Landscaping Your Campground or Permanent Campsite with Less Effort

You’ve interviewed and fully staffed your open positions, you’ve planned your annual activities, and you’ve done some annual repairs at your campground. Everything is ready to rock for your early season campers.  What’s that final touch still looming?  Landscaping!  (Dun, dun, DUN!)  Some people LOVE gardening and have that proverbial green thumb ready to dig in the dirt and have this down.  Others are like me, and hope someone will teach them the ways.  Landscaping is truly what makes the difference between a beautiful space and a vacant lot in terms of curb appeal.  Your entrance says it all when someone arrives, and when they stop at the playground or head to the store, they want to see signs they are welcome.  Plants, foliage, and ground cover can really add that sense of pride, show your campers they are welcome and make them feel at home.  And by the way, all of these ideas can really be incorporated into a smaller scale at your permanent campsite!  So if you’re a seasonal camper in Wisconsin or have a permanent campsite anywhere, you can adapt these tips to the climate and size of space you’re working with too.

As I’m always hunting for a deal, let’s review some low maintenance landscape ideas.  While the initial investment may be higher, your return is better in the long run.  Low maintenance means less work, means less hours in, and that saves you money!   If you do have that green thumb, love to spend hours outside grooming and pruning, this article is probably not for you – and I’m bowing down saying that, because you are a Rockstar! 

Rubber mulch, a greener alternative to gardening.

Rubber Mulch – Its Not Just for Playgrounds
Rubber mulch is a great way to fill flower beds, accent off a curb full of perennial greenery (those are the kind that come back EVERY year and some you don’t have to dig up bulbs or replant!), or just fill an area that is quite frankly a pain to mow.  Rubber mulch lasts for years, versus regular mulch.  While the initial purchase price may seem higher off the shelf, factor in the length of the lifecycle and all the other benefits.  So clean out the area you’d like to cover, lay down a weed barrier and fill it up with rubber mulch! 

  1. Lifecycle is much longer than regular mulch.
  2. Infestation chances decrease – fungus and insects/pests are attracted to wood, but not to rubber.
  3. Safe for pets, other animals and a recycled product – green win!

They Don’t Call it Evergreen for Nothing
Evergreen trees and shrubs are amazing for filling a small space, creating shade, fencing off any area – think shrubs all the way to trees.  Yes, again, investment on the front end, but lifecycle is proven.  Evergreens are just that EVER-GREEN.  If you have a year-round portion of your business open, I would highly recommend getting some evergreen plants.  The trees are great for shade, providing shelter from windy/rainy days and offer a great gathering place.  Yes, there will be needles and that can be managed based on the variety you choose.  So be sure to watch for those varieties that work best for you.  Bottom line, you aren’t replanting every year and they last as long as you want them to!

  1. Lasting color, even in the off season.
  2. Brighten/soften a corner in any location and can fit size you need.
  3. Provide shade, cover, and wind protection depending on size.

Lavender, Wildflowers, and Perennials Oh My!
Lavender is a beautiful plant that smells amazing and blooms a beautiful shade of purple and green.  The plant is also known for its ability to repel mosquitos, so definitely plant some near your water attractions, in areas where you tend to see low spots/large puddles and you’re your play areas.  Here are some other plants that repel pests!

Wildflowers are an easy way to quickly fill a space, with a variety of flowers specific to our Midwest climate.  Looking for ideas on which wildflowers, that are also perennial, will look great at your campground or permanent campsite?  Look no further – here’s a list of twelve to get you thinking!

Shrubs and bushes that bloom flowers in season are also a great way to add some color in an otherwise dull space.  Bonus: most shrubs and bushes are perennial.  So plant, prune, enjoy year after year!  In the Midwest, we have a special climate – when I say special, I mean with insane mood swings of course.  Today, I started off in a hoodie and I’ll end up in shorts.  To ensure you choose shrubs or bushes that work best for you, be sure to check those that work in our only-in-Wisconsin climate!

  1. Plant perennials whenever you can and choose those that work with the climate and amount of sun/shade they need to continue to come back every year.
  2. Plant wildflowers in a large area to cover with a variety of color and add a touch of nature in an area that may seem otherwise developed.
  3. Choose flowers and shrubs that repel pests, soak up a lot of water in low spots, or provide coverage in sunny areas.

Happy planting and good luck to all my fellow not-so-green-thumbs!