With everyone on lock-down, social distancing in place plus the recent warm weather, it’s no wonder that gardens are the place to be now. Social media is full of pictures of people working in their gardens or showing off their latest garden design effort.
But not everyone is especially interested in gardening, or perhaps they are but don’t have access to the kind of resources the hobby requires. These people deserve a place to enjoy the sun as well! That’s why we’ve written this post about how to design a garden with minimal maintenance but maximal beauty.
When we think of gardens, we immediately picture a lawn of green grass. Grass is nice to look at and comfortable to sit on, so it’s easy to see why it’s the standard for gardens. But lawns are expensive and time-consuming to maintain. Not only that, but a grass lawn deteriorates in quality the more you walk on it, eventually causing mud patches which require reseeding.
Consider a different surface for your lawn. Pebbles are an attractive alternative – they look great (if you can get a water feature in there that’d complement the pebbles nicely) and they are even relatively comfortable to sit on. By placing potted plants both above and below the surface of your pebble lawn, you will create an attractive environment with minimal maintenance.
You could also try adding some decking to your lawn, which will create a space that you’re much more likely to spend time in. While decking can be more expensive, you will be adding value to your garden and saving on garden maintenance. Meanwhile, you can set up some decking furniture and relax! Just don’t have a BBQ, because those are dangerous to use on wooden decking.
Some gardens can seem too small to do anything special with them. This can be especially true in cities, where each square foot is incredibly valuable. But with a little bit of elbow grease, so to speak, you can optimise your space to make a garden you can enjoy, even if it is small. First of all, be sure to use your borders wisely. You could try building a vertical garden, where you take your walls or fences and transform them into gardens. There are lots of ways to create a vertical garden, from simple shelving, to a vertical plant wall, or even cutting out spaces for plants/ornaments in your wall
Another way to be efficient with space is to include built-in seats. This could be a wide edge for raised features like beds or pools that can double as a place to take a seat, or you can build seating areas directly into the borders of the garden to save space.
If your garden is small, then think about perspective and how it will impact the feel of the area. If you have plants with particularly large leaves, then the space will feel compact and claustrophobic. Opt for plants with small leaves and try to keep all your garden features in proportion so perspective works in your favour. To save on floor space, consider suspending your plants in hanging baskets.
As we’ve mentioned, grass lawns require regular maintenance in order to stay looking green and fresh. The same is true for plants but, even with the best care, plants built to bloom in summer will become less attractive in the colder months, or they will simply die. Consider using evergreens for a lush green display in your garden all year round. The only maintenance you need to worry about is the occasional trim.
Pebble floors or decking are not attractive to everyone. To many, having a green lawn is crucial to feeling comfortable in the garden. Luckily, not all green lawns require constant care. Artificial lawns come in an impressive variety and some are about as close to the real thing as is possible. While they may not offer the fresh air that real greenery can, they certainly set the scene for tranquillity and comfort, with no need to water or cut!
Much of the advice in this post has, so far, been based on removing the plant life from your garden. This is because plants require care and attention, so removing them will reduce the amount of maintenance your garden requires. But what about those who want to keep their garden lush with flowers and greenery? You can still minimise the maintenance of your garden even if you want to keep your plants.
If you enjoy planting then go all out! Your entire ground should be covered in plants. This sounds like it will be more work, but it will actually save you a lot of time by reducing the number of weeds that grow. Weeds won’t waste any time taking advantage of free soil to grow and spread, so by covering all the space with plants, you prevent weed growth and reduce the amount time needed to trowel them up.
Those are our top tips for designing a garden with minimal effort. Did we miss any good ideas that you’d like to share with us? Feel free to @ us on our Facebook and Twitter pages! If you don’t mind high-maintenance gardens, then why not consider upgrading to a vegetable garden? Our blog will help you get started.