How to create a simple low maintenance garden

Unless your thumbs are the deepest of forest greens, not many of us like to spend hours weeding and maintaining our gardens. Yet we all know how good we feel when surrounded by plants rather than metres of concrete with just one sad-looking yucca in the corner.

5 ways to a low maintenance garden

Know your site

By learning as much as possible about the weather conditions, sun exposure and soil type of your garden you’ll be able to choose plants that will happily grow there without needing to be cosseted. Clever gardeners grow shade-loving plants under trees, bog-lovers in damp soils and drought-tolerant ones on hot slopes.

Ditch the lawn

A smooth, green lawn is a beautiful thing, but it can take an awful lot of effort to keep it looking that way. As well as your time spent mowing, feeding, watering and weeding, a lawn has a financial and environmental cost. So, unless you have a puppy or children to play on it, do you really need one? Or could you reduce the size of the one you’ve got?

Add the colour in pots 

Some plants such as spring bulbs and flowering annuals add lots of colour to the garden for short periods, but then what? Growing them in containers is a great idea as they can be displayed when in flower then moved out of sight.

Hedge your bets

Shrubs are great low-maintenance plants and most only need the occasional trim to look good. Shrubberies are still popular in traditional gardens, but for a more contemporary look use shrubs as low and medium-height hedges or plant in large, clipped blocks.

Mulch it

Reduced water evaporation, fewer weeds, less erosion, improved soil texture, insulation (warmer in winter, cooler in summer), a more unified look… the list of positives just goes on and most of them mean less work for gardeners.

Use a 60-100mm layer of mulch wherever you can, plus pebble or stone mulches for your pots. Planting groundcovers in your mulch will help to stop the birds kicking it up and will prevent it all floating away during flooding.

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