flower-1341520__180The long weekend is the perfect time to put on your least favourite pair of shorts, dig your trowel out of the garage, slap on some sunscreen and get knee deep in worms, dirt and perennials. 2016 is all about sustainability, functionality and minimal maintenance, especially when it comes to your garden. If you’re of the green thumb variety, consider planting these five things in your gardens this spring.


Low maintenance succulents.

Succulents are tolerant plants that have thick leaves which store moisture, so they are easy to grow and care for. Plants like aloe vera, and all types of cacti, provide colour and intrigue to a garden due to their versatile and interesting shapes.



Mint and dill and other herbs, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, chives, parsley.

Most are also perennial plants, which means they come back each spring. A typical herb in a 4-inch pot costs about the same as a single bag of cut herbs at the grocery store, but it can keep giving year after year.



At the grocery store, berries tend to be a little pricy, especially considering the small quantities they come in. Growing berries in your garden, however, can mean ample fruit for less work than you’d expect. Berries give more than they need, meaning that they don’t require as much maintenance, multiply easily and will continue to bear fruit year after year.


Pollinator friendly buds.

Maybe you’re not nuts about bees, but the fact is that bees are an important part of our ecosystem and we should be making efforts to encourage their steeply declining population. Try planting some of these fragrant buds in your garden: lavender, lilac, heather or lilies. Some herbs, such as rosemary and thyme are also bee friendly.


Leafy greens.

Why not grow something you can actually eat! Try: kale, lettuce or spinach. Note: these growths can tolerate some shade because they generally prefer cooler weather.


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Zakiya Kassam

Zakiya is a freelance writer/editor based out of Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter: @zakkassam

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