This small garden was in a lot of trouble, with bad soil and drainage, poor quality turf and inaccessible planting. The client needed easy access to all parts of the garden and a low maintenance planting solution so that she could enjoy her outdoor space. The wet turf was replaced with artficial turf, whilst the awkward slope was built up with sleeper beds which included an access path in between. The patio sits in the sunniest spot next to the planting where it can be admired. The dominant brick walls have been clad in trellis with climbers planted below. All the plants have been carefully chosen to grow into their spaces and not too large. As access and safety were a feature of the garden, safe-tread strips have been applied to any timber that may be trodden on making the garden accessible all year round.

When you are considering a low maintenance garden, you must be clear about what you actually mean. No garden is a no-maintenance garden, and you must decide the level of maintenance you can upkeep. Likewise, when you are considering safety and accessibility you need to consider all the actions you will be taking within the garden and how the garden must accommodate all of those things. It’s not a perfect science, and hard decisions have to be made, but it makes life a lot easier in the long run.