What do you do if you love having a garden, but hate garden maintenance? Essex-based garden design and landscaping company The Constant Gardener are experts at creating low maintenance garden designs for those who like to spend time IN their gardens, not ON them. Here we offer 7 suggestions for minimising the work you need to do in your garden.

  1. Little and Often

Even if you make no changes to the layout or planting in your garden at all, you can reduce the amount of garden maintenance effort you need to put in simply by doing a little regularly.

  • Pull up small weeds as soon as they start to pop up – a few minutes every weekend will stop weeding becoming a bigger job than it needs to be.
  • Prune aggressive bushes and other plants before they get out of control and turn themselves into a much more difficult job.
  1. Reduce Beds and Borders

More flower beds means more surface area of soil that needs weeding and more plants that need looking after. Sometimes garden owners increase the size of flower beds in an effort to reduce the amount of lawn, hoping to save work that way – only to find themselves spending more time on the borders instead.

Very deep borders (more than about 3 feet) are difficult to access without treading on other plants – which will make the “little and often” approach hard to carry out.

  1. Choose Slow Growers

Choosing slow growing varieties of shrubs and trees, such as dwarf conifers and heathers, means you will have very little pruning or trimming to do, if any, for several years. This will mean you have to find a plant which is already about the size you want for the space it’s going to occupy – and buying a full size, mature plant will usually be more expensive. However, you will be rewarded by barely noticing the difference in size from one year to the next.

  1. Avoid Climbers

Plants like Wisteria, Ivy and Honeysuckle can look fabulous growing up the side of a house or up trellising – but it can also very easily get out of hand, requiring multiple prunings to keep under control. Ivy in particular can need trimming a few times a year to prevent it covering windows or causing damage to guttering or other fixtures. Quite apart from the amount of pruning, the nature of climbers will often mean needing to reach fairly high places with ladders or special equipment, which obviously adds to the effort.

  1. Hardy Planting

The more delicate the plant, the more “tending” it will need. So it makes sense to choose (or switch to) plants which are happy to be left alone most of the time. When you’re choosing plants, look for varieties which are hardy and/or native to the UK – preferably both.

A hardy plant won’t mind being left out, uncovered, over the winter (some even require a bit of a freeze as part of their normal growing cycle).

Likewise, native plants are going to be already well adapted to the local climate and won’t need much attention. To be even safer, try to buy plants from local Essex nurseries, so you have a better chance of them liking the local climate.

  1. Strulch

Unless you have planted seeds, cover bare soil around shrubs and plants with a layer of Strulch, which we can provide at Constant Gardener. This will prevent the soil drying out, meaning you have to water less often. But the real timesaver here is that Strulch, which lasts about 18 months, will act as a natural weed suppressant as it reduces weed growth by up to 95 per cent.

Strulch is completely organic as it is made from wheat straw. And, as well as improving your soil, the properties of Strulch, and the minerals within it, deters slugs and snails. If you have container pots, you can mulch those too, again to prevent weeds taking root.

  1. Call Us!

The final option, of course, is to hand over maintenance of your Essex garden to the professionals. Some people love pottering about in the flower beds, weeding and dead-heading, but hate the grind of mowing the lawn every two weeks, while others are the complete opposite. Choose the tasks you like least and let us take care of them – while you keep the tasks you find easier or enjoy.

As well as carrying out a wide range of garden maintenance services in Essex, The Constant Gardener provides a garden design and build service which can include gardens and grounds of all sizes, both private and commercial. We can help you create a garden with true impact, that meets your needs and which is designed to need the level of maintenance that is right for you.

Garden Maintenance Essex – Find out more about which areas of Essex we cover and the type of tasks we can carry out for you by clicking the link – then choose the “Maintenance Quote” tab.