Low maintenance gardens

A garden can be a time consuming passion, it is not that you need to be 'full time' gardner however you do have to put in some effort so a low maintenance style garden can certainly make things a little easier.

However even those wonderful show gardens do have a few maintenance saving tricks that we can all use.

It is the choice of garden styles, the right plants, path and water feature selection as well as the gardeners degree of perfection that will determine if a garden can be regarded as low maintenance.

Low maintenance garden styles

Some gardens are just anything but low maintenance, a formal garden with clipped hedges, manicured lawns and a perennial border is going to take some time. However if we break down those elements we can save a little time with each one.

Creating a low maintenance garden can be a bit of nightmare.

So far we have created a garden of less and slower growing lawn, evergreen shrubs and hard surfaces, might be OK however I think we need a little more, so lets look at other w ays to do things.

An attitude change might be a start, treat the garden as regular workout, most gardens can get by with 1 hour a week or less. Of course if you have a few acres, it will take longer, but if you don't like gardening you could always buy a few sheep or goats to do the work for you.

Weed problems

The perennial border nightmare.

Those wonderful organised borders with space between plants look great in the glossy magazines, however they do mean work. The more space between plants the more chance for weeds to grow, plant closely, fill up the garden with plants and choke out the weeds, rather than the other way around.

Be a little careful with those ornamental grasses, put forward as 'hardy and low maintenance, and for some it is true. Those that self seed and spread quickly by underground rhizomes can be high maintenance thugs.


Bulbs are put forward as low maintenance and they can be, depending on the type and your climate. In some climates some bulbs need to be lifted every winter, in other areas they may not.

And remember that some bulbs will self seed Nectaroscordum siculum is one, others such as species tulips are unlikely to. So read the label, if it says 'self seeds happily' it could well be a maintenance problem

Top Tips for a low maintenance garden


So consider these as guides to a low maintenance garden. However it might not be the look you are after.

John Allman 

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