By Kate Gould
Can a garden truly be a garden and still be low maintenance? Well, perhaps that depends upon your notion of what gardening is.
I have a garden at my office, which is both planted in the ground and in large stand-alone containers. There are trees and shrubs, topiary and bamboo.
I have a very simple off-the-tap irrigation system to reduce day to day care.
The garden is lush and green, but I have to confess, I do very little to it, save for a burst of cutting, feeding and mulching in the spring and autumn, which takes only a few hours.
In order for the garden to look nice it has to be tidy, so I sweep the garden on average twice a week from spring to autumn.
The key to low maintenance is choosing your plants wisely. Hard landscaping will always need to be swept and cleaned to look good, but you can help yourself by choosing the right plants.
Evergreens are ideal because they have a limited leaf drop (with the exception of bamboo). Topiary in the form of Buxus or Taxus is easy to care for with little work.
If you like a lot of colour in the garden this takes care, but pots with bulbs for a spring show add impact at not a lot of expense and apart of watering late in the spring as the weather warms up, they need little human intervention.
As with most gardening a ‘less is more’ approach can be applied to a low maintenance scheme. Do something big and bold well and care for that rather than trying to spread yourself too thin. Lawns take time to keep manicured so don’t be too hard on yourself if there are a few daisies that outwit you.
Gravel is an absolute monster to keep clean so keep the planting in and around it relaxed.
In essence gardening should be a pleasure not a chore so strike when the mood takes you and you will find the experience far more enjoyable.