How to Create a Low Maintenance Garden
With spring now firmly under way and the warmer weather and longer days of summer still ahead of us, thoughts can at last turn to getting the garden straight.
For some, that will mean the unalloyed pleasure of endless hours of pottering about, planting this and pruning that, and generally enjoying the relaxation and calm spirit that only the true enthusiast can get from their gardening.
For the rest of us, while we may still want our gardens to look amazing, we don’t necessarily want to spend all our summer trying to achieve that. If that’s you, we’ve put together a few ideas that can help create a stunning outside space without the need for hours and hours of work to maintain it.
Tame the weeds
If there’s one job we could all do without in the garden, it’s weeding. No matter how often you do it and no matter how much care you take making sure you get them all out by the roots, they keep coming back.
A good weed suppressant certainly helps, but a solid layer of gravel or shingle can also make a harsh environment for them. And if you swap your perennials for shrubs, you’ll find that weeds are no longer as prevalent as before.
Incidentally, shrubs also generally need less water to thrive than perennials, so that’s more time saved and less reason to fret should there be a hot summer and a hosepipe ban.
Ditch the lawn
Replacing your lawn with something that isn’t living and growing will inevitably have a dramatic impact on the amount of time you need to spend tending to your garden each year. Paving, gravel and decking are all possible replacements that need little more than an occasional sweep or jet wash to keep them looking at their best.
On the other hand, if you’re one of those people who think a lawn is an essential part of any good garden, then make it a simple shape that will be quicker to mow than an irregular one. Make sure that it has a clearly defined hard border as well, and you won’t need to spend time trimming the edges either.
Embrace your wild side
Rewilding is one of the big ideas in gardening at the moment, mainly because it’s such a great way of encouraging biodiversity and attracting different kinds of wildlife. That should be a good enough reason to do it on its own. But letting parts of your garden go a bit wild has the inevitable added benefit of meaning you don’t have to spend much time looking after them.
And rewilding doesn’t have to mean untidy. Rake some wildflower seeds into part of your garden and you’ll get the beautiful sight of a bright and colourful display in the spring. You will still need to cut the area two or three times a year – otherwise your wildflowers will soon be overcome by grass and weeds – but it’s a lot less frequent a job than keeping your lawn short and trim.
Pots and raised beds
Pots and raised beds are far easier to maintain than beds and borders. Apart from anything else, there’s less room for weeds to grow and less soil to mulch and water every year. And as you can effectively fill them with whatever type of soil you want to, you can make sure that you’re using something easier to work with than clay or similarly heavy soil.
They’re also far easier to access for planting and weeding than beds. That makes them a particularly good option for those who may not be as flexible as they used to be and struggle to comfortably get all the way down to ground level.
Hard landscaping your garden may take a bit of effort to get right initially, but once it’s done you can enjoy it for years without the need to lift barely a finger to keep it looking as you want it to. Using railway sleepers to create paths and steps or build those raised beds we were recommending earlier doesn’t just make for a delightfully rustic and attractive outdoor space, they’ll also last for years with few signs of wear and little need for maintenance.
Get ready for summer now by ordering your topsoil and landscaping materials from Neil Sullivan & Sons. With everything from turf and topsoil to railway sleepers and decorative aggregates, we have everything you need to turn your garden into an attractive, low-maintenance space. Enjoy fast delivery to your site in London, Essex or East Anglia, or come and collect your purchase directly from our yard in Wickford, Essex.