When you have a home garden, you can grow fresh produce and herbs for amazing, healthy meals. You can also plant beautiful flowers, bushes, and more to make the outside of your home more welcoming. Gardening can be a family bonding experience that gets you and your kids outside and working with your hands. It can also teach your children good work habits and develop qualities like patience, determination, and teamwork.
While maintaining a garden and lush landscape takes time and effort, there are many low-maintenance plants and produce you can grow to make this awesome experience that much easier. Here are 16 plants you can put in a low-maintenance garden in your Cedar Park, Texas, home.
“Rose Mallow – Lord Baltimore Hardy Hibiscus” licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by ArturoYee
The Texas climate offers plenty of mild weather that’s ideal for many flowers and flowering shrubs. But the super hot summers can take a toll on many other species. Here’s a list of some gorgeous blooming flowers and flowering bushes that stand up to Texas weather (and even thrive in it).
- Iris: This flower is a perennial garden staple in Texas because it thrives in direct sunlight. It also doesn’t mind poorly maintained soil, meaning it’s easy to take care of. The Iris germanica, or Bearded Iris, blooms in all sorts of colors, including blues, purples, pinks, yellows, and orange — perfect if you want lots of colors in your garden.
- Texas Mountain Laurel: Kids will love this bright purple native plant as it smells a bit like one of their favorite drinks — Kool-Aid. But it can take a long time to grow and bloom, up to 10 years. Planting a more mature laurel plant can shorten that time frame.
- Quartz Rose Verbena: These pretty pink flowers love direct sunlight and are resilient to changes in weather, making them a great flowering plant for Texas. This is also a good choice if you want more ground cover in your flower garden or landscaping.
- Lord Baltimore Hibiscus: This tropical flower blooms deep crimson right after the frost melts away. It’s a great, low-maintenance choice for families who want to see beautiful flowers as soon as the weather is warm again. However, this flower likes a bit of water, so make sure to stick to a daily or every-other-day watering schedule.
- Henry Duelberg Salvia: Another native plant, these dark, blueish-purple flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. So if your kids are interested in seeing these colorful creatures in the backyard, this flowering plant is an excellent choice. Plus, it’s heat- and drought-resistant, meaning it doesn’t need too much water.
- Belinda’s Dream Rose: If you want roses but think they’re too much of a hassle to keep tidy, then look to this Texas Superstar flower. It’s bred in the state so it can withstand hot temperatures. Unlike other flowering roses, you don’t need to brave thorns and trim it all the time. That makes it a great flower for young gardeners who might not have patience or are weary of scrapes.
You don’t have to have a full farm to grow fresh fruit and vegetables. Here are some easy-to-grow vegetable plants that can inspire veggie-averse kids to eat more produce.
- Pomegranate: Pomegranates grow on flowering shrubs, which produce the juicy red fruit and bright red and orange flowers that attract hummingbirds. And your family can enjoy fresh pomegranate seeds for a snack.
- Artichokes: There are many varieties of artichokes that grow easily in a Cedar Park garden. These species include Green Globe, Imperial Star (which is even more manageable than Green Globe), and Emerald. You plant these as semi-mature seedlings, but as they grow, they must be protected from frost and kept on a regular watering schedule.
- Carrots: This easy-to-grow vegetable comes in many varieties, including Danvers Half Long, Nantes, and Red Core Chantenay. Plant them in well-draining soil, and in 14 to 21 days, you’ll have fresh carrots ready to snack on or throw into your favorite dishes.
- Greens: Cooked greens are a wonderful addition to any Southern meal, and washed and dried greens right from the garden make an excellent salad. Some greens you can grow with little work in a Cedar Park home garden include collards, spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, kale, and Swiss chard.
- Cucumbers: You can plant cucumbers in the same loose, well-draining soil that you plant carrots. These versatile veggies make for fantastic fresh pickles, one part of a multilayered salad, or a perfect snack.
- Green Beans: There are many types of green beans you can plant in your Cedar Park garden, including snap beans, pinto beans, and lima beans. They pretty much take care of themselves after you’ve fertilized the soil and planted them. They love direct sunlight and warm weather, and as long as you water them at least once a week during the dry season, they’ll do just fine.
- Peppers: Peppers are a staple in Tex-Mex food, so they’re a must-have in most home gardens. They’re also pretty easy to grow in Texas since they thrive in warm weather and just need enough water to keep from wilting.
Store-bought herbs aren’t as strong and flavorful as fresh herbs. Take your cooking to the next level and help expand your children’s palates by growing (and using) the following herbs:
- Cilantro: This herb is a staple in a lot of Latin cuisines as well as Thai. You can grow this herb from seed; the time of germination is when the plant needs the most TLC (and water). After the cilantro germinates, you should water it just enough to keep it from wilting.
- Dill: This herb is a great addition to marinades, dry rubs for meat, sauces, and sprinkled on top of salads. Dill thrives in full sunlight and warm soil. However, it grows in planting containers, which you can have on the porch, near the garden, or right in your kitchen.
- Rosemary: Rosemary can be used in many different recipes and cuisines, making it a must-have in your home garden. You can grow it in a pot or a small herb garden, either inside or outside. It must get at least six hours of sunlight each day, but you only need to water it once every one or two weeks.
What plants do you want to add to your low-maintenance garden? Let Crème de la Crème of Cedar Park on Lakeline Boulevard know. We’d love to hear about your family’s gardening adventures.