Looking out onto a well-maintained garden can not only increase a homeowner’s enjoyment of their property, it can reduce stress levels.
But with longer working hours becoming increasingly common, not to mention ever-growing domestic commitments, it can be difficult to find the time to turn your outside space into an oasis of peace and calm.
This is why low maintenance gardens are rising in popularity. Here are 6 garden maintenance ideas to help turn any outdoor area into a space to enjoy rather than another entry on a list of must-do domestic chores.
1 Plan ahead
If caring for your garden is going to be a long-term struggle, it is important to plan ahead. By doing your research and looking into hard-wearing plants and minimalistic outdoor designs, you can ensure your garden looks good and is easy to maintain. Hardwearing plants include:
- Yucca. This plant’s 40-50 species are notable for their rosettes of evergreen, tough, sword-shaped leaves and large white flowers.
- Hardy fuchsia. This variety of the ever-popular plant are vigorous growers and some will eventually grow to large bushes and can even be used for hedging.
- Rosemary. This woody perennial herb has a fibrous root system, fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple or blue flowers.
- Lavender. A member of the mint family, this is an easy to grow, evergreen shrub that produces masses of scented flowers above green or silvery-grey foliage.
- Agapanthus. Also known as the African lily, these are summer-flowering perennial plants that are grown for their large blue and purple flowers, although some varieties have white and pink blooms.
- Camellia. A relative of the tea plant, early flowering varieties produce peony-shaped blooms with pale yellow centres among deep green leaves.
- Hosta. These easy to-grow, shade-loving perennial plants are known for their colourful leaves.
- Fern. Like the hosta plant, ferns come in many varieties but most are easy to grow and thrive in the shade.
- Snowdrop. Surprisingly varied in height, flower size, shape and even colouring, this hardy plant grows best in partial shade.
- Pieris. Native to mountain regions, these compact evergreen shrubs have leathery, dark green leaves, often brightly coloured when young, and small white flowers.
2 Landscape the garden
Instantly reduce weeding by removing all plants and landscaping your garden. Combinations of statues, gravel/pebbles and paving slabs provide the flexibility to strategically move your plant pots, create new arrangements and minimise aftercare.
3 Don’t dig
Gardeners may recommend turning your soil, but this can create more work as it will disturb dormant weeds and the vast network of microorganisms that feed your plants. Digging can also harm soil life and make your garden less productive.
4 Make nature your friend
Insects, native birds, frogs and soil microbes can each help to make maintaining your garden easier because they’ll do the work for you. From keeping insects and rodents under control to protecting your plants from diseases (microorganisms), offer nature a home and it will care for your garden.
5 Feed your soil, not your plants
Mulch is just one of many ways to surround your plants with nutrient-enriched soil that will feed your plants and keep them healthy. Simply add a layer to your pots or garden space, and you can escape weeding, watering and fertilising.
6 Be water smart
Self-watering pots, wicking beds, swales and plastic bottle drip systems are just a few ways to make your garden self-sufficient. With their help you don’t have to worry about drowning or under-watering them. Instead, these gadgets allow your plants to take up moisture as and when they need it.
About the author: David Milsont is an avid blogger, who specialises in writing articles on garden maintenance and related subjects.