There are lots of reasons why you might be looking for a low maintenance garden. For us it has always been about creating a space which is suitable for the kids to play in, where they can’t damage any flower beds or expensive plants and which is fairly easy to maintain. Neither of us are particularly green-fingered either so the time when we do want to sit and relax in the garden we don’t want to be worrying about pruning back bushes and so on.
If we didn’t have the dog then this is definitely something we would look into as cutting the grass is just one of those chores we always end up leaving until the last possible minute. It doesn’t help that the weather can’t be relied upon in the UK so you never know whether it will be dry enough to mow the lawn, and you can have extended periods of wet weather which cause the grass to end up resembling a jungle more than anything else! Artificial grass solves all those issues; most of it looks and feels pretty natural nowadays and it doesn’t need much maintenance throughout the year.
Decking is a great low maintenance alternative to a lawn and provides an excellent space to entertain. It is fairly easy to install decking but like any wood product, it will need some regular upkeep to make sure it can last being outdoors in the elements. You might also want to consider composite decking which is a wood-free flooring option. Millboard composite decking looks like wood but it isn’t, meaning you don’t have to worry about warping (or splinters in children’s feet!)
Keep weeding to a minimum and contain any flowers you might have in raised flower beds. Not only will that help to stop them being trampled by children but it should also make pruning and maintaining them as straightforward as possible.
If you do want to have some plants in your garden but don’t want to be forever cutting them back then it’s worth looking some hardier plants and flowers. Low maintenance plants include the likes of Azalea shrubs, Lavender bushes, climbing Hydrangea and Geraniums to name but a few. It would also be worth speaking to your local garden centre to see what sort of plants they recommend for the area as the soil and weather can also make a difference.
Weeds will push up in any available space so try not to leave any gaps in which they could take root. Either cover with turf, artificial grass, decking or some other hard landscaping or create flower beds with your carefully selected plants and shrubs. One of the major downsides of gardening is weeding so if you don’t want to be forever plucking up the opportunists then leave no gap unfilled.