Arriving at your second residence, in a mountain village or on the beach, and finding a garden full of plants waiting for you. Sounds good, right?
In order to feel at home during your vacation and disconnect, there is nothing like a little green space where you can put your lounge chair. But surely it slows you down the same reason as everyone: once you go back home, you have no one to take care of your plants for you. And leaving them without maintenance until your next vacation is not an option.
But having a holiday home full of plants is possible: all you need is low maintenance species. That is, plants that do not require almost care.
You want to know more about it? Keep reading.
We have already talked to you about this type of plants in our blog, where we recommended you some species. And that is because succulents are well known because of their resistance to dry periods, heat and almost any environment.
If you are going to be away from home for a long time, succulents are a good option.
Shrubs can withdraw different weather conditions: cold, heat or dry periods. Depending on where you go on vacation, there are different species better adapted to high temperatures or frosts. Some of them are:
Coastal rosemary (Westringia fruticosa): This evergreen shrub is often used in massifs or hedgerows. It resists temperatures up to -5º C.
Pittosporum (Pittosporum tobira). Coming from Asia, it can reach up to 4 meters high. It must be placed in a sunny area.
Eleagnus (Eleagnus ebbingei): A shrub very resistant to pests and drought. It resists low frosts and can live in both sun and semi-shade.
Trees take longer than other varieties of plants to fully grow, but they require less cares. Among the best options for your second residence we have:
False pepper (schinus molle): For lovers of weeping trees, this species is a good option. Coming from South America, it grows better in climates with warm winters.
Crimson Bottlebrush (Callistemon citrinus): This small tree can be used as an outdoor decorative plant, but we must protect it from wind and cold.
Oleander (Nerium oleander): Although it is also grown as a shrub, the oleander can reach six meters in height. It stands out for its fast and dense growth, and for the eye-catching pink colour of its flowers. But also for its high toxicity, so if you have animals at home we recommend you to choose one of the other varieties that we propose.
Thuja (Thuja orientalis): This medium-sized conifer (up to 12 meters high normally) is suitable for northern climates, with harder winters. It can withdraw different conditions of light.
Junipers (Juniperus): Junipers are another type of widespread conifers. Like the thuja, it is resistant to frost and drought. A curiosity of this plant is that it is usually also grown as a bonsai.
Rosemary (rosmarinus officialis): This Mediterranean plant is well known for its rusticity. It needs direct exposure to sun and little water, but under temperatures below -1ºC it can suffer damages.
Lavender: Like rosemary, lavender is a shrub that withdraw dry periods and grows even in rocky terrain and under direct sun, but it is necessary to protect it from the cold.
Cotton lavender (Santolina chamaecyparissus): This shrub with eye-catching yellow flowers withstands both cold and drought. It is a plant that practically does not require maintenance.
If you are looking for flowering plants that last from one year to another, here are some options:
Gaura (Gaura Lindheimeri): This plant is widely used in massifs. It hardly requires maintenance and is very resistant to pests.
Yellow daisy (Euryops pectinatus): This Mediterranean shrub stands out for its yellow blooming, which extends from spring to almost winter. It needs a lot of sun and withstands drought well.
Gazania: This kind of crawling plants hardly needs maintenance, and its colourful flowering will be with us throughout the year. It can withdraw cold winters.
Lampranthus: Coming from the arid areas of Africa, these species withstand drought and sunlight well, and offers us a brightly coloured blooming. It resists light frosts for short periods of time.
Lobularies (alyssum maritimum): Lobularies are widely used in rockery and flower beds. It needs warm climates.
Pink trumpet (Podranea rocasoliana): Well known among climbing plants, the pink trumpet is a species that hardly needs maintenance. Just prune it once a year to control its growth and ensure that it receives enough sun.
Jasmine (Jasminum officinale): As a vine, jasmine will delight us with its delicate blooming and its characteristic perfume. It is ideal to have it in a summer house, when it displays all its aroma.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium): Honeysuckle is well known by its fast growth and its colourful flowering. It rests frost well, but it needs semi shade.
For lawn lovers, there are several resistant and low maintenance varieties of natural grass, ideal for second residences. Among them, the Spanish grass stands out, being used all over the world.
Spanish grass grows horizontally, so it does not need to be cut very frequently. It can withdraw saline soils, high temperatures and short periods without irrigation.
And what happens in winter? When temperatures drop below five degrees, the Spanish grass will enter a state of dormancy, but with the warm spring weather it will come out from it.
Some tips to take care of your plants with little maintenance
Even if you opt for plants that require little care, such as those we propose, the reality is that there is no zero maintenance garden. However, with these tips you can keep it in perfect conditions even while you are in your usual residence.
Deep and far between watering
This can be applied to all the species that we have proposed in this article. Once their roots are settled, make deep and more far between watering. This will make the roots grow stronger and deeper, making plants more resistant to drought.
Place your plants in groups
If you have plants that need a humid environment, place them in groups. As we mentioned in a previous article, by doing so, perspiration will create a wet microclimate between them.
Install an automatic irrigation system
If you only are in your second residence once or twice a year, this is almost obligatory. With an irrigation system and a programmer you make sure that your plants continue to receive the water they need.
Automatic irrigation systems are designed to use only the necessary water, which will help you saving money in your bill. If you add a rain or humidity sensor, which stops irrigation in case of precipitation, the difference will be even greater.
The most modern programmers can already be controlled from the mobile phone. Thus, for example, you can change the irrigation programs according to season, or stop the irrigation in case of rain forecast.
Use slow-release fertilizers
Apart from spring, it is important to fertilize also in autumn, so that our plants store enough nutrients to survive the winter. However, you will most likely go back home before the end of the summer.
In these cases, you can use a slow-release fertilizer. These are fertilizers coated with special materials that dissolve slowly, increasing the duration of its effects. Thus, the doses will last during the autumn and the plants will have enough nutrients for the cold season.
With these advices you will be able to have a holiday home full of plants.