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 



Monthly Garden Maintenance

Garden Maintenance In February – 10 Top Tips

garden maintenance February

This month we’re focusing on February Garden Maintenance! Each month we’re giving you our top tips for maintaining your garden throughout the year. As the seasons change we’ll continue to give you our best advice for caring for your garden and let you know where we think you should be focusing your attention.

You can also contact us now if you’d like us to care for your garden by taking advantage of our professional garden maintenance services. With our London garden design services, we can also create a beautiful low-maintenance garden for you. Get in touch today! 

February Weather Watch

February and January are quite similar, with February temperatures being just slightly lower than January. Land temperatures are largely determined by sea temperatures which are at their lowest in February. Hard frosts are still common in February so make sure you are still protecting your most vulnerable plants from the cold weather.


The good news is we get more sunshine in February than in January with Southern areas of the country getting 7.6 days of bright sunshine and Northern areas getting 5.2 days of bright sunshine. Which is why it can be very enjoyable to get out into your garden in February and get on top of your garden maintenance. You really notice the change in February as the days start to get longer and the sun seems to be back out again even if it is just for brief visits.  It doesn’t mean the harsh Winter weather has gone away just yet, but you do start to notice the difference. Especially as you set foot in the garden and notice the bulbs are beginning to swell, you get a real sense that the summer is on its way.

Feed The Birds

February is a great time to encourage birds to visit your garden.  There are numerous benefits of having birds in your garden. For one, they will act as pest controllers for everything from snails to aphids. They can also help with weed control as the sparrows and finches will eat weed seeds saving you time and energy in the Summer months. To encourage the birds into your garden make sure your bird feeders are well stocked and provide water for them to drink and bathe in. It’s also a good time to buy or make nesting boxes in preparation for Spring when birds will be looking for homes for their new families.

February Garden Maintenance To-Do List

February is an exciting month in the garden. When those sunny days hit, make the most of them by getting ahead with your garden maintenance. Or if you’d like help along the way, get in touch today.

Here’s our February to-do list to help you get ready for Spring: 

  1. Get fertilizing – Towards the end of the month, you should start to apply organic-based fertilisers. Organic-based fertilisers release their nutrients slowly allowing plants to grow more steadily over time. It’s best to apply organic-based fertilizers 2 or 3 weeks in advance of sowing or planting to ensure they are available to plants straight away.
  2. Plant  – bare-root trees, shrubs, fruit trees, and bushes.
  3. Feed the birds – you’ll be pleased you did in Spring as they help to keep pests under control and prevent the spread of weeds.
  4. Top-dress or repot shrubs in containers – Top-dress plants by removing the top two or three centimetres of soil and add in new slow-release fertiliser along with new soil, then give them water. This will give them a new lease of life in the Summer.
  5. Remove – the old stems of herbaceous perennials.
  6. Cut back – any shrubs or hedges which are overgrown before birds begin to make their nests.
  7. Prepare – seedbed for vegetable sowing outdoors.
  8. Prune – roses.
  9. Prepare – the ground if you plan on sowing a new lawn or laying turf.
  10. Sow – you can start to sow annuals undercover.

Give our top 10 garden maintenance tips for February a go to keep your garden ticking over as we head towards Spring and Summer.

Also look out for the 5 plants listed below, as they’ll be brightening up gardens in February. Keep them in the front of your mind when thinking about future planting plans to ensure your garden has year-round interest:

  1. Helleborus orientalis
  2. Narcissus cyclamineus
  3. Camellia x wiliamsii ‘Anticipation’
  4. Crocus tommasinianus
  5. Viburnum tinus


At Emma Pulman Garden design we offer a design-led, bespoke service enabling the creation of beautiful gardens across London and the surrounding area. For more on what we do, please contact us via the form below.


Monthly Garden Maintenance

Garden Maintenance In January – 10 Top Tips

Winter Garden Design London

In this series of blog posts, we take a month-by-month look at garden maintenance. We’ll give you our top tips for maintaining your garden and advise you what will be in bloom and where your focus should be each month.

If you would like professional garden maintenance please contact us now to discuss our garden maintenance services. We can also create you a beautifully designed low-maintenance London garden design

January Weather Watch

January is the coldest month in London. Throughout the month, the average temperature remains at 5-6°C, with little variation. January is a month of windy weather, sunshine in places, rainfall here and there and snow on the hills. In London snow is rare but occasionally seen in January. Although a light layer of snow can be good for your garden, as it helps kill unwanted pests, and protects plants from severe frost, it’s important to keep an eye on the weather forecasts for heavy snowfall or sharp frosts as some plants need protection from the harsher winter weather. Conifers, for example, are prone to damage by heavy snowfall as the weight of the snow pushes their branches down.

January Garden Maintenance To Do List

Although temperatures drop in January, there are still plenty of opportunities to spend time in the garden and start getting ready for spring. So make the most of those crisp sunny days by wrapping up warm and getting started with your January garden to-do- list:

  1. Get to know your soil – January is a great time to test your soil’s PH levels and determine whether your soil is clay, sand or loam. Take a handful of soil and squeeze it tight in your palm. Clay soil clumps together, sandy soil feels dry/crumbly.
  2. Order new seeds, summer flowering bulbs and herbaceous perennials  – Once you have a better understanding of your soil you can order flowers and plants for the year ahead. This is a very enjoyable job as you plan the garden’s colours, themes and patterns.
  3. Protect vulnerable plants – Pot-grown shrubs are more vulnerable to heavy frosts as their roots in the pots are above the ground. You can protect them by wrapping the pots with bubble wrap or hessian sacks for added insulation. You can also move pots closer together for added protection or if you have space bringing them indoors.
  4. Water container plants – Sometimes, plants growing at the base of house walls can miss out on vital rainfall, so it’s good to make sure they are getting plenty of moisture through the winter.
  5. Collect Decaying Leaves – It is best to compost decaying leaves rather than burn them as they can then contribute to the goodness of soil. Watch out for hedgehogs as you’re collecting the leaves as they could be hibernating in the leaves. It’s often better to trade in your rake for garden grippers to help protect our spiky friends.
  6. Spread organic matter – A great job to do even on the coldest of days. With frozen ground, you can easily manoeuvre the barrow to spread the matter on your soil. However, don’t walk or push the barrow over frozen grass or you’ll be left with yellow marks when the grass thaws out.
  7. Clean all your pots and seed trays for Spring sowing. – You’ll be thankful you did when Spring is here!
  8. Prune – Wisteria and other vigorous climbers.
  9. Hoe – any germinating weeds, again you’ll be glad you did by the time the spring and summer arrives.
  10. Finally, send the lawnmower off for servicing – so it’s ready for action for the year ahead.

If you stick to our top 10 garden maintenance tips for January you’ll be in good stead for the year ahead.

There’s still plenty to see and do in the garden this January. Here are some of the star plants you’ll see thriving at this time of year:

  1. Sarrococca hookeriana var. Digya (‘Christmas Box’)
  2. Erica carnea ‘Springwood White’ (‘Heather’)
  3. Skimmia japonica (‘Skimmia’)
  4. ‘Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ (‘Witch Hazel’)
  5. Iris unguicularis ‘Mary Barnard’ (‘Algerian Iris’)

At Emma Pulman Garden design we offer a design-led, bespoke service enabling the creation of beautiful gardens across London and the surrounding area. For more on what we do, please contact us via the form below.