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  • Low Maintenance Gardens – Enjoy Your Garden More

    Decking area with shade

    For those who have difficulty finding the time or enthusiasm for gardening, or for those who are older or have disabilities which mean that they simply do not have the physical ability to look after a traditional garden, one of the first things that springs to mind is to simply pave the whole thing over!

    However, there are better ways to have a low maintenance garden. One that is a neat tidy garden that requires very little maintenance. Keeping it simple is always a good rule of thumb for the reluctant gardener, avoid clutter and ensure easy access to reduce time spent on maintenance.

    But Isn’t a Low Maintenance Garden Bland?

    Obviously exotic plants, sculptures and fine lawns are not what you are looking to include. This does not mean a low maintenance garden has to be a bland or dreary garden. You can design a garden to keep gardening tasks to a manageable level by deciding on which features or functions are most important to you.

    You can start by looking at areas of the garden is not terribly important to you but require frequent maintenance, these are the areas that will be first to go. This might be a particular bush, tree or water features that can be difficult to maintain and keep clean.

    Tomatoes growing in pots

    It’s important to note that you don’t need to get rid of everything that requires work or maintenance, for example if growing your own vegetables is a high priority, even though growing veg can be labour intensive, it is possible have a smaller veg patch that will meet your needs and be easier to maintain. It is also possible to grow vegetables in containers, which will be easier to look after. These pots can even be kept on your maintenance free patio area, if access to certain areas of the garden is harder for you.  

    Low Maintenance Lawn

    We love our lawns in the UK, but there is no getting around the fact that they need a lot of looking after. There are steps you can take to minimise the upkeep, for example replacing fine turf with a turf mix to reduce the aerating, scarifying, feeding and mowing required.

    child pushing lawn mower

    Add a permanent edging which will reduce the need for labour intensive hand edging and also remove any small fiddly areas which are difficult for manoeuvring lawn mowers, so it is easier to maintain.

    Artificial Turf

    If you want the look of the grass, but none of the maintenance hassle, laying artificial turf is an ideal way to have the feeling and look of real grass. These used to look fake when they were first introduced, but now it can be hard to tell the difference between fake and real grass.

    Some, lawns will just be too labour intensive and so you might think there is no choice but to replace some or all of your lawn with an easier alternative such as gravel, decking, paving or bark, but these can fade quickly overtime in the sun.

    Include Decking Areas

    Decking area with steps

    Adding a decking area in your garden gives you a space that requires minimal or no maintenance. It will also mean you are able to enjoy your garden more, as the decking area will effectively give you an additional outdoor living space or a way to maximise your BBQ area. A place to enjoy dining outside or just sit and admire your garden after a hard day at work.

    Regular treatment of traditional wooden decking will give you a hassle-free area that isn’t a grey patio area. Build your decking area from low maintenance Millboard means you’ll not even need to worry about staining your deking area, but have all the benefits of creating this outdoor space.

    Use Different Colour Stone and Gravel

    different colour and size gravel grey, sandy, pinks and silver

    Adding stone and gravel is often a way to reduce the maintenance, as this can save you from mowing a lawn and also helps reduce the chances of weeds growing in places you don’t want them. But you can still liven up your garden.

    If you are using this technique in your garden, be mindful of not using one colour of gravel or type of gravel, mix things up and use different types like slate or wood chippings.

    Reduce Weeding in a Low Maintenance Garden

    cacti garden with gravel over the top to help reduce weeding for a low maintenance garden.

    Another labour intensive and unpopular garden job is weeding. Much of the routine garden work will involve weed control so it makes sense to replace some or all perennial beds with shrubs which can be planted through a weed-suppressing membrane covered with an attractive mulch.

    Once established and covered, it may be several seasons before weeding is required in these shrub beds and even then, weed seedlings are unlikely to get a hold in the mulching material and any hardy weeds that do can be easily be removed.

    Planting in a Low Maintenance Garden

    Planting in a low maintenance garden

    If you love plants but really hate weeding, then potted plants on decking or paving could be the answer. Also, when choosing plants avoid those which require regular or intensive pruning.

    Fast growing plants are best but beware of plants which will outgrow their place and swamp your garden without regular pruning.

    Popular low maintenance plants include the potato vine and passionflower, both of which are climbers that will keep some of their leaves over winter. Large, distinctive plants such as New Zealand flax, ornamental grasses or bamboos in containers can create stunning focal points with little maintenance required.

    Hire a Gardener

    Man in a gnome outfit mowing the lawn

    If you’re not quite ready to change your garden, but you need help maintaining it, then you can always hire a gardener. Having someone come in a few hours a week in the growing months is all you will need to help with the upkeep of a garden. Maybe you only need someone to help with some of the larger jobs, so you can focus on the easier jobs in the garden.

    It’s important to remember to enjoy your garden space and make the most of the space you have. Whatever your needs when it comes to gardens, we have local tradespeople waiting to help you.

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