The outdoor living area of your dreams doesn’t have to create a world of work for you. Here are some top tips on how to create a low-maintenance outdoor space that oozes style and affords you plenty of time to enjoy it.
Get smart with watering
In the warm weather, nothing is more time consuming or needs to be done as regularly as watering plants. They can be a garden or balcony’s crowning glory, providing a lush green or vibrant colourful backdrop to any outdoor setting but, if you can’t keep on top of their watering needs – particularly during the upcoming heatwave – the resulting wilted blooms can make your space look a little underwhelming. The good news is that, by getting smart with self-watering planters or irrigation systems, you don’t have to spend your summers chained to a watering can. There are plenty on the market, in a wide range of shapes and sizes to suit your space and individual style, so you will be spoilt for choice. Choose a chic design to fit your décor and enjoy the fact that these planters will automatically water plants for several days, with just a simple top up of the water reservoir needed when it runs dry.
Can’t afford to upgrade your planters? No problem, as there are plenty of automatic watering devices you can stick in the soil in your pots or beds – from a simple spike that you attach to an empty plastic bottle (great for recycling single-use plastic), to attractive glass balls you fill with water. For larger scale planting, there are smart irrigation systems that can either be set with a timer and linked to your outdoor tap or can be connected up to a water butt to use rainwater.
Talk about effortless growing!
Find alternatives to a perfectly–manicured lawn
The quest for a manicured lawn that a cricket club would be proud of often requires a lot of watering and hard work. Thankfully, there are much better alternatives to daily sprinkler sessions and spending every weekend pushing a lawnmower around. We definitely don’t condone swapping real turf out for abysmal artificial grass because laying a plastic lawn is doing no favours for the planet or your enjoyment of your outdoor space but there are other options…
If you love the look of grass, no problem, just don’t stress yourself trying to keep it looking ‘perfect’. Leaving longer in between cuts and not obsessing about weeds will not only reduce maintenance but is also better for the environment. In fact, flowering clover in your lawn is hugely beneficial, acting as a natural fertiliser, boosting nitrogen levels in the lawn, helping to suppress other weeds and also staying green throughout the summer – so you won’t have unsightly dry patches – all whilst providing a source of nectar for insects. It’s a win/win!
Moss is another fantastic alternative to grass. It feels soft underfoot and, unlike turf, grows better in poor soil conditions and shaded areas. It has a unique aesthetic, creating a real talking point in your garden, plus it is incredibly low maintenance, is low growing and provides a dense mat, meaning you can ditch the lawnmower and also don’t have to worry about any bald patches on your lawn.
Other options include creating wildflower meadows, replacing grass with creeping thyme, which releases a beautiful scent when you walk on it, or sowing seed mixes of hardy, slow-growing ryegrass and fescue that only need mowing once a month.
Rewilding and native planting were key themes at RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year and are a great way to increase biodiversity in your outdoor space, whilst reducing the amount of work you need to do in the garden. Wildflower meadows, as mentioned above, are extremely low maintenance, attract a variety of pollinators, add an instant burst of colour, and create soft planting that really complements modern outdoor living ranges.
Growing native plants and trees, such as Foxgloves, Forget-Me-Nots, Honeysuckle, Primrose, Dog Cup, King Rose, Sea Holly, Vipers Bugloss, Ferns, Silver Birch, and Hawthorn, will also reduce your workload, as they are adapted to local soils and the UK climate, can grow in difficult areas with little-to-no fertiliser required, plus once they are established, they can usually withstand long periods without water. You can finally replicate a Chelsea-worthy garden without the labour-intensive planting!
Opt for low maintenance, long-lasting furniture
Invest in furniture that takes care of itself, needs minimal TLC and is durable enough to last for years to come, whilst still looking good as new. You might think that sounds too good to be true but not with LifestyleGarden®’s collections. Our passion is creating stylish sustainable furniture that makes a difference to both your world and the one around us. We want you to have time enjoying your home and garden, so have developed innovative materials that are extremely hardwearing, are frost and UV resistant, won’t fade or crack over time, can be left out year-round and simply need a quick wash with soapy water to remove any dirt.
Whether it’s our stunning Bahamas collection with Petan synthetic wicker that offers outstanding weather resistance and excellent colour fastness or the sleek Panama range with its durable, yet elegant aluminium frames and game-changing Weather-net, our collections make any space effortlessly chic. Combine that with our premium quick-drying Olefin cushions, which are resistant to stains, abrasions, sunlight, fire and chemicals, and you have a furniture set that makes outdoor lounging or entertaining an absolute pleasure, without the chore of keeping it looking pristine.