Garden Design, Monthly Garden Maintenance

Low maintenance garden design

Low Maintenance Garden

Low maintenance garden design

A low maintenance garden doesn’t have to be dull, unattractive or simple. In fact, it’s easy to create a low maintenance garden that’s both beautiful and enjoyable.  At Emma Pulman Garden Design we understand it’s not always easy to find the time to nurture your garden, which is why we can design and build a low maintenance garden for you. Making it easy for you to enjoy your valuable outdoor space without the added maintenance.

How to create a low maintenance garden

To help you get a better understanding of how a low maintenance garden can be created, here are our top tips and tricks.

  • Don’t overdo the features: The more you add to your garden the more complex the care regime becomes. Before you start it’s important to work out what’s most important to you. Is it entertaining guests? A veg patch? A place to do morning yoga? Once you’ve worked this out, you can make it the focus of your garden. Try to not get distracted. It can be easy to want everything at once, but the key to low maintenance is doing one or two things well. Another tip is to have your most important feature nearest the house. This way it’s easily accessible and visible from your home. Making it easier and more convenient for you to enjoy it.
  • Make the design straight, simple and wide: The more utilitarian the design the easier it will be to maintain. For example, by making paths wide, it will be easier to move wheelbarrows, mowers etc. By keeping the lawn straight and wide it will make it easier to cut. Try to avoid having a small fiddly area of lawn that makes it more difficult to cut. There are more tips on caring for your lawn below.
  • Add mulch to your borders: Add mulch, bark or gravel to your borders to stop weeds from growing. The less time spent weeding the better.

Choose plants carefully

  • Use trees, shrubs and bulbs: Hardy, evergreen trees and shrubs will help to keep your garden low maintenance. Low maintenance shrubs and trees include Euonymus, Lavender, Hebe and Magnolia. Bulbs can also be used to bring colour each year. They’re quick and easy to add to borders and will look after themselves. Grasses such as Carex or Miscanthus only need to be cut back once a year, making them a good low maintenance choice. Choose hardy plants which can withstand winter temperatures. Otherwise, they’ll need to be wrapped or brought indoors during Winter.
  • Pick plants for your conditions: We’ve all been there… Scrolling through Pinterest admiring all the beautiful plants we’d love to have. But, it’s important to remember not all the plants you see will suit the conditions of your garden. It can end up becoming very hard work if you pick a plant suited for dry sandy soil and put it in a garden with natural clay wet conditions.
  • Avoid Containers: Containers are great for smaller city gardens where space is limited. Or, they can be used to liven up a patio or a doorway. However, they are very high maintenance because they need to be watered daily in the Summer months. Container plants also need to be fed often and repotted every few years to make sure the soil has enough nutrients. If you do need to use containers try and use large ones which will allow the soil to stay moist for longer.
  • Invest in an automated irrigation system: You can set the timer to water your plants daily which means holidays are easy. It also takes the pressure off watering daily and can make owning container plants a lot easier.

Lawns and Lawn alternatives

Low Maintenance Garden

  • Don’t collect your clippings: By letting the clippings land on the lawn you are putting nitrogen back in the soil which means the grass can be fed less often. It may be worth investing in a ‘recycling’ or ‘mulching’ mower which will break the grass down into smaller pieces.
  • Use Everedge to border your lawn so you don’t have to edge it by hand.
  • Lawn grasses prefer open conditions avoid having them in areas under trees or where they’ll receive a lot of shade.
  • Consider professional maintenance: This may not be an option for everyone but if you want to guarantee having a well-kept lawn it may be time to bring in the professionals.
  • Robot mowers: Although they can be very pricey, robot mowers do a great job of keeping your lawn in check.
  • Artificial Lawns: Could be the best option for you. Artificial lawns cause a big debate in the world of landscaping and garden design! Advances in technology mean they look a lot more realistic however they don’t have the same positive environmental and habitat advantages as real grass.

If you’d like to have a low maintenance garden designed for your home or if you’d like to find out more about our garden maintenance services please fill out the contact form below or contact / 07889356003 



Family Garden
Garden Design

Family Garden Design Ideas

Family Garden Design Ideas

A family garden can be a wonderful place. Whether you have a large garden or a small balcony your outdoor area can be utilised to make extra room for your family to come together. All families are unique and this should be reflected in your garden’s design.  Adults, children and pets all have different needs and requirements when it comes to spending time outdoors. Here are some of our favourite family garden design ideas:

Family Garden – Safety first

  • Keep it safe – It goes without saying that it’s important for everyone to be safe. Think about what you’re comfortable with? After all, the garden is a place for you all to relax. Think about your children’s ages and what is safe for them now and in the future.
  • Water features – best avoided if you have young ones. It’s really not worth the risk with small children. It will make supervision more difficult and put the adults on edge. Once the children are older ponds and water features are great! It’s fun to find newts, frogs and other wildlife enjoying the pond. You can also use a purpose-made safety grid to prevent anyone from getting an unwanted dunk. A natural swimming pond can also be a very welcome addition as the family gets older.
  • Maintain or create strong garden borders – It’s important to have clear borders around the periphery of your garden to make sure everyone is safe. Good fencing and screening plants can ensure you have privacy and stop any unwanted escapes by the family dog.
  • Create Zones – As a general rule when designing a garden you put the most visually appealing or most used feature closest to the house. For a family garden, you may want to create a play area close to the house. This will help you keep a close watch on your children and pets. Perhaps if you have older children they could have their own zone further away from the house. Football areas, tree houses or rope swings are sure to be a hit.
  • Soft-Landscaping – If you have small children you may consider softer landscaping. Grass, wood chippings or rubber mats will prevent scraped knees. It could also be worth avoiding gravel. Gravel is hard to ride bikes over and can be painful to fall on.
  • Toxic plants – Not all plants are safe for children and pets. Here’s a list of the potentially harmful plants from the RHS.

Make it look good and still be fun

  • Play areas – let’s face it, play areas aren’t always visually appealing. The bold, bright colours of toys and climbing frames can be visually jarring. Screening can be used to hide any colourful or bold toys or climbing frames. You can also use natural materials to create your play areas. Try wooden climbing frames, wood and metal chain swings, or even rope swings for a more natural look. Don’t forget to include seating nearby for adults so they can be part of the fun.
  • Keep mature trees – Mature trees not only look good, but they can be climbed or used to create swings. They also provide shade in the summer or even shelter from the rain.
  • Think about sports and hobbies – What’s everyone’s favourite sport or hobby? Can this be incorporated into the design? In-ground trampolines can bring a lot of enjoyment and also look good. Can you create a space you can use in the winter months? Think about pergolas and fire pits. Roasted marshmallows all year round!
  • Birdbaths and bird feeders – Birds are welcome additions to any garden. For one they help to keep the pesky slugs at bay. It can be very enjoyable for children to feed the birds and watch and identify them in the garden.
  • Veg patch or cut flower patch – Yes, having a veg patch requires a lot of maintenance. However, if you have space and can spare the time, it can be extremely rewarding. The children will love watering the veg patch, picking the fruit and enjoy eating fresh produce from the garden.

We hope this has given you some ideas to create your own family garden. If you’d like Emma to design a beautiful and functional garden for your family please fill in the contact form below. We can’t wait to hear from you.


Find out more about our garden design services here.