There is no such thing as a no-maintenance garden. Any garden with plants will require some maintenance. However, you can minimize the amount of work involved by choosing plants that don’t require much care. This will give you a garden that is closer to being no-maintenance.
CREATE FUNCTIONAL OUTDOOR LIVING SPACES
This will allow you to have less work and more enjoyment in the long run. You can extend your patio by laying out stone slabs and adding a dining table, grilling area, or stone fire pit. If you have a small patio or deck, you can extend it to take up more space.
MAKE A STURDY AND LEVEL FOUNDATION
It is important to have a solid and level foundation when extending your patio area with bluestone or crushed stones. To create this foundation, lay out a six to eight-inch layer of crushed pea stones. The pea stone layer will create a solid and level foundation for the bluestone or crushed stones and will also deter weeds from growing.
LINE YOUR BEDS WITH MULCH EACH SPRING
Mulch does a better job than grass at deterring weeds and it also breaks down quickly to fertilize your soil. Mulch is relatively inexpensive and you only need to replace it once a year. Mulch beds can reduce the time you spend watering your patio plants. Most mulch varieties have a pleasant wood smell.
PICK A NICE SELECTION OF PERENNIALS TO PLANT
If you’re looking to add some plant life to your low-maintenance outdoor area, there are many perennial options that will come back each year without requiring any work from you. The yucca plant is a great option for filling a large space with lush, green leaves, and hen-and-chick plants are both attractive and hardy, thriving in adverse conditions with no maintenance needed.
THROUGHOUT THE YEAR To keep some color in your garden throughout the year, choose flowers that are easy to grow.
Choose flowers that are more hardy and easy to grow, and consider the climate of the area that you’re in. Pick a selection of flowers that bloom at different times of the year. Choose perennial flowers so that you don’t have to replace them each year. Also, select flowers that tend to bloom throughout a full season, such as Black-eyed Susans, which bloom throughout the summer, or Montauk daisies, which produce blooms throughout the fall.
14 LOW MAINTENANCE GARDEN IDEAS
EMBRACE A NATURAL LOOK FOR YOUR BORDERS
If you’re a fan of flowers but don’t have time for a lot of weeding and pest control, then opt for a wilder touch for your low-maintenance garden ideas. Billowing borders can look beautiful filled with a jumble of hardy meadow blooms and grasses. Plus, pollinators will love it.
A few easy-care perennials like echinacea, salvias, and achillea will brighten up your plot. All you need to do is cut them back at the end of the flowering season. If you want a more wild look, scatter handfuls of meadow-mix annuals in a patch of your garden.
USE A RANGE OF TEXTURES
while hard landscaping generally requires less upkeep, it still needs to be cleaned a few times a year and perhaps treated with oil once a year.
If you’re worried that things will look too clinical, mixing up different materials is a great way to add some interest. A combination of fencing, decking, and paving looks clean and pulled together, but it definitely isn’t boring.
Add some contrast to sleek lines by planting some luscious plants. Euphorbias and geraniums are great low-maintenance choices, while rosemary will add a pop of green all year round (plus it’s a great fragrant herb).
RAISE UP YOUR BEDS
If you have ground level beds and borders, switching to raised beds will make planting, growing, weeding, and watering much easier, according to Henry Blake, Managing Director of WoodBlocX. He suggests building your raised beds at a height and width that is comfortable for you, and filling them with fresh, weed-free soil.
Raised beds are a great way to add interest to a sloped garden by creating tiers of planting. They can be easily customized to include features such as seating, retaining walls, and steps. You can leave them looking natural or paint them to match the style of your garden.
LIVEN UP THE SCENE WITH A MIX OF CONTAINERS
“Patio pots, hanging baskets, and window boxes are a great way to add color and life to your garden,” says Marcus Eyles, Horticultural Director at Dobbies. “Many plants don’t require much care, just the occasional watering and pruning.”
Marcus says that container planting is great for small spaces, and there are lots of vegetables that you can grow in pots. This means you don’t have to wait for an allotment space to start growing your own food. He suggests mixing and matching pots in different colors, and choosing plants of different heights to quickly change the look of your outdoor space.
Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres Sarah Squire suggests adding ready-planted containers to your garden for instant impact.
Sarah recommends using large pots and evergreen Buxus plants to create a certain look.
GIVE SELF-WATERING PLANT POTS A GO
If you love plants, but sometimes forget to water them, self-watering pots are a great solution.
These buckets have built-in reservoirs that help your plants stay hydrated–so you don’t have to water them as often. And you don’t have to worry about overwatering, because the design prevents it.
These are perfect for a miniature herb garden because they are narrow enough to fit on the smallest windowsills or shelves.
INVEST IN FABULOUS, WEATHERPROOF FURNITURE
Sarah Squire, of Squire’s Garden Centres, advises investing in stylish new garden furniture. Garden furniture made from weave or metal is very low maintenance, as it can be left outside all year.
Teak outdoor furniture is a great option because it is low-maintenance and weatherproof. It has a beautiful, simple finish that will complement any outdoor space.
It is widely known that teak will turn a silver color over time due to exposure to sunlight. Many customers choose teak for this reason, according to Peter Tyrie, Managing Director of Barlow Tyrie.
However, if you want to keep your furniture’s original “honey” color, you should use a Color Guard before it changes. Peter continues that there are various different treatments and teak oils available on the market, which will inevitably stain your furniture. So, unless you want your furniture to turn a very dark and unattractive color over time from multiple applications, avoid them.
OPT FOR SOLAR-POWERED LIGHTING
Although important, good lighting isn’t the only thing that will up your garden’s ambiance. If you’re worried about wiring, then consider an alternative solution.
Jamie Moxey, a design consultant at Dusk Lighting, recommends solar-powered outdoor lighting for a low-maintenance garden.
The solar-powered, motion-activated option has been developed significantly over the years and there are now many affordable choices. There are now products which do not require external wiring.
The light can be fixed to any surface, so you never have to worry about turning it off when you come back inside.
GO FOR A LOW-MAINTENANCE LAWN
It takes a lot of time to keep a lawn looking nice. However, you might want to only have a small section of short grass in the most formal area of your garden. The rest can be left to grow wilder and more natural. All you need to do is mow it once a year at the end of summer.
If your lawn is in bad shape, you can replace it with a tougher grass that can better take care of itself. This new grass will need less maintenance than the old one, including less aerating, scarifying, feeding, and mowing.
If you are looking for a lawn alternative that is low-maintenance, you may want to consider a sedum, thyme, or chamomile lawn. These plants are tough enough to be walked on and will remain healthy even in difficult conditions.
TRY ADDING GRAVEL
If you plan to replace your lawn with hardscaping, make sure to choose a permeable surface that will allow rainwater to drain away safely. This is especially important in front gardens, as there are now laws that restrict how much of the space can be turned into hard landscaping (this is to reduce the amount of surface water that drains onto roads, which could cause flooding).
If you’re looking for an attractive, low-maintenance option for your hard landscaping, garden gravel is a great choice. Adding some sun-loving plants around the gravel will give it an extra pop of color. Be sure to use a weed-suppressing membrane underneath the gravel to reduce the amount of time you’ll need to spend maintaining it.
PICK DROUGHT-TOLERANT PLANTS
Even the most passionate gardeners will agree that watering once or twice a day during summer can become wearying.
Pretend that you are talking to someone who has a garden with soil that bakes dry. If your garden soil tends to bake dry, you should view it as a positive rather than a negative. Rather than trying to keep the soil moist, fill your garden with drought-tolerant plants that will thrive without additional watering. Try planting eryngiums and lavender, for example.
ADD AN AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER
An automatic watering system could save you a lot of time and water if you have plants that need to be watered regularly.
Kärcher’s pressure washers are also great for watering your garden automatically. The water starts and stops at preset times, and you won’t have to worry about wasting any water.
DECK IT OUT
Composite varieties that look like wood are the best option for a low-maintenance deck. Decking is an attractive, hard-wearing surface for seating areas and is a good replacement for labor-intensive patches of lawn.
Trex decking, for example, is manufactured from recycled material and resists fading, staining, scratching, and mould. It won’t break down over time, warp, crack, or splinter, and just simple soap and water clean every now and again is all that’s needed to keep it looking like new for years.
GIVE YOUR BORDERS AN EDGE
Nothing makes a garden look tidier than neat edges. In fact, if the edges are neatly trimmed, you can get away with a lot of untidiness in the borders. But edging with a strimmer or half-moon spade takes a lot of time. If you install permanent edging that you can mow right up to or over, life will be a lot easier.
RIGHT PLANT, RIGHT PLACE
If you plant a plant in conditions that it likes, it will need less attention and care. It is important to know what kind of soil you have before you choose plants. Even in the same garden, the soil can be different in different areas.
Your soil’s type—clay, sandy, or loam—as well as whether it’s acidic or alkaline will help you determine which plants will grow best in it.