Cornwall LivingIssue #121
Plan an easy summer
It’s going to be a balance between practicality and aesthetic appeal.
In an ideal world your garden should be a space to enjoy and relax in. You don’t want to sit back in your deckchair only to be assailed by a vison of a tangle of plants, that initially cost you a small fortune and are now making a bid for freedom into your neighbours’ gardens! What went wrong? It was all going to be so lovely, but unless you have a lot of time on your hands it’s worth aligning your commitment with content. Here are a few tips from ColourFence, that will leave you with a beautiful yet manageable garden rather than a jungle, so that you can concentrate upon family barbeques and al fresco cocktails.
Boundaries, sheds and decking
One of the quickest ways to make your garden look untidy and unkept is to allow these prominent man-made features to become neglected. Unfortunately, these things are often the costliest and most time consuming to maintain. When buying, always bear this in mind. There are some great low-maintenance options available made from alternative materials that have a long-life expectancy and are easy to care for. They can save you an awful lot of painting, treatments and repairs. A worthwhile option to consider for fencing is ColourFence, a product that is Australian in origin and is exceedingly popular out there due to its low maintenance and durable nature. This galvanised steel fencing looks surprisingly attractive and natural in a garden environment, and the colours can be chosen to beautifully set-off plants and other features. ColourFence only needs to be hosed down a few times a year to keep it looking brand new – maybe that’s why the Australians allegedly have so much time for barbeques!
If the thought of planting, mowing, weeding, watering and aerating doesn’t fill you with the joys of spring then maybe the traditional, perfectly kept stripy lawn isn’t going to be for you. You can of course replace a lawn with paving, or with gravel areas to reduce garden maintenance. Although, if you aren’t ready to abandon your little patch of green, you could consider a chamomile lawn or a perennial meadow, as these require less upkeep and support more wildlife and flora than a traditional lawn. Excellent for areas under heavier use, you could consider artificial turf. If you want a natural look, it is worth investing in a good quality product with length and colour variation and a good fitter. It will still need a hose down occasionally to keep it clean and a brush to get rid of debris, but it will save a lot of mowing and raking. If all of the above sounds a little too drastic then you could simply settle for mowing a little less regularly and learning to love those ‘weeds’. The bees, butterflies and other pollinators will thank you for it and your lawn will generally be more resistant to extremes like waterlogging and drought.
Planting and maintaining flowers and shrubs can be time-consuming, but the time involved in upkeep will depend on the plants you go for. Containers may seem like an easy or low-maintenance option, but it is worth bearing in mind that they dry out quickly in summer and will require regular feeding for the plants to thrive. Some options to consider are plants like heathers and lavenders which are hardy and flower for a long period, hard fuchsias and geraniums will add colour year after year, while ivy and climbing hydrangea tend to be quite easy to please and will add height and interest. There are also many ferns and ornamental grasses that require little attention and look great in a rockery or in front of a cream-coloured fence or wall.
Your garden is supposed to be an enjoyable source of pleasure. You can add to your garden without adding to your time or straying from your style and preferences. It’s just an attitude of mind that may require some fine tuning to achieve your vision. If you would like to find out more about how your garden can be low maintenance, then we suggest that you get in touch with ColourFence.