gardening in drought

Reluctant Gardener? Here’s some low maintenance tips…

Spending little time in your garden but getting the best results is the dream of some folks. While many people understand the joy and contentment of gardening, there are others for whom it is nothing but a chore. While we may look at magazines and dream of the stunning gardens of those featured, we don’t have green fingers to pull it off.

There may be many arguments for putting patio blocks down everywhere, but a lovely garden can improve the value of your home. Also, with the proper use of this outdoor space, it can become an extra room in your home.

It is possible to create a low-maintenance garden that offers the delight of the magazine spread, the value for your home and not cause you too much work. Here we offer some practical tips.

Zone off the garden

There is a lot of value in starting with a plan to save time and energy in your garden. Rushing off to buy plants and plop them chaotically in your garden will do nothing but create clutter and work to keep them alive.

When planning the garden, start by splitting up space into different areas. There could be the lawn, the patio, the planted area, the chill-out area… whatever you fancy. You can then split these areas up with different borders and pathways that help to chunk up maintaining the garden.

When working out where the different zones of your garden will be, consider the path of the sun. Where will there be shade and direct sunlight at different times of the day? For instance, you may love to be in baking hot direct sunlight all afternoon when relaxing with a book. Alternatively, you might find that this use of a sun trap as your seating area means you never sit there for more than 10 minutes.

Use different materials for your zones.

While a gardener who is happy to dedicate hours to cultivating the vegetable patch, the rose garden, the water feature, and more – for those looking for a low maintenance option, the use of texture is our friend. First, keep the grass area to a minimum and have another area with patio stones. You could put some membrane down, cover an area in pebbles, and maybe have an area with bark. The patchwork of materials will add texture and interest to your space that will be lost with a sea of concrete.

Choose the most appropriate furniture.

Your garden is there to be enjoyed. While you might not find gardening enjoyable, you will still want to spend some time relaxing and socialising out there. Therefore, the right furniture is going to do a lot to make your garden a usable space. Some furniture comes with care instructions, such as removing the cushions and covering up in wet weather. If you are genuinely looking for the least work possible, then a wooden bench is the way to go. Your teak bench will happily sit looking wonderful without any need for your intervention.

Choose raised beds

Maintaining a border takes work. You will have to constantly work to keep the pests and the weeds at bay. Also, it would help if you did some clever planting to give these beds the height and impact needed. An excellent way to reduce the work is to work with raised beds. Not only will these reduce the space you need to cultivate, but they also add impact. You can construct the beds out of wood, bricks, rocks, and more – but better still – you can buy them preconstructed from the garden centre.

When you do need to do a bit of pottering to maintain the plants, you also benefit from limited strain to your back.


If you want to go full concrete on your garden, you can stop it from being a bland space using planters. You can get a host of different shapes and sizes and mix up the plants you bring into the area. However, if you are looking for low maintenance, you might want to choose bamboo and cactus and maybe some lavender, which will create little need for upkeep.

The other option is to add an ornate water feature. You will find some stunning designs available that can add authentic charm to the area. As a bonus, your water feature will offer some sensory delight, too, as the water trickles through.

Most importantly, it always help if you choose your low maintenance plants wisely. You will be deterred from trying if everything dies, so do your research and find those varieties that will forgive you for forgetting them. For those with more traditional planting spaces, be sure to choose your low maintenance shrubs in the same way!

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