You don’t need to be a painter to appreciate a Picasso. Equally, you don’t need to be Alan Titchmarsh to appreciate a beautiful outdoor space. We know plenty of plant lovers who don’t have green fingers, and we work with them to build and design low maintenance gardens all year round. Everybody should be able to enjoy their garden, all year round, no matter the shape or size; without having to spend every Sunday morning on their knees in the flowerbeds.
To that end, here’s our top tips on designing a low maintenance garden:
Is it really a ‘garden’ that you want?
Let’s start at the beginning: is it really a garden that you want, or is it an outdoor living space? Extending the square footage of your home can be done without needing to get into the whys and wherefores of petunias. A simple lawn, a patio, a deck, a barbecue space, a clearing; all of these offer areas to entertain and enjoy without the maintenance of traditional gardens. They cut down on planting space and remove many considerations. A simple set of quality outdoor furniture, arranged properly and with good material underfoot can work wonders for the hassle-free garden dreamer.
Minimal, architectural planting
If you don’t want to dispense with the flowerbeds altogether; consider that less can be more. Utilise small beds, often those that are narrow and long are very simple to maintain. As soon as you mix flora and fauna in a deeper bed, you have to consider their interdependencies. Use dwarf trees, succulents and hardy perennials to offer a splash of nature that can look after itself.
Think about the soil type too, getting the right plant in the right soil can mean minimal effort down the line. For example rhododendrons will require a lot of your time unless they’re in moist soil and protected from the wind. If you want to minimise your time spent with the pruning shears, stay away from climbers and wisteria.
Born to be wild
At the other end of the spectrum, a little mania in your garden can go a long way to preventing it from looking clinical. If the clean, hard cut edges of all that architectural planting makes it feel less like a garden; don’t be shy in letting some areas grow wild. The back borders of your garden, or shady areas under large trees, really lend themselves to that wild ‘ferny’ look and you’ll see native species popping up and your area’s birds and wildlife flocking in.
Mulching now, relaxing later
If you can’t resist a traditional flower bed but want to cut down on the time you’ll spend maintaining it, your golden ticket is mulch. Spreading this on beds has a number of advantages, limiting weeds, preserving moisture and leeching nutrients to name just a few. Even if it’s just wood chip, it helps in the long run and has the added bonus of making your garden look bedded into its surroundings.
Eden Restored is a team of passionate garden designers working throughout London, Kent and Surrey.
We deliver value-for-money on projects of any size, from inner-city courtyards to countryside cottages.
To discuss your ideas and how we can help throughout the entire process, get in touch.