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Posted: Dec/31/2008 12:18 AM PST
Shrubs in general tend to be less maintenance than perennials for many of the reasons,no need for deadheading, dividing, staking, cutting back or cleaning up seasonally and typically require less watering once established due to wider, more extensive root systems. But to decrease maintenance even further, select those shrubs which are recognized as being fully hardy and well suited to climate and growing conditions, drought tolerant (once established), disease and pest resistant and not requiring excessive pruning to maintain health or size.
Check with local extension office for their recommendations and visit some of better local retail nurseries in season for ideas. Ideally would want to include some broadleafed evergreen shrubs and/or dwarf conifers as well to provide winter interest and textural variation.
And I wouldn't necessarily want to eliminate ALL herbaceous perennials - some are quite a bit less maintenance than others. A mixed border that includes a variety of shrubs, perennials, grasses, groundcovers and even a few small trees generally will provide year long interest and color with relatively low maintenance.
here link is other some ideas: