The surest way of creating a low maintenance garden
is to get rid of the lawn and borders and hard landscape the lot.
A mix of paving, pebbles, decorative gravel or slate and wood, if properly designed and constructed, can be attractive, interesting and practical and above all low maintenance. Not for you?
Not for me either! I like plants and low maintenance. So let's look at a few low maintenance garden plants, shrubs, trees and tips that will add interest and colour to a garden and at the same time keep gardening input to a minimum.
Getting rid of the lawn will save lots of time, no more mowing, no more watering and if you are a "green lawn man" no more chemicals.
Having easy to reach flower beds, maybe around the edge of a patio or along side pathways, planted with slow growing ground-cover plants, selected for colour over the four seasons will keep weeding to a minimum and provide colour throughout the year.
If you include drought-resistant plants and shrubs like holly, pine, rosemary and lavender the need for watering during long dry spells will be minimal.
There are many plants that will thrive in your garden needing just the very minimum of care and maintenance as long as they are planted in an environment that suits them, this explains which plants will suit the conditions in your garden.
These are low maintenance plants that will thrive and look good with minimum input from you, providing they are planted in an environment that suits them. Bear in mind Shade, Full sun, Drought tolerant, Needy or not.
These grasses are low maintenance. you'll only have to attend to them when you cut them down to the ground in spring. Most common forms of Miscanthus, Stipa and Molinia are easy to grow.
Once you've planted them nothing much more needs doing, dafs are better planted among shrubs to hide the leaves once flowering is over: Daffodils Scillas, Alliums, Camassias, snowdrops and cyclamens are all very low maintenance coming up year after year.
Old fashioned and low maintenance. Oregon grape will give winter colour and spring flowers. The strawberry tree is evergreen, slow growing with strawberry-like fruit in winter. Silver bush is an evergreen low-growing silver-leaved shrub with white summer flowers.
The following evergreen plants look after themselves.
Black grass This low-growing member of the lily family will slowly spread to
cover an area.
Box Slow growing, box will be happy in sun or shade. Its most common cause of death is lack of water.
Bamboo Stick to Phyllostachys and you can pretty much leave the plant alone once it's settled.
Mind-your-own-business It will try to spread but will neatly fill any gaps in the paving.
Olive In sheltered sunny spots olive trees are perfect year-round performers. Slow growing, they can quite happily survive a summer drought.
Caring for and preparing your soil will mean less time spent caring for your plants. Digging in plenty of organic matter such as well rotted manure, homemade compost or leaf mold when preparing your beds for planting will increase its fertility, aeration and water-retaining ability.