Guide to low-maintenance gardening

From low-water plants to simple projects, our guide to easy gardening will make a green thumb out of anyone

30 easy gardening tips & projects

Discover quick fixes and easy, manageable projects to transform your garden

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Build a cool border
Jennifer Cheung

Build a cool border

The two stars of this small garden, in Southern California, are a muscular icy blue Agave ­attenuata ‘Nova’, which grows 5 feet wide, and a towering New Zealand flax (Phormium ‘Sundowner’), which grows to about 6 feet tall and wide. The filler plants, listed below, set off these bold beauties.

  • Dymondia margaretae. Short (2 to 3 inches high), dense groundcover has narrow gray-green leaves rolled at the edges to show cottony white undersides. Drought-tolerant once established.
  • Echeveria ‘Afterglow.’ The small succulent grows in a loose rosette shape. This variety sports a particularly striking color—lavender-pink leaves with a powdery finish.
  • Golden bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea). Large grass with woody stems is dense and upright. Growing 6 to 10 feet tall, it makes a good screen. Foliage is a soft neutral green.

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