What is a Low Maintenance Garden?

What is a Low Maintenance Garden-blog-post-fi

How to get a low maintenance garden

Creating a low maintenance garden simply means creating a garden that does not require you to do the chores YOU don’t like doing!


Your idea of a low maintenance garden will not be the same as someone else’s ideas. It’s all about making the garden work – FOR YOU.

We have created lots of garden border design ideas that will work for even the most inexperienced of gardeners.

Our designs are created for smaller modern gardens and people who would love a gorgeous garden – but aren’t sure how to go about it.

As far as we know – there’s nothing quite like us on the Internet….(yet!).


Gardening is only ever a pain in the proverbials if you have to do ‘stuff’ you don’t like doing. If all the work in the garden is stuff you don’t mind doing, the garden won’t feel as though it is a lot of work!

No two low maintenance gardens then will ever be exactly the same.

In order to create the best garden for you; start by working out what you don’t like doing and find ways to minimise that.


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What work does a garden actually create then?

Take this border for example, it may have been planted with a number of ‘easy care’ and low maintenance shrubs, but collectively it will cause an awful lot of work to keep it looking manicured.


 In the garden, most of your time will be taken up with:

  • Clipping and Pruning
  • Tying things in or stopping the flopping
  • Weeding
  • Watering
  • Deadheading
  • Stopping one plant taking oover the border
  • Mowing the lawn

How to keep a low maintenance garden:

As with anything, first you need to work out the problem, before you can find the right solution – which sometimes will mean starting again.

Here for example, the border does not look it’s best.



not a low maintenance border

Clearly every plant here is fighting for space, there is just too much and it has grown too big. The strappy leaves of the Crocosmia (the orange one), flop on the path ready to trip you up and the Perovskia (the blue plant) looks a bit like it’s been all night clubbing and needs a lie down!

You need to make a decision as to whether the border can be rejigged or whether it’s best to lift everything and start again.

In this case…start again!


low maintenance border - start again
I’ll bet you didn’t think the border was actual that small. Aside from that, we now have a starting point. So what’s next?

What’s above & what’s below?:

You must match the plant to the position of the border and the type of soil you have.

Otherwise known as right plant, right place. Remember this is all about reducing garden maintenance.

Plants grow best if they are happy with the conditions. So sun lovers will be limp and feeble if stuffed in a shady corner and similarly plants that love a rich moist soil will look decidedly hungover if planted in a sun trap. All of which mean you have to tend to them more often or they die and you have to spend more money and time sorting it out.

Having said that, some plants will go on the rampage if you plant them in perfect conditions and so are best avoided. These tough plants do have a place, but generally you only plant them where weeds are currently thriving and then they are brilliant!

The upshot is this – if you get the conditions right for the plant, it will grow more strongly, it will grow into the shape it’s supposed to be and at the right speed. The stems will be less floppy and it will produce better flowers.

Plants prefer to look after themselves, which means you won’t have to!

Don’t create extra work unintentionally

You need a plan before you plant, the ‘stuff it in and see what happens approach’, very rarely works and can quickly become a tangled mess that needs sorting out.

You must look at the size a plant will become not the size it is now. Filling up the border with the small plants you have bought is not a good approach.

If the border is only 2m square, then you need to select plants that over time will fill up that 2m sq. Use bulbs for infills, especially small plants like crocus, snowdrops, alliums and narcissus. These are narrow plants that don’t fill ground space too much, but do fill the air above with colour!

The left hand garden will keep you busy.... but so will the right hand image too!

How to get Low Maintenance Garden Borders

Now clearly we could write a book on garden design that will help you plan your  garden better – and we have. There IS a book to help you

I Want to Like my Garden by Rachel McCartain available at Amazon and other online bookstores in eBook and Paperback

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