Low maintenance gardens - boring? Think again
I have had a week away. I know, a holiday. It did feel a bit weird at first, but then roaming around again felt natural and freeing. We went to the coast in Northumberland. Even when its busy, its quiet. The space, skies and beaches are just enormous. Try it. You'll come back a few inches taller and breathing easier. (Unpaid plug alert - check out www.stvaleryalnmouth.com. The perfect place to stay. Dog friendly and "run" by Roxy. )
So what has this all got to do with low maintenance gardens. Well I visited Howick Hall gardens. Its a Stately home and birthplace of the Earls Grey, of tea fame. Its still in their family today. Didn't see any camellia tea plants though - bit cold I suppose. (Next century? probably. Its estimated that by 2100, we will be approx. +7 degrees v today. Today our average weather annual is 6-18 degrees C. So in 2100, that'll be 13 - 25 degrees C. That is more or less the same as Malaga in Spain today. Umm...) Howick's gardens though feature many areas that have been left to grow in a more relaxed, informal full style, that looks beautiful and is amazing wonderful for wild life of all species. Its also very low maintenance. Let it grow and cut it down. The next year, crack on with the same.
I'll stop procrastinating now and get back to the titular subject.
People think that a low maintenance garden must have lots of hard landscaping, and a lawn. Lawns are hard work though and hard landscaping needs cleaning, sweeping, treating and maintenance. We have all seen those spaces that are covered in impossibly fake looking gravel with a few Phormiums poking through. Gardens exist for many reasons, but for me, they exist in urban environments to settle the house its in surrounding and then they are free to create the perfect place for relaxing and living.
Many times, well planned and chosen planting requires much less maintenance than all those hard surfaces. Trees, grasses and specimen shrubs, all once in, require little intervention. Definitely much less than mowing the lawn at east once a week for 6 months of the year.
Planting softens outside noise and can create calming sound. Plants absorb pollutants and provide homes and food to many species. All this despite the mental health benefits of tending a garden, however small, can bring. What's not love?
So if you garden looks like this - (not sure you'd be reading...? if so, why haven't you contacted me? I'm not that scary, despite what people say...)
Then look at these below. They'll take a lot less time than mowing the lawn, repainting those rendered walls and brushing that white gravel back in place. Modern, classic, urban, courtyard or larger - low maintenance defiantly doesn't man boring
So its good bye from me for now, and hopefully you'll say hello to Roxy one day