You probably won’t be too surprised that gardening is a big part of my life, but for most people this definitely isn’t the case.
Work, hobbies, a house to run, children and families take up most of the time and gardening, even if you love it, has to be fitted in around all this other stuff.
So it makes sense to spend your time wisely, minimise the number of gardening chores that have to be done and have time for the things in the garden that you really enjoy.
These are my tips for a low maintenance garden:
Have less grass:
lawns take a lot of work, they need cutting every week for much of the year and quite a lot of weeding and edging in summer, why not reduce the amount of grass and have wider borders.
Hedges versus fences:
hedge trimming can be hard work and time-consuming if the boundaries to your garden are big, whereas a fence needs hardly any maintenance.
Choose the right hedge:
but I do love hedges in garden, a green boundary looks good and they’re great for wildlife, so why not have some hedges, but choose one that needs minimal trimming.
There are lots of different types, yew only needs cutting once a year in August, at the other extreme, privet needs cutting every couple of weeks. Yew is slower growing so it costs more, but in the long term there’s a lot less work (it hates wet soil though).
Have more paving:
it’s just about maintenance free so have more of it, wider paths, less borders and grass, but please avoid paving over the whole of the front garden and keep at least one border to absorb rainwater and provide food and shelter for wildlife. It’ll be nicer for you too.
Choose the right plants:
for the soil & conditions in your garden, it’s more sustainable and saves time and money, check that the final size won’t be too big for the space and need constant trimming.
they need little attention and make a good, strong backbone to a border, but add hardy perennials to vary the scene, they pop up each year without too much hassle.
Plant spring flowering bulbs:
plant daffodils and tulips in the autumn and they re-appear each year, such good value.
all photos: Jill Anderson