slower pace, making it an ideal option for landscaped gardens. These oaks should be planted closer to drought-tolerant plants so that the soil doesn’t dry out completely. Additionally, adding a layer of mulch around the tree can help the soil retain moisture.
Douglas fir and evergreen oak require a bit of pruning to maintain their overall health and appearance. However, you must be mindful of when you prune since trees shouldn’t be pruned when the temperature is very high. But that’s no reason to worry—simply get in touch with one of the professional arborists at Mr. Tree. Our experienced residential tree trimming experts use the correct techniques and tools to leave you with a sight you can genuinely enjoy.
3. Give a Home to Perennial Plants
Perennials are an excellent choice for the weather conditions in the Pacific Northwest. Come spring, the flowers will be in full bloom and waiting to greet you. It’s wiser to choose drought-tolerant plants so that these plants can thrive in low-water conditions. Otherwise, you can always install a drip system to ensure the plants are watered more efficiently.
Portland lives up to the moniker City of Roses, as the famous Portland rose plant, a perennial, grows well in this climate. The pop of color from these roses can definitely elevate the aesthetic of your landscaped yard to the next level. On average, these plants have a life span of three years, and some can last even longer. In case you’re not too keen on roses, you can consider other options such as sea holly, hummingbird mint, or hellebore.
4. Embrace the Natives
Local plants are suited to the climatic conditions of Portland, Oregon, and don’t require too much maintenance. They also adjust exceptionally well to sudden changes in climatic conditions, such as heatwaves or dry spells, that last for an extended period. Once the plants are well-established, they don’t even need frequent watering or fertilizing. These also make for a perfect habitat for pollinators and beneficial insects.
Evergreen huckleberry is one of the options you can consider. It’s an evergreen shrub with light pink flowers from spring to summer. A little bit of shade and well-drained soil is all you need to watch this plant bloom. You can even use a cutting from the plant for propagation, especially during the winter since the plant is dormant then.
Another low-maintenance native we recommend is oceanspray, which derives its name from the tiny white flowers that look like foamy waves in the ocean. This shrub can reach up to 10 feet in height and prefers sunny sites. The flowers bloom during early summer, and come fall, the leaves change color to a bright shade of red. This plant also attracts a variety of birds and butterflies.
5. Consider a Rain Garden
What’s better than allowing Mother Nature to take care of watering your garden? Rain gardens are designed to utilize stormwater runoff. In order to set up a rain garden, native shrubs and perennials are planted on a shallow depression, usually the bottom of a natural slope. This depression absorbs the rainwater from the rooftop and the downspouts.
Setting up a rain garden can also prevent erosion, as it disrupts the path on which the rainwater travels. It’s also useful for capturing up to 90 percent of the nutrients and chemicals from the rainwater. Given that Portland is one of the country’s greenest cities, a rain garden will only ensure it stays that way.
These are just some of the low-maintenance landscaping ideas for yards in Portland, Oregon. If you need more assistance for landscaping or pruning your trees or even removing old trees, don’t hesitate to call us. Our experienced staff will be delighted to help you.