Making a low maintenance garden work for you

Low-maintenance garden

Low-maintenance garden - Credit: Archant

How we British love a beautiful garden. Surely there can be nothing better than the thought of spending a lazy summer afternoon idly taking tea on a lawn surrounded by sweetly scented flowers.

Tanya Blake

Tanya Blake - Credit: Archant

The reality, however, can often be very different from the dream - for whilst we may love gardens to look and be immaculate, keeping them in tip top shape takes a lot of time and effort.

It is hardly surprising therefore that time poor individuals are turning to low or easy maintenance solutions to reduce the amount of work their garden may need, without compromising its aesthetic quality or charm.

Tanya Blake, head of Savills Country Lettings, explained: “Low maintenance gardens are a real draw for tenants who want the benefit of a beautiful garden but without the responsibility. Here are a five suggestions landlords may wish to consider to help make the garden of their letting property less labour intensive.”

Here are five ways which may help make a garden less labour intensive...

1. Plan the design

Think about how the external space is going to be used and design the areas accordingly.

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2. The lawn

The maintenance of a lawn is often one of the more time consuming jobs in a garden, requiring weekly mowing during the summer and regular edging.

Consider reducing the size of your formal lawn area and allow part of it to ‘go wild’ allowing flowers and grasses to thrive.

If you prefer a more manicured look, consider replacing fine turf with harder wearing turf mix described as amenity, multi-purpose, hard wearing or low maintenance.

Or you might also consider installing artificial turf.

If you aren’t worried about retaining a lawn at all, sound alternatives include paving, gravel, decking or bark.

3. The beds

Choose your plants carefully. It may sound obvious but think about soil type and position – i.e. sun or shade.

Opt for hardy plants that can be left outside all year round, rather than tender plants; and replace perennial beds with shrubs. Buddleja, Camellia, Syringa and Hydrangea varieties are amongst my favourites!

Bulbs are a no brainer – ranging from narcissi to tulips; alliums to hyacinths.

Avoid plants that need regular or intensive pruning such as trained fruit trees or wall trained wisteria. A self-clinging climber such as a climbing hydrangea makes a good alternative.

4. The Good Life...

Want a kitchen garden with less hassle? Consider perennial vegetables including asparagus, rhubarb and artichokes; and opt for ‘bush’ forms of fruit which can include apples, pears, currants, cherries, gooseberries, plums and apricots.

5. Hedging

Choose slower growing hedging plants such as yew, buxus or holly when planting or replacing hedges.