Designing a low maintenance garden

Low maintenance gardenWe’d all like a garden as perfect as those at the Chelsea Flower Show or at stately homes across the country, but the reality is these are often maintained by a team of full-time gardeners! Most of us would struggle to maintain such a garden, but there are a number of design tips and plants which will help you get close to these designs, whilst being easy to maintain. Read on for some easy low maintenance garden ideas.

Top tips


A perfect lawn takes a fair amount of annual maintenance. For a low maintenance garden try replacing your lawn with gravel, paving or decking, all of which will offset your plants just as effectively. If you really would like to keep your lawn then try reducing the size or simplifying the shape for easier mowing.


• Keep the shape of your borders simple - curves are harder to mow and trickier to pave to the edges of.

• Reduce the amount of hanging baskets and containers you have and group them together to make watering quicker. Smaller containers dry out faster and will require more watering so try using fewer large containers.

• Don’t leave the ground bare! Putting in plants or gravel is better than leaving the soil bare where weeds will accumulate and need pulling.

• Hedges need clipping at least once a year and are high maintenance in comparison to a wall or fence. To soften the effect of a wall or fence there are a few low-maintenance climbing plants you can grow against them (see table below).

Watering and feeding

Try installing an irrigation system to save you hours of watering by hand! For more water saving tips for your garden . The easiest way to feed your plants is to use a slow-release fertiliser which will last for the whole season. These are either incorporated into the compost before planting containers, or sprinkled around the base of plants growing in the border. This is only necessary if your soil is poor.



Timber Press The New Low-Maintenance Garden: How to Have a Beautiful, Productive Garden and the Time to Enjoy It
Book (Timber Press)

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  • Avatar Angela What are low maintenance garden design ideas?
    Apr 05, 2012 by Angela | Posted in Garden & Landscape

    I want to have a low maintenance garden since the house is a rental property. I do not live there. So, I can not go there water plans or cut a lawn often.

    All I can think about is to plan couple low water required shrubs, put some stones or barks. What are your workable ideas of a low maintenance garden? Please share. Thanks

    • Rather than grass go for paving slabs, gravel and bark chipping - with new planning laws you cannot just concrete over, it has to be permeable to prevent water run off. Put is some really nice effective plants that don't … Sempervirums(House Leeks) in the gravel. Some little blue anemones have self seeded in the gravel of a garden I visit and they look super at the moment.

      Hope some of these ideas are useful to you.good luck!