A low maintenance garden may sound like an easy and simple thing to achieve, but to really create a gorgeous area that requires minimum work is, ironically, something that needs to be planned. Ensuring that you have a straight-forward and workable plan from the start will make your low maintenance garden easy to look after and create a beautiful display throughout the year. Of course no garden will require zero maintenance and attention, but it is possible to have an attractive plot that doens’t take up hours and hours of your time.
To help you create the simple garden you want, we called in Kim Wilde to share her expert tips on how to do just that…
Top tips on planning and maintaining a low maintenance garden
– One of the most time-consuming jobs is weeding so, when planting an area, consider the use of weed-proof landscape fabric with a mulch to give plants a real chance to establish.
– Before buying a plant (any plant!) always check that you are able to provide its optimum growing conditions in terms of sun, shade, damp or free-draining ground. Not only will this save you time and money, but the plants will be happier in the long run.
– If you are short of time, shape your garden around this fact. Having many different types of plants in your borders will naturally take a lot more management – so opt for a few really generous clumps of the same plant, it’ll look just as good and be a lot easier to maintain.
– There is inspiration everywhere! If you’re feeling as though you need some then visit gardens locally and glean ideas from TV programmes and books – you’ll feel inspired in no time.
– Ensure that all the plants in your garden do not bloom at one time. You can have extended seasons by planting lots of bulbs and winter shrubs, which require minimum upkeep – this will in turn keep your garden looking lovely throughout the winter months too.
– In borders where bulbs such as tulips or alliums are growing, and weed-proof fabric is not an option, choose low maintenance, fast-growing herbaceous plants. Suggestions of these include self-seeding Alchemilla mollis or Geranium macrorrhizum and G. x magnificum. These perennials can be divided every few years and spread around the garden, or you can even give them as a gift.
Kim Wilde: Fact File
Kim Wilde, 1980s pop singer, had a simple desire – and that was to raise her family in a nurturing environment: ‘I wanted my children to be surrounded by butterflies, bees, birds and flowers, as I’d had in my own childhood,’ she explained. After enrolling on a summer course at the horticultural college, Capel Manor, Kim created just that in her own garden. She now has a lovely vegetable garden that she grows crops from seed in so the whole family can eat fresh home-grown food.
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