Busy life? Try the low-maintenance garden

Busy life? Try the low-maintenance garden

We'd all love to have and tend a beautiful garden, but the truth is that for many of us, this seems like a decadent luxury, at least in terms of time requirement. Longer working hours and greater demands in the workplace mean that many of us have less time to appreciate our gardens, less time to spend in them (ironically, when we probably need to more than ever!) and less money to spend on designing and planting them.

Even in a busy life, there are still many ways to enjoy your garden: cost-effective, low maintenance methods that admittedly need a bit of elbow grease and expenditure in the groundwork and initial preparation, but once in place, will be there for you to enjoy with minimal requirement for upkeep.

First, look at your outdoor space and draw up a basic plan. Map out each area of the garden and highlight existing planted areas in terms of what is high maintenance and low maintenance. Decide what plants, shrubs, bushes and trees you want to stay, what will go, and what will be re-positioned or recycled.

Is there a theme you’d like to adopt? If you have walls to cover, evergreens are low maintenance, lush year-round, and easy to plant and establish- although beware of aggressive climbers that like to take a firm hold on walls and buildings as they can have surprisingly powerful destructive effect. Shrubs such as privet, laurel, yew and colourful flowering rhododendrons and azaleas are ideal for borders, hedging and features. Eucalyptus and euonymus japonicus varieties are also successful, ranging from dark greens to vibrant golds, while herbs are a wonderful and fragrant way to produce low-growing ground cover. Lavender is a really wonderful addition to any garden, giving purple and blue colours, pungent fragrance and relatively fast growth and coverage. Sage, mint and rosemary can similarly proliferate to create a wonderfully scented (and very useful) herb garden.

A wide variety of ornamental grasses can make a wonderful display as they come in so many different varieties, textures, colours and heights, and this is a brilliant way to create a peaceful space that will be filled with movement and gentle rustling sounds with each breeze. Varieties include bamboos, miscanthus, pennisetum and stipa to name a few. There are some varieties which are best responsibly avoided as they are invasive species, and these include Cortaderia jubata, Pennisetum setaceum and Stipa tenuissima.

There is no need for a garden to be filled with bulb-grown short-lived wonders. Fill your outdoor space with grasses and evergreens, and you could quickly establish a beautifully tranquil environment that requires scarcely any effort from you. All the more of your precious time can be spent enjoying it, all year round.

Posted by Iconography Ltd
9th August 2012
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