Lazy Gardener? No Problem!
If you can just about manage to mow the lawn each week during the summer months, please go ahead! With an electric lawnmower, it doesn't take too long and it can be quite therapeutic walking up and down the garden for half an hour or so.
To really make your lawn look smart, I'd suggest edging it too. This only takes an extra 5 minutes or so and can show up that neighbour who takes pride in mowing those pinstripe perfect lines into his lawn, but has messy edges.
However, if this isn't you at all, but you still like the look of a carefully manicured lawn, here's your cheat: artificial grass. This marvellous stuff used to be expensive and quite abrasive (no rolling around and playing on the lawn for the children!), but it has come along leaps and bounds in the past five years or so.
You can now find artificial grass being sold at reasonable prices in DIY and discount stores. Not only does it look as good as the real thing, but now it even feels soft too. If doing this yourself, do some research online on how to lay it. YouTube instructional videos may be a great help here.
You can either lay artificial grass yourself or have a professional organisation come and lay it for you. Either way, you'll be able to wave goodbye to that lawnmower!
How much time do you spend on weeding out your flower beds, and then a week later you need to do it all over again? I feel your pain!
To make things even worse, all those beautiful flowers you planted that made that weeding (almost!) worthwhile, seem to last a few weeks and then need replacing again!
There is a solution. No more planted borders. Sounds simple, yes? But then what about those beautiful flowers?! No, I'm not telling you to eliminate all colour from your garden.
Choose a few flowering shrubs for your garden, such as hydrangeas and fuchsias (my favourites as they are both very easy to look after, even by those who are not so green fingered), then dig a small opening in your lawn (or cut a small opening in your artificial lawn) to plant the shrub. The plant will still thrive, but you won't have all that weeding to do!
You can also plant pots full of flowers if you wish. These can be really effective, especially during springtime if you have planted a variety of colourful bulbs.
If you're adamant that borders are a must-have, try using mulch or bark to suppress the weeds. However, be aware that this won't prevent weeds altogether and it may require a little more tidying up when birds and other wildlife kick it out onto your lawn!
You could opt to have no lawn at all. Maybe you'd prefer decorative paving slabs, gravel or wood chip instead. Be careful though, with gravel and wood chip, weeds will eventually find their way through that industrial strength landscaping material you put down.
Some people also keep a low maintenance rockery, with small, easy to maintain shrubs to keep it interesting.
With this option, you could brighten it up with pots of flowers as well as garden ornaments, statues or maybe even a water feature.
If none of these satisfy your desire for the perfect garden there are only two options left for you:
- Stop moaning and start working.
- Hire in help.
- Live somewhere without a garden.
Yes, get that gardener in! If you have older children, grandchildren or your neighbours have children old enough to help, you may be able to enlist them to help for a small amount of pocket money. Otherwise pay for the convenience and experience of a professional gardener.
Many flats or apartments don't come with a garden you need to maintain. This may be an option for you. But if you still want to occasionally turn your hand to gardening, get a window box; far less maintenance! Or maybe just stick to houseplants...?
Here are items that I believe are essential to maintaining your garden, or will make your life easier when gardening.
- Lawn mower
- Grass strimmer
- Trowel and mini spade
- Lawn edger
- Pruning shears
- Garden mat for kneeling on