What is a ‘low maintenance garden’ and how do you achieve one?
Most of us would like to have gardens that are low maintenance in terms of both time and expense. We would prefer to relax in them and enjoy their beauty, rather than spending hours weeding, trimming and replanting.
Unfortunately, it is wrong to assume that a garden will look after itself. Tasks such as paving, walling and decking all require servicing and some degree of maintenance, not to mention dealing with the actual lawn and plant side of things. Seemingly small tasks such as mowing the lawn in the summer can be very time-consuming, requiring either electricity or petrol (emitting pollutants), making noise and generating a lot of green waste.
Of course, this is not to say that we should have no lawn whatsoever. A tidy piece of grass on your property can have great benefits and a wide range of uses. Instead, Landscape Brothers suggest that you consider keeping your lawn to an absolute minimum.
Flower meadows are an excellent alternative to lawns, increasing the aesthetic value of a garden, enriching biodiversity, and attracting a mass of pollinating insects. At the same time, they require disproportionately less work, with a maximum of only three trimmings needed a season. Due to this superb mix of beauty and convenience, this is certainly an option worth considering for your own garden.
Working with flower beds
Another option is to plant flower beds, ensuring that the plants are carefully chosen to suit the conditions. This can be tricky without having the proper knowledge, however, so we've given some friendly advice to help out:
- Shady parts of the garden will do well with groundcover plants, such as Pachysandra Terminalis, Lesser Periwinkle (known as Vinca Minor), geraniums or ferns. These plants will give your garden colour and texture that a lawn will not
- Avoid planting Mediterranean species, which require lots of sun, heat and a dry position. As you can imagine, these types of plants are unlikely to survive in the British climate.
Of course, you can carefully prepare the substrate for a specific type of plant, but this generates considerable cost, and there is always a high risk that such treatments will not be successful.
To sum up, always focus on the most important principle in gardening - having the right plant for the right place and carefully considering your priorities. Sometimes it is worth making compromises as this will save valuable time and money in the long run.