Low maintenance garden ideas

For garden

If you’re not the most enthusiastic or capable green-fingered gardener but still yearn for a garden that looks inviting, then a low maintenance garden is the answer. An easy maintenance garden doesn’t mean you have to ditch the grass in favour of paving slabs or gravel. There are plenty of plants that can bloom on their own with little encouragement from you. And with the smallest amount of effort, to begin with, you can create a garden that requires extremely little maintenance and still looks good all year round.

Easy maintenance garden ideas

  1. Low maintenance shrubs

Evergreens are the obvious choice for easy care garden plants. Once established, they’ll require a little clipping to keep them neat but otherwise need very little attention. Be sure to check the mature height and spread before you make any decisions, otherwise, you could end up with an unruly plant taking over your garden.

Fully hardy plants are similar to evergreens in that they can remain outdoors all year round. Always check for this description if you want to create a low maintenance garden, it’ll mean that come winter you don’t have to take any special measures to keep your plants thriving.

2. Easy flowers

For a little bit of colour, crocus requires little maintenance and can grow where you drop them. Similarly, snowdrops aren’t too demanding and simply need a little bit of shade and a moist area to thrive.

Lavender is another plant that does well on its own. All it needs is pruning to ensure it doesn’t become too unruly and an area that doesn’t become too boggy with water.

3. Reduce the size of your lawn

Lawns demand a lot of attention and if you’ve got a large one, you could find yourself spending hours mowing and trimming. A simple solution is to just cut down on this area. Patches that enjoy swathes of sunlight could be converted into a patio while shadier areas retain the lawn as a spot to escape the sun.

4. Get the DIY out of the way

One of the biggest drains on your time can often be the DIY projects that you keep putting off. If your fence needs painting, we recommend our Fence Life Plus treatment, and for a lick of paint on wood, brick, terracotta or metal, it’s Ronseal Garden Paint. For both products, you only need to do it once every five years and they protect against all weathers! 


5. Mix materials up for a chic seating spot

An easy way to create texture and cosiness within a low maintenance garden is to add different fabrics and soft accessories to the furniture space. For example, adding an outdoor rug in front of your outdoor seating in the summer months and bright outdoor cushions will bring some vibrancy to the space. These seasonal additions can make a big difference to the feel of a space, with minimal effort. 

6. Plant containers and pots

Another quick and easy way to embrace nature and colour in an easy care form is to contain plants and flowers. As they’ll be in their own contained areas, you don’t have to worry about trimming and maintaining them as much as if they were planted into the ground. 

7. Self-watering plant pots 

Want to take low maintenance plants to the next level? Then opt for self-watering plant pots. Using a process called capillary action, self-watering plants have a water reserve compartment within their planters where the plants can draw up moisture. Just keep in mind that not all plants will benefit from this, such as succulents and orchids that need soil to be dried out in between being watered. 

8. Solar-powered lighting 

Using solar-powered lighting outdoors means all you need to rely on for the lights to twinkle is the sun’s energy; rather than draining your energy bills or having to constantly change batteries. 


9. Try adding gravel 

Adding gravel into your garden is a great low maintenance idea. Not only does it look rustic and adds texture, but it also requires very little TLC. You can even opt for hardwearing gravel to ensure that it withstands the elements in the winter months.  

10. Garden friendly art 

When it comes to low maintenance decoration in the garden, garden art is ideal. Art such as outdoor sculptures and weatherproof digital prints can make the garden look more sophisticated, elevating your exterior space while also filling in any gaps within the garden. 

11. Utilise all the space 

Don’t forget to take a good look at your space and ensure you’re utilising the areas of it. For example, if you have steps leading down from your patio to the lawned area, think about placing some flower pots down the stairs or positioning some solar-powered lanterns on them to ensure that you’re filling the space but not creating any extra work for yourself. 

12. Right plant, wrong place 

To ensure your plant and flower maintenance is low-key, you need to make sure that they’re in the right place in your garden, otherwise, they’ll be more work than you expected. However, if you work with your garden’s natural environment your plants will thrive and you won’t have to worry about the upkeep as much. 

13. Embrace wabi sabi

If you want to eliminate the upkeep of your plants and flowers, the Japanese concept of wabi sabi embraces imperfections and the impact that time has on life. So when you apply this to a garden, it’s fine to let nature run its course. You can let the grass grow tall, allow plants to bloom and die and introduce a degree of natural imperfections to your garden. Wabi sabi is best seen in the plants that are left alone – leaves that haven’t been swept up, plants that self-seed and trees with peeling bark. It’s a really easy concept to introduce and will impress neighbours when you tell them your garden is inspired by wabi-sabi!

For more tips and tricks on garden design, check out the inspiration section of the Ronseal site or see our related articles below.