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Hints and tips for creating your own outdoor, maintenance-free, sanctuary. Which plants, equipment and design ideas are the best?

Living in the moment. Relieving stress. Taking time to stop and breathe in your surroundings. These are all key factors that resonate with the contemporary national psyche. So, if you’re keen to slow down a little and breathe a little deeper, we’ve got some great low-maintenance garden ideas that will help your overall well being embrace this state of mind.

Designing a low-maintenance garden will allow you more time to relax and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, without having to constantly maintain the weeds or prune bushes. And with the right mix of plants, you can create a beautiful space which requires minimal maintenance. Perfect for yoga poses and magical for mediation!

We’ve drawn up 10 tips for helping to create a low maintenance garden to bolster your mental health…

1. Extend Your Outdoor Living Space

If you are thinking about investing in some decking, make sure you choose low maintenance materials (composite decking is the best for this). Spend time planning how you are going to use this space and be sure to create decking that is large enough for you to do what you want to do on it – comfortably. So, don’t fall into the trap of making up a patio area that fits your family but doesn’t include space for any guests!

low maintenance garden
low maintenance garden ideas

2. Reduce Or Lose The Lawn

Lawns look luscious and fabulous when you spend a considerable amount of time on them. They need regular cutting, weeding, treating and so on. So, if you are aiming for a low maintenance outdoor space or even a maintenance free garden, you might consider replacing your lawn with a gravelled area, or paving, or a mix of both.

3. Visual Variety

You can make the smallest outdoor space look so much more interesting if it is zoned. Creating separate planting areas and different heights and types of planting makes a visually interesting backdrop and often creates an illusion of additional space. Walls, fencing and edging can all be used to zone areas.

low maintenance outdoor space
maintenance free garden

4. Create Edges

Sounds obvious, but creating edges introduces a little more order into your space and can contain, for example, gravel. Edging lawns and borders properly can save many hours of scooping escaped gravel or soil and returning it to where it should be!

5. Invest In High Quality, Low Maintenance Furniture And Fixings

Whether you’re looking at decking products, garden furniture or BBQ sets, it is worth investing in higher quality, low-maintenance products that are designed to last and keep looking good year after year. Don’t be fooled into buying cheap furniture as you will find yourself throwing it away and replacing it many times over.

low maintenance garden
low maintenance garden ideas

6. Think About What You Want To Use The Area For And Create It

Zone your garden if you want to use it for lots of specific activities. For example, create a games area with a basketball hoop, badminton net etc and a separate area for dining/entertaining etc. It’s also a lovely idea to create smaller places for individuals to take themselves off and read a book – so hanging chairs, benches and small two-seater tables dotted around the place can work really well.

7. Use Potted Plants And Create Raised Beds

Borders require weeding. A clever solution is to gravel an area or cover with wood chippings (laying a weed barrier underneath) and decorating the area with well-placed pots. This looks really effective and can cut back general garden maintenance massively. It’s also often easier to water a few pots than weed a large area. A compromise could be to introduce some raised beds which, again, are easier to maintain.

low maintenance outdoor space
maintenance free garden

8. Invest In Non-Demanding Plants

It’s important to think about the type of plants you choose. Keep your plant variety to a minimum and invest in less demanding plants such as lavender and perennials. Introduce shrubs as these are great border fillers. Osmanthus, Choisya and Myrtus are all examples of low maintenance plants that are easy to grow and are ideal for the haven you are creating.

9. Mulch

Use mulch around your plants to help their growth, whilst also making your garden look neat and tidy. Mulching reduces weeds and the amount of watering you will need to do.

low maintenance garden
low maintenance garden ideas

10. Collect Leaves

Try and keep on top of your garden ie. remove all leaves and waste in the autumn. Don’t let this debris sit and rot all through the winter months as this will cause you more work in the long run. You’ll also spend the winter looking out on a messy and uninviting garden!

Now Use Your Heavenly Haven!

You’ve put the time and effort into creating your perfectly peaceful space, now you need to make sure you get the full benefit from it. Wrap up and take coffee in the garden when it’s a little chillier than you would normally do. Get organised with BBQ equipment so you can seize a sunny day and spend extra hours outdoors.

Enjoy the birdsong. Notice the small daily changes to your plants. Just sit, breathe deeply and think positive thoughts. Take delight from the fact that you’ve worked hard to create your own sanctuary.

Get in touch and send us pictures of your low-maintenance projects.

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