We've all heard the excuses before -- "I don't have time" or "I'm never home." Worse than that is "I just wasn't born with a green thumb" or "I've killed every plant I've ever owned!" Well, it's time to put all of those excuses aside and learn about planting a garden that you, too, can maintain.

Low-maintenance gardening allows you to enjoy the time you spend tending to your plants because you won't suddenly find yourself in the middle of an all-weekend project. All it takes is careful consideration of what you plant -- basically, plants that don't require a ton of care.

You can also cut back on gardening chores by considering the style of garden you plant. For example, native meadow grasses and flowers that only need to be mowed once a year are a great addition to a good-size backyard. This way instead of trying to outdo your neighbor by having the most green grass that needs to be mowed every week, you can sit outside and enjoy your native meadow grass and watching your neighbor sweat.

This article will touch on the various ways you can create a low-maintenance garden that meets your needs. Sections include:

  • Trouble-Free Planting

    Learn how to choose the right plants, taking into consideration not only the layout of your yard and the climate of where you live ,but also how much time you have to give to your plants. For example, you'll want to avoid fast-spreading perennials such as yarrow or bee balm and opt instead for an easy to grow shrub like compact azaleas or heather.

    This section will also touch upon how to establish a planting style that jives with your lifestyle. If you don't have a lot of time to fertilize, water, and mow, you'll definetely want to plant an area of your yard with a thick-growing ground cover like pachysandra or wild ginger. A self-sustaining meadow filled with black-eyed Susans, Shasta daisies, coneflowers, and the like is another great option that looks great without much effort.

  • Container Gardening

    This style of gardening is great because you can use a number of containers that you may already have at home. We'll provide you with helpful tips for creating a unique garden out of various containers, including window boxes, hanging baskets, strawberry pots -- really anything that inspires you. Best of all, container gardens are easily maintained by even the most novice of gardeners. Strong candidates for container gardens include annuals like pansies and sweet peas as well as such perennials as daylilies and oxalis.

    In fact, you don't even need to have a yard to create a beautiful container garden. Decks, balconies, front porches -- you name it -- can become a garden oasis with a few well-chosen flowers and some beautiful and unique pots. Because of this, container gardens are also a great option for areas that have very poor soil.

  • Annuals and Perennials Container Gardening

    Once you figure out just how you want your container garden to appear, then you get to choose the type of flowers to place in your containers. Annual flowers are great choices for container gardens. The majority of annuals nicely fill out the container they are placed in, creating a nice effect for the eye. Perennial flowers can also work in the container garden, and we'll give you tips to help keep them beautiful and healthy.

    Some great annual and perennial flowers for container gardening include yellow coneflower, morning glory vine, big blue lily turf, and multiple species of marigold.

Let go of the excuses and find a garden option that works for you. The healthy, vibrant flowers that greet you every day will be all the reward you need.