The perfect low maintenance small garden design ideas
With a million other things on your ever-growing “to-do” list, you don’t need to add anything else to it. You want an outdoor space that you can enjoy, and part of that is creating a beautiful, low-maintenance small garden design.
Despite the fact that staying on top of garden maintenance can feel like a totally daunting task, there are some hints and tips that can help you create a stunning and stylish outdoor space that requires very little upkeep. So you can get all the enjoyment, without any of the hassles. In addition, small spaces can often feel particularly challenging, battling between utilising all the space efficiently, while sticking to an aesthetic that aligns with your vision. But this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to create.
In this blog, we’re looking at ways to combine function and creativity with stylish and practical, low-maintenance small garden designs.
The best low-maintenance garden ideas…
When we say low maintenance, we don’t just mean that you should slab the whole area so that there is no work to do. Gone are those days, and there are ways to have a low-maintenance garden design, while still creating the space of your dreams.
Whether you’ve got a huge big garden or a teeny-tiny space, you want to create a beautiful, habitable space that requires as little maintenance as possible (or else you wouldn’t be here). We’ve got ideas that can be adapted to fit your garden, whether it’s a little slice of heaven or a full-on oasis. Because everyone deserves a space to relax and socialise.
1. Create an outdoor living space…
Outdoor living space is a simple way to make your garden a triple threat: stunning, function and low-maintenance. There are a couple of key features that you can incorporate into your outdoor space, to make the most of it no matter how big or small…
Pergoals are a brilliant feature to incorporate into your backyard, whether it’s big or small. It creates a focal point and shelter from the elements for a dining or seating area.
Our free-standing PergoSTET comes in 3m x 3m and 3m x 4m, so can fit into most spaces. Its louvred roof makes it suitable for the UK weather, as it can be opened or closed depending on the weather. And its sleek aluminium frame is perfect for creating a minimalist garden design that doesn’t need to be painted or maintained in any way.
Plus, if you’ve got a fairly small garden space to work with you can introduce some biodiversity into your garden by training climbers on your pergola. Morning glories are one of the lowest-maintenance climber plants and love the sun so are perfect if you have a south-facing garden. Clematis is another low-maintenance climber, but this one prefers shaded areas. So no matter how much or little sun your garden has you can find a suitable climber plant.
- Related content: Decks and pergolas: everything you need to know
Outdoor firepits are versatile, stylish, practical and make a great addition to any garden. Things can get a little chilly at night, especially here in the UK, and a firepit helps keeps things cosy even after the sun has gone down.
There are multiple different style and size options to help you achieve the aesthetic you are looking for in the space that you have available, whether you’re looking for a chiminea, a modern or industrial style.
And we’ve even got firepit dining sets and sofa sets if you want to make the space multifunctional, and ideal for hosting dinner parties. Plus our firepits use propane gas, so while you get the heat and ambience created by a real fire - it’s all without the usual firepit clean-up. Perfect if you are looking for some low-maintenance back garden ideas.
Outdoor Garden Furniture…
Of course, no outdoor living space is complete without some outdoor garden furniture. Exactly what type of furniture you need will depend on what you want to use the space for.
Fancy spending your days reading from a hanging pod? Love lounging in the sun? Think that a garden is for dining with friends and family?However you plan on using your garden, there is outdoor furniture to help you create that vision. Go for rattan, rope or some other type of synthetic material in order to keep maintenance to a minimum.
Our garden furniture is an extremely high-quality design, which makes it perfect for people looking to curate a low-maintenance garden design. Plus it comes with Winter covers so that you can store them when the weather turns and keep them in perfect conditions till the next year.
Related content: What is the best rattan garden furniture for 2022?
Outdoor lighting can really transform the overall ambience of your garden, and create a highly practical space allowing you to make use of the outdoors late into the night.
There are loads of different ways that you can light your garden space, depending on what kind of space you want to create. Use candlelight for romantic, ambient evenings! Firepits to keep you cosy and light the space! Hanging lanterns for a little whimsy! Usually, the best outdoor living spaces will incorporate multiple lighting sources, so you can create the mood you want at different times of the day.
- Related content: The best garden lighting ideas
Interior design isn’t just for indoors, express your personality with outdoor scatter cushions. Our cushions come in an array of colours and patterns and can be switched out if you ever want to update the aesthetic. Plus they are weather-resistant, mildew resistant and machine washable so you won’t need to worry about constantly cleaning and changing them. You can also accessorise with outdoor weatherproof rugs, to bring a cosy underfoot feel, outdoors.
Outdoor cooking area…
Nothing says summer quite like alfresco dining. And now there are more ways than ever to feed the whole family (and your friends). You’ve got pizza ovens, grills and BBQs, so no matter what type of cuisine you and your family fancy there is a way for you to create it.
2. Create a “wild meadow” area…
While it can be tempting to swap all your plants and grass with artificial replacements to cut down on maintenance time, this isn’t great for the environment. But, we have another idea that can give you more time to enjoy the garden while still giving a place for biodiversity to thrive.
A wildflower meadow is an area of your garden where you give back to nature. Wildflowers create a space for pollinators and insects to thrive and create more life from the flowers you plant. Rather than perfectly pruned and manicured flowers and shrubs the idea is to let things get a little overgrown. So you’re helping nature out and cutting another thing off of your to-do list.
If you have endless amounts of space in your garden then you can dedicate an entire space to your wild meadow, either in a large flower bed or on your lawn. Otherwise, you can create small flowerbeds to contain the wildflower areas.
3. Introduce hard landscaping…
Although you might not want to take away all the green space in your garden, the more hard landscaping you have the less maintenance you’ll have to do. Think about patios, slabs and gravel as ideas to help reduce maintenance. If you opt for a patio, synthetic materials will help ensure that there is less maintenance to be done.
No! You don’t need to cover every inch of your garden (and you probably won’t want to). But you can surround the patio (or slabs) with flowerbeds, or litter them with beautiful planters, to bring life and biodiversity to an easy-to-maintain garden.
4. Low maintenance plants…
Having hard landscaping and a wild meadow doesn’t mean that you can’t have any other plants in your garden. But the key to keeping it low maintenance is to reduce the number of types of plants that you have and to stay away from those that are extremely high maintenance.
So, what types of plants are low maintenance?
You’ll want to stick to a couple of shrubs, and then some perennials (flowers which come back every year and don’t need to be replanted) for a low-maintenance flower bed.
Some low-maintenance perennial plants are:
Choose a few of these and let them grow free, they usually only need attention once a year.
Related content: The best plants and climbers for pergolas in the UK
Ready to get your low-maintenance design…
A beautiful, enjoyable garden doesn’t have to mean lots of time and maintenance. There are multiple ways to create the outdoor space you want while making sure you don’t add anything extra to the to-do list.
The perfect choice for you and your garden ultimately depends on a lot of factors and, of course, personal preference. But there are loads of ways to create your dream space and give you loads of time to enjoy it.