Come see how our front flower bed has changed since we created it, and a great tool that I’m using to keep it looking beautiful! Get your own ideas for how to plant and maintain a low maintenance flower bed.

Low Maintenance Zone 3 Perennial Flower Garden

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by STIHL. As always, all of the opinions here are my own.

I really enjoy gardening and mostly find it therapeutic & relaxing, but I don’t have a ton of time to spend caring for my flowerbeds. If you’re like me, you might also want to create a beautiful but low maintenance flower bed like we did!

Low Maintenance Zone 3 Perennial Flower Garden

Just over three years ago, we finally attacked the front yard of our newly built home, and I created a flower garden full of perennial blooms and small fruit trees. You can read about the original flower bed plan right here.

Here’s how our front flower bed looked right after we planted it in 2015:

Gray foursquare new home with white trim and teal door

How to create a low maintenance flower bed. These are great basic tips, and some good ideas of zone 3 hardy, romantic plants!

And here’s how the same flower bed looks now, in 2018:

Low Maintenance Zone 3 Perennial Flower Garden Low Maintenance Zone 3 Perennial Flower Garden

It’s grown, hasn’t it?! I’m so happy with how it’s filled out, and I’m in love with most of the plants we originally chose. I’m proud of how it’s thriving, and that we can enjoy gorgeous blooms and greenery all summer long up here in Zone 3!

Before I get into my review on how our plants have done, let me tell you about a little tool that I’ve been using to maintain our beds and keep them looking lovely: the STIHL Battery Shrub Shears.

Not only can you use this guy to trim your evergreen shrubs…

Low Maintenance Zone 3 Perennial Flower Garden

… you can use its shorter attachment to trim the grass along the edge of your flower beds.

Low Maintenance Zone 3 Perennial Flower Garden

I’d definitely call my gardening style “relaxed English cottage” (i.e. our country grass is a mix of quack grass and real grass, we don’t kill dandelions, and my garden looks a little wild and free), but I love the look. Plus, this style is definitely easier to maintain than something more manicured!

Low Maintenance Zone 3 Perennial Flower Garden

Even though our flower bed is a more relaxed cottage style garden, creating tidy grass edges makes it look well-cared-for and beautiful. That’s how I love to use the STIHL Battery Shrub Shears the most – for creating a nice edge around my flower beds. It’s a small and light tool, so it’s easy to hold and it’s battery operated so completely portable and simple to start up. Using a battery-operated shear makes any garden maintenance that much faster than a manual shear! You can use the shorter blade for grass edging like this, or the longer one for pruning shrubs. The battery is easy to remove and comes with a charger, and the unit fits nicely in my hands so I can do a long stretch of work comfortably if I need to. Bonus: it’s super quiet so it won’t disturb anyone relaxing inside the house!

Low Maintenance Zone 3 Perennial Flower Garden

Besides cutting the lawn and trimming the edges of the grass, the only other tasks I need to do to maintain the look of my front flower beds are:

  • prune the roses yearly (get my rose growing tips here)
  • add fresh mulch yearly (I changed it from black to brown over the years because the black got too hot!)
  • weed periodically
  • water the newer plants periodically
  • dead-head the old rose blooms

That’s it!

Besides finding easy ways to maintain my flower beds, I’ve also learned which plants work in a south-facing Zone 3 garden and which plants were fails.

Low Maintenance Zone 3 Perennial Flower Garden

Morden Blush Rose

The WINS?

  • Morden Blush & Morden Belle hardy roses (LOVE these; they bloom for a few months!)
  • Limelight Hydrangea (gorgeous blooms, too!)
  • Peonies (I keep adding new varieties to the garden every year! Get my peony tips here.)
  • Strawberries (they keep coming back even though I don’t cover them)
  • Bird’s Nest Spruce (it’s full and bushy!)
  • Rudolph Crabapple (from my mom; it’s done great!)
Low Maintenance Zone 3 Perennial Flower GardenLow Maintenance Zone 3 Perennial Flower Garden

Limelight Hydrangea at first bloom

The FAILS?

  • Dwarf Alberta Spruce – it used to be to the right of my stairs and died after the first year like I suspected it would; I replaced it with a more hardy Brandon Cedar
  • Juliet Cherry – this one is only a semi-fail because it’s still alive and produces cherries… but only 8 cherries a season!
  • Hardy Blueberry – it’s also still alive, but also produces hardly anything. I did buy a couple of blueberry plant buddies for it to see if it does better next year.

Low Maintenance Zone 3 Perennial Flower Garden

Overall, I’m thrilled with our front flower bed and how it’s matured over the past few years. I love that we’ve created a little outdoor oasis filled with bird and bee-friendly plants that look and smell beautiful. I’ve also really enjoyed using my new STIHL Battery Shrub Shears to make the bed look more polished and pretty, and I can’t wait to keep using it for years to come!

You can find more info on the STIHL Battery Shrub Shears right here, and head over here to see more of their battery operated tools that are perfect for the gardener.

Now tell me: Do you enjoy gardening? What are your favourite tools?