Tag Archives: low maintenance

Low Maintenance Patio Garden

Beautiful light beige sandstone and an area of artificial grass make this low maintenance patio garden feel more spacious. The small borders have plants that will climb up the boundaries to make it feel as green as possible. The square grey planters complete the neutral colour scheme.

Low maintenance patio garden

Patio garden with beige sandstone and artificial grass







Patio Garden – Stroud Green

Patio garden with small wisteria and painted sheds

Small wisteria and beige pebbles in border set off the soft greys and purple planting

This little family garden in Stroud Green was cluttered and overgrown. The simple new design uses soft grey and light beige  as a backdrop to purple and white planting. The fences and two little sheds are painted in grey and provide much needed storage.  A toy box doubles as a seat in the garden.  There is now room in this patio garden for dining and for play.




Plants for Patio Garden

Grey planters with lavenders and alliums

Lavender, alliums and climbing roses in planters

Even though the space is small, the square grey planters are large enough for white climbing roses, lavender and purple alliums.  On the shadier side, the planters contain hydrangeas with large white flower balls and purple clematis.  A small wisteria, will be trained like a tree to keep it neat. A climbing hydrangea and a white passion flower will also clothe the fences.





Paving for Patio Garden

Patio garden with beige sandstone paving

Beige sandstone patio and step

The beige sandstone for the paving and step is very smooth. It is sealed and laid to a gentle fall to avoid water collecting.  The paving size is large to increase the feeling of space. Beige pebbles in the plant borders complete this low maintenance patio garden.

Cedar Fence with Horizontal Boards

Cedar fence with smooth horizontal boards

Horizontal smooth cedar boards make a beautiful contemporary fence.

Long lasting, low maintenance and rather beautiful, a cedar fence can be a great solution for an attractive boundary.  The material is available in different sizes and finishes.  It can be installed using horizontal boards or upright boards to suit the garden style.





Planed Cedar Fence – East Finchley

Smooth cedar fence

Cedar boards are planed all round and the fence looks great on both sides

This cedar fence in East Finchley has horizontal boards of Western Red Cedar  ( species: Thuja plicata). The boards are planed all round so the fence looks smooth and really good on both sides.  In a small garden the horizontal boards give a feeling of length and width.




Cedar Fence Detail

cedar fence horizontal boards

Each cedar board has a different character

The posts are all planed for a smooth finish and planed trim boards cover the joints.  Each of the fence boards has a different character with a unique grain pattern and colour.  These ones are clear grade without knots and range in colour from a pale pinkish colour to a richer cedar colour. The wide boards have very small gaps between them for expansion and contraction.  The edges are profiled to close the gaps for privacy so it looks pretty much like a solid fence.




Cedar Fence Maintenance

Very little maintenance is required for Western Red Cedar.  It is a softwood native to the Pacific coast of British Columbia and has been used for thousands of years by the First Nations of Western Canada and North West America.  The picture shows a reconstruction of traditional homes at the UBC Museum of Anthropology.

Western red cedar used for centuries by First Nations

Western Red Cedar used for centuries by First Nations

The cedar is durable and naturally resistant to decay.   It is generally recommended that new wood is protected with a clear breathable sealant.  Thereafter, the wood can be allowed to weather slowly to a silvery grey without any further treatment.  Alternatively, to preserve the cedar colour, an oil would need to be applied annually.

Meadows and Lawns

Wildflower meadows contrast beautifully with formal lawns

Areas and strips of meadow

Mien Ruys Grass and Meadows Rows or areas of wildflower meadows within a lawn look very attractive when there is fresh growth and new flowers. The beautiful gardens of Mien Ruys in Holland have some great examples of strips and rectangles of meadows which contrast with similar shapes of lawn and grass.  Shown here is a very simple geometric grouping of trees, clipped hedges and unusual sculptures set off by lawns and wildflowers.


Mien Ruys Geranium phaem and wildflowers This band of wildflowers in the Mien Ruys gardens is augmented by the dark Geranium phaem.  Adding a few flowers into what naturally self-seeds can work well and give a character to suit your own garden. It can also prolong the season of interest and provides extra colour and variety.  Parts of the grass lawn become  paths between meadow areas.


Meadow and Grass Kerry Marine GardenIn the large area of grass garden backing onto this hillside in Kerry, Ireland, areas and strips of meadow as shown here add interest for minimum effort.  When the flowers are past their best, they can be mowed down and new areas of wildflowers created as later flowering types emerge.


Wildflower Row and Grass PathThis strip of wildflowers in the Kerry garden is about a metre wide and a grass path is created between it and the next area of meadow. Buttercups, red and white clover and purple-blue self heal are all very common wlidflowers in lawns in Britain and Ireland. Why not let them grow in selective areas like this.  It makes for more creative mowing and is a low cost, low maintenance and effective way of creating an interesting garden