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7 Tips To Create a Low Maintenance Garden

If maintenance isn’t your thing then we’ve got the tips for you!

A gorgeous garden that’s low maintenance, designed with impeccable style, and looks good all year around. Sound like a dream?

Fortunately for you, a low maintenance garden is totally achievable. With a few simple tips and tricks you can create a gorgeous garden that you’ll love to spend time in, without the fuss.
The key to this look is to embrace your inner minimalist, plan your landscaping with maintenance in mind from the beginning, and choose your planting wisely.

1 / Keep It Simple

Low maintenance starts with a good landscape plan. Think clean, simple lines, bold curves and pathways to reduce grass mowing strips. Now we know sometimes hardscaping isn’t an option, so if it’s not don’t worry too much about this step, there’s plenty more you can achieve! But if you can, start with a minimalist landscape and build up from there.

2 / Less Lawn, Less Mowing!

This is pretty self explanatory – the less grass to mow, the less time you’ll spend out in the yard with the mower! Substitute grass areas for paving, decking and clever planting. Grass also doesn’t like to grow on rocks (surprise surprise!), so use this to your advantage. Create rocky walkways or use them to create interesting features in lieu of plants or lawn.

Awkwardly small areas of grass that are difficult to mow anyway can be replaced with shrubs or groundcovers, and think about popping a garden bed under a big tree with some shrubs and perennials that love the shade.

3 / Go Easy On The Weedmat

We have news for you – weedmats can be more hassle than they’re worth! Read all about it here. So in favour of the black plastic, add some mulch. Around 3 inches of mulch under flowers beds can be just as effective as a weedmat and has numerous benefits like keeping soil from drying, adding extra organic matter to the soil and additional nutrients that your plants will love.

If you have a pebbly, rock or shell area (with no plants growing), then go hard, that’s the perfect spot for weedmat.

4 / Ground Prep Is Key

Those stubborn perennial weeds are capable of breaking through the most established of groundcovers – the tiniest fragment left in the soil will burst through in no time.

If you’d rather spend your weekend enjoying a glass of wine on your deck, rather than on your hands and knees weeding, make sure you take time to invest in good ground preparation!
Use a weed spray to get rid of all traces of weeds before planting – don’t be afraid to spray more than once if they keep popping up.
The next step is to add some sheep pellets and rake them through, ensuring lots of good nutrients for later growth. Finally, invest in some top quality garden mix for your planting.

5 / Groundcovers - Your New Best Friend

Groundcovers are your new best friend. When they’re planted in the right spot, and the right distance apart, groundcover plants will give you a stunning carpet of texture and colour. The bonus? They act as amazing natural weed barriers.  Groundcover plants are an essential ingredient in simple, low maintenance planting schemes. Best of all they form an attractive carpet of colour and texture while doubling as weed barriers. 

Try prostrate shrubs too; with quick growth and generous spreads you don't have to plant as many as you think.

6 / Learn To Love Pots

Pots are a low maintenance gardeners dream! Use them for pops of colour, and when the seasonal flowers are dormant or die down, you simply move the pot out of sight! You can also replant seasonal flowers as you choose, without having to worry about a bare garden bed sprouting weeds.

Large pots are also amazing as design features and take the hassle away from watering, weeding and feeding numerous small pots.

7 / Planting Power

Your plants can be your biggest win or your biggest downfall for a low maintenance garden. Let’s keep it a winner by choosing carefully. Think minimalist again; a small variety of carefully selected plants that will look good all year around. Plants that keep their foliage all year, in varying heights and depths, will look amazing.

Go for all-season plants and evergreens if possible (there’s no room for annuals or high maintenance roses in this garden). Native plants can work really well, as can evergreen shrubs, groundcovers and succulents.  Choose one or two shrubs and groundcovers that work well in your space and keep the design simple.
Don’t forget about colour! When looking for ways to add colour, use pots for seasonal flowering or shrubs that drop their petals and don’t need de-heading.

The perfect low maintenance garden is achievable regardless of your budget, time or space available; it just takes a little planning and some expert knowledge! If low maintenance is what you need, then design your garden around that (not your life around your garden!). With some careful planning and clever planting, your garden will be both stunning and easy to care for – a winning combination!

claire talbot garden designer


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