all want a lovely garden, but the reality is that
many of us don't have time to put the work in, especially
if we're the landlord of a property for rent. Sometimes
it seems the only alternative to paying a fortune
for a gardener is to have the whole thing concreted
would reduce the property's value, but fortunately
there's an alternative. At Essex
based landscape architects Liz Lake Associates,
we offer solutions that leave you with a great-looking
garden which doesn't take up too much of your time.
of the keys to achieving this is to find an attractive
alternative to extensive lawns. TV
gardener Charlie Dimmock acknowledges this, but
which is the best material to go with? In fact, they
all have their plusses.
Gravel — Gravel
paths can look elegant, and if you lay woven polypropylene
landscaping materials underneath, there'll be no unsightly
• Paving —
Once it's pointed or grouted with cement, paving looks
great, especially with a few flowers growing in the
cracks to soften the appearance.
• Decking —
You'll need good-quality timber, but the raised surface
helps with drainage.
or No Lawn?
the lawn is a major factor in garden maintenance,
but a garden without grass may look a little sterile.
You can cut down on mowing by having small, regular
areas of grass with no awkward corners. If your garden
is a little bigger, leaving an area of grass to grow
unmown can create a natural, meadow-like look.
the other hand, if you don't have either the space
for a meadow or the time for mowing, you could consider
astroturf or a similar product. Although there's an
initial outlay, it requires virtually no maintenance,
and most products come with a long guarantee.
Don't Forget the Flowers
can be especially time-consuming to keep beautiful,
but they don't have to be. It's just a matter of taking
care what you plant. The Telegraph's
gardening section recommends going with perennials
such as hardy geraniums, which continue year after
year once they've been planted.
plants, such as rosemary and lavender, also enhance
the garden without needing much maintenance, while
ground-cover shrubs for every season will cut out
most of the need for weeding.
Low-Maintenance Is Respectable
you feel at all guilty about taking the easy route,
no less an authority than the Royal
Horticultural Society recognises that sometimes
low maintenance is the way to go. And it needn't be
a compromise. You can have a beautiful garden, which
will enhance the value of your property, with a minimal
input after the initial work. And there's no downside