How to Create a Low-Maintenance Garden That Looks Beautiful All-Year Round
Gardens can take a lot of time to organise, especially if you want to add a patio, or are considering a more botanical approach. Nevertheless, gardening is a great way to unwind and reconnect with nature in many ways. Unfortunately, for those with busy schedules, maintaining a garden can feel like a chore.
Luckily, there are ways to create a low-maintenance garden that still looks beautiful all year round. In this article, we’ll explore some tips and tricks for achieving just that, including choosing the right low-maintenance plants, and how to incorporate low-maintenance features.
How to choose the right plants
The first step to creating a low-maintenance garden is to choose the right plants. Opt for plants that are native to your region, as they are better adapted to your climate and soil. Native plants also require less water and fertiliser, making them an excellent choice for low-maintenance gardens.
Another factor to consider when choosing plants is their growth habit. Shrubs and perennials, for example, tend to require less maintenance than annuals, which need to be replanted every year. Look for plants that are known for their durability and hardiness, such as lavender, yarrow, and sedum.
Add interest all-year round.
While low-maintenance gardens require less looking after, they can still be beautiful and interesting throughout the year. To achieve this, you can aim to have blossoming plants, or ones that provide interest in every season. Consider incorporating plants with interesting foliage or bark, such as Japanese maples or crape myrtles, which look stunning even when they’re not in bloom.
Another way to create year-round interest is to incorporate hardscaping elements such as garden paths, water features, and sculptures. These can add visual interest to your garden even when the plants are dormant.
Mulching is an excellent way to reduce the amount of time you spend watering and weeding your garden. A layer of mulch helps retain moisture in the soil, reducing the need for frequent watering. It also suppresses weed growth, reducing the amount of time you need to spend weeding.
Choose a mulch that complements the overall look of your garden. Organic mulches, such as wood chips or shredded leaves, are a great choice for low-maintenance gardens, as they break down over time and add nutrients to the soil.
Embrace container gardening
Container gardening is an excellent option for those who want a low-maintenance garden but don’t have a lot of space or time. Containers can be planted with a variety of plants, from herbs and vegetables to small shrubs and perennials.
One of the benefits of container gardening is that you can easily move plants around to achieve the desired look that you want. It also makes it easier to control pests and diseases, as you can isolate infected plants from the rest of your garden.
Incorporate low-maintenance features
Another way to reduce the amount of time and effort required to maintain your garden is to incorporate low-maintenance features such as drip irrigation systems, automatic sprinklers, and solar-powered lighting. These features help reduce the amount of time you need to spend watering and tending to your garden.
You may also want to consider incorporating features such as raised beds or container gardens, which require less bending and kneeling than traditional garden beds.
Whilst watering your plants is very important for garden growth and maintenance in general, it can be wasteful when not done correctly. Watering deeply but infrequently has been known to provide better results for plant growth than adding a little bit of water every day. This technique will also encourage the growth of the roots and will allow them to grow deeper too, especially to help prevent drought conditions.
You can use many methods to improve your watering system, such as a drip irrigation system, which will help to deliver water directly to the roots of the plants. This will also help to minimise waste and reduce the time you spend watering, meaning that you can do other tasks too in your low-maintenance garden.
Minimise lawn space
Another way in which you can create a low-maintenance, beautiful garden that lasts all year round is by reducing how much lawn you have in your garden. Maintaining the quality of a lawn takes time and precision, especially with having to mow, fertilise, and water them constantly.
Frequently doing these activities can provoke pest and disease problems. Instead, try adding in pathways or walkways using gravel, which will help to reduce the amount of space needed to mow and water in the garden.
Adding low-maintenance hardscaping
If you are unfamiliar with hardscaping, it refers to adding non-plant elements to your garden. This includes patios, wall retaining, and pathways. Choosing low-maintenance hardscaping materials will help to reduce the amount of maintenance needed in your garden. Using consistent materials such as natural stone or gravel for your garden pathways will help to retain them for longer and will require minimal repairs. Adding teak dining sets to your hardscaping patio features will help it to stand out a lot better, and will make it an ideal hosting environment in the summer.
To help maintain a healthy, low-maintenance garden to make it beautiful all-year round is by using smart pruning methods and will also save time and effort for keeping your garden plants tidy. Here are some simple but effective pruning methods which will help to keep your garden low-maintenance:
- Control plant size: By carefully selecting and removing branches or shoots, you can control the size and shape of your plants. This is particularly important for plants that tend to grow quickly or become too large for your garden. Prune them regularly, and you can keep your plants at a manageable size, which will prevent them from overtaking your garden.
- Encourage healthy growth: Pruning can also help to encourage healthy growth in your plants. By removing dead, diseased, or damaged branches, you can improve the overall health of the plant and reduce the risk of pests and diseases.
- Increase flowering and fruiting: Some plants, such as roses and fruit trees, require regular pruning to promote flowering and fruiting. You can remove old wood which will encourage new growth. This will help your plants to produce more blooms or fruit. To protect your crops from birds and pests, use fruit cages.
- Enhance aesthetic appeal: Pruning can also enhance the aesthetic appeal of your garden by shaping your plants into attractive forms. This includes training vines to grow up trellises or shaping shrubs into topiaries.
Unfussy garden plants
Adding unfussy garden plants will also save the amount of time it takes to look after your garden. You can add evergreen shrubs and hedges to raised plant beds to save space as well so that you can create more of a garden pathway.
Adding colour to your garden will undoubtedly make a good impression and will save effort for those who do not want to waste their effort with hanging baskets or borders. Perennials such as lavender, which are beautifully scented, will sprout colourful purple colours and will last all year round.
Organising your tools in your garden shed will immediately make your garden a lot more low maintenance as well as beautiful to display its natural surroundings. Not only can you hide away your garden tools, such as shears and shovels, but also workwear such as wellies, and lawnmowers. They will quickly be at hand, too, just not in the way so that you will not trip over them.
Space for relaxing
Just because you want to keep your garden low maintenance does not mean that it cannot also be a space for relaxing in as well. Adding hammocks, garden benches, or lounge furniture will look great in the summer and will make your guests feel right at home.
Colour and elegance
Lastly, you cannot forget about colour and elegance for your low-maintenance garden in order to make it as beautiful as it can get throughout the year. You can use bright and neutral colours if you want to give off the impression of your garden appearing bigger than it actually is. Alternatively, if you want it to have more of a natural appearance, you can use brown or green colours instead.
Create a Beautiful, Long Lasting Low Maintenance Garden
You can integrate all fourteen of these low-maintenance ideas into your garden at no extra cost, and can also make it a long-term project for the year. For more garden tips, there is plenty of advice and articles on the Garden Benches blog website to help you to make more interesting changes to your garden.