The idea of having a beautiful garden to retreat to is wonderful, but finding the time and budget to get it the way you want it can be a challenge. Our new garden is large and rambling, nearly two acres, and so I’ve accepted that mine will be a life’s work, and that it is a little legacy I will pass on to the next owner, just as the previous owners passed on so much to us.
Instead I’ve committed to to focussing on a bit at a time and enjoying what I do have time for. Sometimes you have to live with a space to know how you want it to be longer term. Finding your own path through is important too, so often visitors have amazing ideas, but you just can’t afford the time and money to do everything people suggest.
There are a few common shortcuts however, which can help you to maintain your outdoor space without taking up all your time and completely draining your bank account.
Begin with Good Soil
Everything revolves around soil when you are planting a garden, so you should make sure that you start with the good stuff. A few of the things that you should look to work into it include compost (which you can make for free) and manure to make sure that it is full of nutrients. This kind of amended soil also carries less weight, drains better, makes weeding more straightforward and gives roots the chance to establish themselves more easily.
Shrink Your Lawn Size
The less grassy area you have in your garden, the less time that you will have to take doing lawn chores. Luckily Mr A loves getting out on the lawn tractor and we don’t have many fiddly spaces to mow, but lots of friends have gone down the route of hassle-free lawns like the ones offered by LazyLawn and they do look amazingly neat and tidy. Try combining your outer garden features such as trees and shrubs with your lawn, so that the overlap reduces the amount of grass that you have to deal with.
Grow a Container Garden
Plantlife is so much easier to maintain when it is stored in neat and tidy containers. Not only do you not have to go through the effort of prepping so much soil and organising your planting, you can also move the perennials and compact shrubs in the pots wherever you like for maximum aesthetic effect. Although we have a big garden, we still make use of this trick, along with keeping as much of the garden as we can quite wild.
Keep Your Tools Sharp
Have a safe place to keep tools and gardening gear, or like me you will be constantly rebuying things you already have or that have rusted in a flower bed. Keep gardening tools clean and sharp. This way, they will last longer and work harder for you. If you are still in the process of picking out some gardening tools, choose ones which are ergonomically designed to make them easier to use.
Plant Vegetables Nearby
If you’re going for a vegetable garden, try choosing a location which is nearby to your front or back door. You will need to care for it often and this way, you are not having to travel great distances when you are doing so. I can see mine from my desk, an all day reminder to get out and tend to it when I take a break!
What are your top gardening shortcuts?