As every garden designer will tell you, designing a garden that suits your needs is the first step towards creating the perfect outdoor space for you or your family.
Unfortunately, nature is a cruel mistress and can very quickly have her way. So if you have a busy lifestyle, then designing a garden that takes up the minimum of your precious time is paramount. With the right materials and planting choices, however, it is possible to create a beautiful garden that doesn’t require endless work. Here are just a few ideas to help you design a garden when you’re short of time.
It’s important to consider who will be using the garden in order to design a garden that works. If you have children, then you will want a balance between adult space and kids play space, so designating an area of the garden just for them is a good idea. If you are single or do not have children creating a sophisticated low maintenance garden is an easier task. However, in either case, the priority for any low maintenance garden is in controlling weeds and plant growth. Hard landscaping, such as paving or decking will save lots of time, and can be softened with surrounding plants that grow easily and need little care. Try mixing different materials such as wood and stone, to create texture and interest in place of grass.
Hard landscaping is a time saving choice, but a smooth green lawn is an important feature of the garden for most of us. However, the perfect lawn is also one of the time consuming features of any garden. So it’s of no surprise then, that time pressed gardeners are turning to artificial turf. Now transformed from the lurid plasticky stuff utilised on sports pitches, the popularity of artificial grass has developed since it has evolved to be far more natural looking. Garden designers themselves are now incorporating artificial turf into all types of gardens, as an alternative to the time consuming demands of real grass. Artificial turf can be bought in 2 or 4 metre width rolls, starting at £9 per square metre. And once installed, you will have a perfectly green lawn for around ten years.
Low Maintenance Plants and Flowers
The type of plants you choose will depend on the light levels and soil type. As an example, a few of the low maintenance plants that will thrive in sun are; lavender, rosemary, yucca, fuschia’s and hebe. For shade, hostas, camellias, box, and ferns are all easy to care for. For contemporary drama and structure, bamboo or evergreens such as Fatsia Japonica, as well as small trees, will create all year round interest. Or for a more traditional garden, honeysuckle is an easy care perennial which can be grown around a trellis or pagoda, while ivy is a good climber for shady spaces. Just be sure that it does not grow up damaged brickwork to avoid exacerbating the problem.
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Rob Rudd has worked as a professional journalist and writer for several years and in his spare time enjoys a spot of gardening.