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Article > How to Save Money with a Low-Maintenance Garden

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We all want a lovely garden, but the reality is that many of us don't have time to put the work in, especially if we're the landlord of a property for rent. Sometimes it seems the only alternative to paying a fortune for a gardener is to have the whole thing concreted over.

That would reduce the property's value, but fortunately there's an alternative. At Essex based landscape architects Liz Lake Associates, we offer solutions that leave you with a great-looking garden which doesn't take up too much of your time.

An Attractive Surface

One of the keys to achieving this is to find an attractive alternative to extensive lawns. TV gardener Charlie Dimmock acknowledges this, but which is the best material to go with? In fact, they all have their plusses.

Gravel — Gravel paths can look elegant, and if you lay woven polypropylene landscaping materials underneath, there'll be no unsightly weeds.

Paving — Once it's pointed or grouted with cement, paving looks great, especially with a few flowers growing in the cracks to soften the appearance.

Decking — You'll need good-quality timber, but the raised surface helps with drainage.

Lawn or No Lawn?

Mowing the lawn is a major factor in garden maintenance, but a garden without grass may look a little sterile. You can cut down on mowing by having small, regular areas of grass with no awkward corners. If your garden is a little bigger, leaving an area of grass to grow unmown can create a natural, meadow-like look.

On the other hand, if you don't have either the space for a meadow or the time for mowing, you could consider astroturf or a similar product. Although there's an initial outlay, it requires virtually no maintenance, and most products come with a long guarantee.

Don't Forget the Flowers

Flower-beds can be especially time-consuming to keep beautiful, but they don't have to be. It's just a matter of taking care what you plant. The Telegraph's gardening section recommends going with perennials such as hardy geraniums, which continue year after year once they've been planted.

Drought-resistant plants, such as rosemary and lavender, also enhance the garden without needing much maintenance, while ground-cover shrubs for every season will cut out most of the need for weeding.

Low-Maintenance Is Respectable

If you feel at all guilty about taking the easy route, no less an authority than the Royal Horticultural Society recognises that sometimes low maintenance is the way to go. And it needn't be a compromise. You can have a beautiful garden, which will enhance the value of your property, with a minimal input after the initial work. And there's no downside to that.



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