Nothing can beat sitting out in a beautiful garden on a warm, sunny day. Getting your garden into a state where you can enjoy such a pleasure is much easier said than done however! It’s easy to see a high-quality garden on TV or online and wish you could achieve something similar, but then when you realise the time and effort it takes, you begin to change your mind.
It’s understandable too, as maintaining a large, beautiful garden is no easy feat. Regular lawn mowing, potting, feeding, weeding and other forms of gardening will be necessary, and some people just don’t have the motivation or knowledge to do half of these.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to have an attractive garden that requires minimal maintenance – quite the opposite in fact!
Low maintenance gardening can be enjoyable and still result in nice aesthetics for your outdoor living area. With a little planning, you can plan and maintain a beautiful garden without too much effort!
The Benefits of a Low Maintenance Garden
If you are considering taking a more active approach to your gardening but still want to ensure it is low maintenance, there’s plenty of reasons to do so.
For example, you get to enjoy a nice, pleasant outdoor space without having to dedicate too much time to creating and maintaining it. This means you can spend your time either enjoying the nice weather, or dedicate towards other hobbies and interests.
Another great example of when a low maintenance garden can be beneficial is with age. Elderly gardeners may have more time on their hands, but that doesn’t mean the actual gardening is easy. It’s a strenuous activity, but when designed to be low maintenance it still allows older people to get outside and have some fun tending to the garden.
Plus, there’s nothing to say that a low maintenance garden cannot look visually appealing – it just takes less effort to maintain the look! That means you can purchase a selection of plants and other items that will make your garden look fantastic without the need to constantly feed, weed, repot etc.
Choosing Low Maintenance Plants
Now, a garden plant will need some form of maintenance, but you can certainly limit how much work you need to do to maintain a healthy plant by purchasing one that requires less care than others.
Picking the wrong types of plants will mean on of two things – you need to spend more time maintaining them or they will die and you have just wasted time and money on them!
Therefore, it is worth choosing evergreen plants, as these are regarded as plants that need the lowest amount of maintenance. Evergreen shrubs, for example, can be planted to provide rich, vibrant foliage and flowers without the need to continually trim them back or tidy up fallen leaves, saving plenty of time in the garden.
Additionally, conifers are a great form of low maintenance plant. Similar to shrubs, these evergreen plants offer year-round colour, with foliage and flowers producing a range of hues that will light up your garden in any season.
These are some notably low maintenance evergreen plants, although be sure to check their final size prior to planting any!
· Vinca Major
· Viburnum davidii
Tips for Achieving a Low Maintenance Lawn
It is certainly possible to create an attractive lawn that requires little effort maintaining it. This may require a completely new turn that will require less maintenance, although it can easily be done to your current lawn with a bit of work.
For example, if you were looking to install an entirely new turf that will be low maintenance over the future, aim for a hard-wearing type, as they will need less care and general maintenance. Also, try to avoid any curved areas of lawn, such as around a flower bed, as it will be more difficult to mow than one with straight edges.
However, if you really want a low maintenance lawn that requires virtually no effort for most of the year, why not just let the grass grow naturally?
Avoid cutting throughout the growing season (March to September) and maybe just plant some wildflowers to add a dash of colour to the lawn, perhaps installing a few stone pavers to provide a route through the grass.
As you will only need to cut the grass at the beginning of March, it is the definition of a low maintenance lawn!
Conversely, you could remove the lawn entirely so that it never needs cut again! Artificial turf is inexpensive and works a treat, or you could easily replace the lawn with decking or pavements.
Should you keep your lawn, be sure to leave the cuttings there as they provide lots of nutrients back into the grass, meaning you don’t need to feed your lawn or constantly remove cuttings from your lawn mower – a win-win!
Dealing with Weeds
Weeds are the antithesis of low maintenance gardening. Removing them takes so much time and effort that its little wonder so many people don’t even bother once their garden is overrun with weeds!
One of the most effect methods for dealing with weeds is to install membranes or other weed-proof fabrics onto the borders of the garden. This can then be topped with bark, stones, or other types of mulches, which when combined with the ground covering fabrics will prevent weed outbreaks.
Consider a Natural Fence
Fences are a vital part of any garden, not just for security but for added privacy. One setback of a fence however, is that it will require painting every year or so, which is certainly an annoyance that can be avoided.
Consider using a natural fence by adding a slow growing hedge around the border of your garden. Hedges will need to be trimmed every now and then, which is why the slow growing varieties will mean they only need it once per year – and it is much easier than painting an entire fence!
Things to Avoid
There are a few things that you may want to avoid adding to your garden when looking to keep things low maintenance, including:
Too many containers – Any container in your garden will need maintenance from regular feeding to repotting. The more containers, the more time you will spend maintaining them, so keep them few and far between, perhaps condensing them into a few large containers.
Bedding plants– Creating a bedding scheme that is filled with gorgeous plants and flowers will look amazing, but it will also be a nightmare to maintain, especially when done from seed or using annuals.
Fast-growing hedges – The fast they grow, the more they need to be maintained! Slow-growing hedges are a great, low maintenance alternative.
Tender plants – These are the plants that are very delicate to the seasons, and require constant year-round care to maintain. Look for more robust plants that are capable of being left outside all year long.