An attractive, well-maintained garden can add value to your home and increase its marketability. While some sellers might assume that it’s necessary to overhaul the garden before their home goes on sale, there’s no need to devote time and attention to intricate topiary just yet.
Research shows that more simple, low maintenance gardens are more appealing to buyers. In this day and age, many people don’t want to take on a garden that requires a huge amount of TLC, and garden areas that look great and are easy to keep are ideally suited to a large proportion of modern buyers. If you’re looking to sell your home, here’s a handy guide to creating a low maintenance garden.
Most of us envisage a vivid, green lawn as soon as somebody mentions the word garden. Lawns can look wonderful, but they require a significant amount of upkeep. When it comes to low maintenance gardens, there are three main options for a lawn that won’t take up all of your time.
The first option is to replace a grass lawn with artificial grass. Modern versions are very lifelike, and there is absolutely no ongoing maintenance required. You can choose the size and shape of the area you want to cover, and you’ll never have to get your mower or strimmer out again.
Another avenue you could pursue if you’re not desperate to keep the lawn is to remove the turf and replace it with gravel, decking or paving. This is a much easier option in terms of upkeep, and you can add greenery with planters and long grasses if you’re looking for a less clinical aesthetic. It is possible to combine materials and to use different types of stone or wood to separate your garden into zones, which can enhance versatility and create a really attractive space. Many people like to use decking for entertaining and al fresco dining, for example.
If you do wish to keep the lawn intact, you can make your garden less labour-intensive by adjusting the shape to produce a simple, rectangular lawn or by letting the grass grow long. If you’re keen on the cottage garden look, plant some wildflowers, and you’ll have your own meadow. With this option, you get the best of both worlds. You can enjoy having a traditional garden without worrying about how you’re going to keep it looking fabulous.
If you’re not quite sure which path to follow, weigh up the pros and cons, browse magazines and online galleries, and build ideas based on looks you like that are easy to achieve and affordable.
Gardening is an incredibly popular hobby, and it can be very therapeutic. The trouble is that not everyone has the time or the energy to devote to tending to plants all year-round. Trimming, pruning, planting, weeding, and watering can be time-consuming. One of the best ways to create a low maintenance garden without sacrificing plants altogether is to choose plants that don’t need a lot of care and attention.
Evergreens are an excellent option for those who want to inject flashes of green without signing up to hours of gardening every week. Evergreen plants require very little in the way of upkeep once they have been planted and they’re growing. These plants are also an excellent choice because they look vibrant and healthy throughout the year. Many plants that we tend to choose for our gardens only bloom in the spring and summer, and this means that in autumn and winter, our beds can look bare and bleak.
Shrubs are another brilliant choice for low maintenance outdoor areas. If you don’t already have a rockery, this is a simple, inexpensive feature that will enhance the aesthetic appeal of your garden in no time. Place rocks and stones of different sizes and shapes in a shady area of your garden, and scatter shrubs in the gaps. You can buy shrubs in a range of colours, and many will flower throughout the year. Once planted, shrubs are largely self-sufficient.
Long grasses and bamboo are great for filling spaces and adding colour and vibrancy to paved and gravelled areas. They don’t need a lot of looking after, and they can provide additional privacy, which is attractive to buyers. Low maintenance perennials, which flower year after year, are also ideally suited to external spaces that don’t demand a lot of hard work.
Weeding is one of the most arduous tasks when it comes to keeping a garden in tip-top condition. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to escape weeds, even if you have a very simple, paved yard. Weeds get everywhere, and if you don’t stay on top of them, they can quickly take over. The good news is that there are straightforward, hassle-free ways to take the work out of weeding.
We’ve already discovered that shrubs are a fantastic choice for low maintenance gardens, and this is not just because they look lovely and they’re easy to look after. It’s also relatively simple to prevent weeds from growing around shrubs. You can do this by using a weed-suppressing membrane and adding mulch, for example, bark chippings.
It’s also a good idea to spend 5 minutes a couple of times a week looking at your beds and gravelled and decked areas and pulling up any stray weeds that have appeared. The longer you let weeds grow, the more complex removal becomes.
If you love plants, and you don’t want to get rid of all traces of colour in your garden as part of a low maintenance makeover, using containers is a good idea to take the strain out of weeding. Planting in containers can be beneficial if you have restricted mobility, or you’re prone to back pain, as they are easier to reach and weeds cannot grow as freely in a pot, tub, or trough.
Fencing and Hedging
Most people separate their garden from the neighbour’s home with a fence or a hedge. If you currently have hedges, and you don’t want the stress of cutting back leaves and trying to create an attractive, uniform shape, it may be worth considering swapping hedges for fencing. Fencing is popular because it looks smart, it fits the style of most houses, and it’s easy to maintain. All you have to do is stain or varnish the wood to protect it from the elements. There’s no trimming or topiary involved. Fencing may also be more appealing to prospective buyers, as it tends to offer better privacy. Fences may also be safer for children and pets.
If you have a lawn, or you have plants and flowers in your garden, you’ll need to ensure that you water them on a regular basis. To make the task quicker and easier, it’s useful to have an outdoor tap or a hose you can run from the kitchen. This will save you time and effort if you’re used to filling a watering can and carrying it around the garden. It is also possible to install sophisticated watering systems that you can programme and customise to suit your needs.
What to Avoid in a Low Maintenance Garden
If your priority is to design an eye-catching space that requires minimal upkeep, there are several things to avoid. These include:
Water Features: Water features may look stunning, but they need ongoing maintenance. If you have a pond or a small fountain, for example, you’ll need to clear debris and clean the system, which will take up valuable free time.
Irregular Lawns: You might think that a quirky-shaped lawn looks cool, but did you know that mowing a lawn that is not a regular shape can increase the amount of time it takes ten-fold? If you do want to keep your lawn, go for a basic rectangular shape. This will take a matter of a few minutes to trim.
Pots and Containers: Pots and containers can be a fabulous addition to low maintenance gardens, provided that you don’t go overboard. If your garden is packed with pots, you’re going to spend a huge amount of time watering, weeding, and trimming. Choose a small number of pots and opt for plants that don’t need much looking after. Potted trees, for example, olive trees, are a popular choice for modern, low maintenance gardens.
Hedges: Hedges look beautiful, especially in traditional, rustic gardens, but they tend to grow rapidly. Fences are a better option for those looking to keep labour to a minimum.
Labour-Intensive Plants: Every plant is different, and some need much more love and attention than others. Try and avoid plants that need to be pruned or staked. Conifers, grasses, bamboo, shrubs and ground-covered perennials, for example, geraniums and periwinkles, are ideal.
If you’re looking to sell your home, it makes sense to ensure that your garden looks the part before the for sale sign goes up. Many buyers are searching for a great outdoor space that won’t require a lot of looking after. Simple, stylish, low maintenance gardens are hugely popular, and it isn’t difficult to transform an external area without spending a fortune or devoting hours to gardening.