Do you enjoy the comfort of having an outdoor space, but find you don’t have the time to spend on your garden? Here at Nelson Potter, Suffolk, we’ve gathered together a range of ideas to help you achieve an attractive, low maintenance garden.
Container gardening is one of the best ways of achieving a garden that’s truly easy to look after while still retaining some living plants and flowers. You can achieve a significant amount of greenery and colour with just a few well-placed wooden planters(link to http://www.nelsonpotter.co.uk/shop/planters.html) – and can even grow very sizable plants this way, including, for example, conifers.
our decking containers can either be permanent fixtures or temporary features, depending on what you have in them. For instance, planting slow growing, evergreen trees or shrubs in large containers can look very dramatic and will require very little looking after. One downside of containers is that they are more prone to drying out and require watering more often than a bed – but if your wooden planters are very large, and topped off with some protective material such as gravel or bark, even this can be minimised.
If you want more colour and variety than this, add some smaller pots in summer with brightly coloured bedding plants of your choice (think pansies, lobelia and begonias). Or, of course, choose brightly coloured containers. With this approach, you can get stuck in with some planting as and when you get the urge and when you have the time, rather than having to work to your garden’s schedule.
2. Slow Growing Shrubs
Shrubs are generally naturally easy maintenance, compared (for instance) to flowers that need constant watering or fast growing climbers that need pruning once, if not twice, a year. But even some shrubs are slower growing than others and will consequently require very little work beyond the occasional trim every couple of years at most. Euonymous varieties come in a range of colours from deep green to cream or even bright yellow, and are also evergreen. When you are buying shrubs, look at the product labels. These will often indicate the typical size that a plant will reach within a given timeframe.
3. Go Evergreen
Deciduous trees and shrubs can create a lot of work in autumn, clearing away leaves from lawns and paths. As well as looking unsightly, large piles of wet leaves can allow moss and mould to grow on the underlying grass (whether real or artificial). You can minimise the quantity of leaves by opting for evergreen plants wherever you can. Not only will evergreen plants reduce the amount of leaf clearing you have to do, but it will mean your garden stays looking good for much more of the year too.
4. Non-Organic Features
Colour and texture doesn’t always have to come from plants, trees or flowers. There are a multitude of non-organic features which can add interest or even drama to a garden but which will require zero work to maintain. Garden ornaments such as water features and sculptures are easy to find online and do not need to be large or expensive to make an impact.
5. Keep Beds and Borders Small
If you are going to have some flower beds or borders keep them small and not too deep.
The deeper the bed the further back you have to reach to do weeding, pruning and so on. If you have to step into the bed in order to reach planting at the back, it’s too deep. We have a range of wooden sleepers to help make attractive, low maintenance flower beds.
6. Suppress Weeds
Weeding can be as much work as mowing a lawn, and there’s no need to do more than absolutely necessary. So it’s very useful to plan ahead and take steps to minimise the amount of weeds that come up in the first place. For hard landscaped areas such as patios, block paving and gravel, it’s vital to put down a good quality weed suppressing membrane to prevent weeds coming up through the cracks.
On beds and borders, or even wooden planters, you can also minimise weeds with a good layer of bark or stone chippings. A bark layer will also keep soil moist during the summer months – which will mean less need for watering and more time on the sun lounger!
Nelson Potter – Click here to see our full range of wooden garden products including patio furniture, decking containers, and sleepers.