Garden spaces are all about enhancing your home and lifestyle, not consuming all your free time. So if you want to keep your outdoor upkeep to a minimum, but still enjoy a garden zone that looks great, then design it to succeed. Take a few tips from this fabulous small landscape, which ticks all the boxes.
1. Choose waterwise plants
The most time-consuming aspect of plant growing is watering. So turn things to your advantage by creating a landscape out of plants, which can live off natural rainfall – like succulents and cacti. There are all sorts of fabulous shapes and leaf colours on offer, and many of them produce exotic flowers, too. Include some large feature plants like agaves and yuccas, along with lower growing, rosette-forming succulents such as echeverias, sedums and aeoniums.
2. Keep lawn to a minimum
Lovely as it is, grass requires watering, feeding and mowing. So if your space is compact, consider including just a small stretch of lawn, and devoting the rest of the area to a mass-planted garden bed. Here, artificial turf has been combined with symmetrical rows of square pavers, to add interesting texture while still providing that splash of green to the scene.
3. Mulch madly
Bare soil is a magnet for weeds, so eliminate that chore by spreading generous layers of mulch over all the exposed areas of soil in your garden. In the case of succulents and cacti, you can use pebbles, which adds another interesting textural layer to the scene. In garden beds planted with more conventional shrubs and trees, use an organic mulch instead, such as lucerne hay, sugar-cane, or shredded bark.
4. Go compact
Every garden needs a tree, even when space is restricted. The trick is to select something that is compact – and which will stay compact! Here a great tip: draw on the expertise of your local nurseryman, so you get the right species for the spot! In this garden, a shapely Japanese maple fills the corner perfectly and won’t exceed three or four metres in height. Dwarf or grafted ‘mop-top’ tree varieties are other good options to consider.
5. Keep it natural
Low maintenance gardening means keeping plant trimming to an absolute minimum. So forget about hedges and trimmed topiaries, and instead, enjoy the natural shapes of the plants you choose. In the case of privacy or screening plants, don’t select species that will rapidly grow beyond their space and need trimming back several times a year. In this garden, a clumping bamboo, with a mature height of around three metres provides a trim-free screen of green foliage.