Low Maintenance Plants To Add To Your Garden This Year

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Low maintenance plants are the easiest way to reduce your workload whilst enabling you to have a stunning garden.

I often get asked what my favourite plant is, it’s difficult to answer as it changes all the time but anything that packs a punch whilst also requiring little to no maintenance gets a big thumbs up from me.

As always, you will need to consider the site-specific environmental factors of your garden and consider the right plant for the right place. A plant will only be low maintenance if it is given the correct conditions to thrive in.

Another easy way to reduce the amount of maintenance your garden will need is to plant densely. Planting plants closer together can reduce the opportunity for weeds to seed themselves in your garden which in turn reduces the amount of weeding you will do.

We have put together this short list of some of our favourite low maintenance plants to help you create your beautiful garden that won’t require backbreaking maintenance to keep on top of it.

We have included a mixture of perennials and ornamental grasses which is a great way to create a naturalistic style which requires less maintenance overall. For more information on creating a naturalistic style garden, see our related blog post here.

1. Lavender

Lavender is a hugely popular choice for UK gardens, its fragrant flowers are perfect for lining the edge of walkways and seating areas. Lavender will attract masses of bees and butterflies and what’s more – its really low maintenance! There a many different types of lavenders which range in height and spread but they will remain compact if trimmed annually after flowering. Lavender prefers a sunny position with good free draining soil.

2. Echinacea Purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

The next low maintenance beauty comes in the form of the increasingly popular ‘purple coneflower’. Echinacea purpurea has become a staple of the naturalistic / prairie style garden. Masses of large, bright daisy shaped flowers appear from June until September and will attract a range of pollinators. Echinacea Purpurea prefers well drained soil in a sunny position and is easy to maintain. Deadhead regularly to encourage more flowers but you can leave the seed heads intact during autumn as they are not only appealing but will be appreciated by the local birds.

Overall height: 120cm
Overall spread: 50cm

3. Hardy Geraniums (Purple cranesbill)

If you’re on the lookout for low maintenance plants, then hardy geraniums should really be top of the list. Magnificum (Purple cranesbill) will flower in early summer and produce dense mounds of flowers. Hardy geraniums perform best in full sun but will also tolerate some shade.

Overall height: 70cm
Overall spread: 70cm

4. Allium Sphaerocephalon

Difficult to pronounce but easy to maintain. There are a wide variety of alliums to choose from which will all be very low maintenance, but Allium Sphaerocephalon is my current favourite and looks stunning when mixed with soft ornamental grasses such as Stipa Tenuisima.

Alliums add bursts of colour which return spring after spring and as clump forming perennials, once they are established, they will slowly multiply and create natural swathes of colour. Alliums are often recommended to gardeners wanting to attract pollinators and will entice bees and butterflies through early summer. When in bloom, these striking plants provide an architectural feature and even through autumn and winter their seed heads provide ongoing interest.

5. Salvia Nemorosa - Caradonna

One of my personal favourites, Salvia Nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ is a reliable, clump forming perennial which is perfect for creating a naturalistic style when set amongst ornamental grasses. Its nectar rich spires of purple flowers will attract pollinators from June until October. This salvia is very easy to grow and maintain as long as it’s given a sunny well drained spot in your garden.

Overall height: 50cm
Overall spread: 30cm

6. Aster x Frikartii - Monch

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Asters are perfect for adding some late summer colour to your garden. ‘Mönch’ offers clusters of bright daisy shaped flowers which will attract a mass of bees and butterflies. Great for cut flowers and it is also easy to take cuttings of to create more plants for your garden. Prefers well drained soil and will just need cutting back after flowering in late autumn.

Overall height: 80cm
Overall spread: 50cm

7. Hekonechloa Macra (Japanese Forest Grass)

Hekonechloa Macra is a distinct and elegant grass which can perform well in both sunny and shaded areas of the garden. Its bright green rippling mounds will arch elegantly and look fantastic underplanting small garden trees or spilling over the edge of pathways. They are easy to grow and even offer some nice autumn colour. Divide and remove spent foliage in early spring.

Overall height: 60cm
Overall spread: 60cm

8. Nepeta – Walker Low

Nepeta ‘walker’s low’ (catmint) is quickly becoming one of my favourite plants for a low maintenance garden. Its silvery green leaves contrast beautifully with its deep violet flowers which attract masses of butterflies. Prefers full sun or partial shade in well-drained soil and flowers from early summer right through until autumn.

Overall height: 60cm
Overall spread: 50cm

9. Stipa Tenuisima

Stipa Tenuisima is a small evergreen grass that sways in slightest of breezes, adding movement to your scheme. It is compact and upright with feathery narrow tufts which provide a hazy softness to your garden. Stipa Tenuisima is low maintenance, simply comb through gently with your fingers to remove and dead foliage in the spring. Prefers well drained soil in a sunny or partially shaded spot.

Overall Height: 60cm
Overall Spread: 30cm

10. Hosta

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Hostas are fantastic foliage plants which are available in lots of different sizes and will perform best in shaded areas of your garden. They are very low maintenance and can provide brilliant contrast against other plants in your garden. Dead foliage can be tidied up in autumn

11. Calamagrotis x acutiflora – Karl Foerster

This elegant vertical grass is useful for providing height and structure through autumn and winter. It can be either planted en masse for a stunning display or individually dotted throughout a scheme. In June, feathery spires will appear which will turn golden as autumn approaches. Easy to grow and maintain, simply cut back in spring to around 15cm in height ready for new growth to reappear.

Overall height: 170cm

Overall spread: 60cm

12. Astilbe

Astilbe, also known as false goat’s beard or false spirea is a fantastic low maintenance perennial for your garden. They thrive is moist areas and explode with bright upright plumes of colour in summer. They should flower from June until September and are fully hardy in the UK. Astilbe is a low maintenance perennial that will bring colour to your shady moist areas of the garden year after year and will only need cutting down in early spring.

Overall height: 80cm
Overall spread: 40cm

13. Ferns

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Ferns are extremely low maintenance and can offer your garden some interesting foliage. They perform best in shaded areas and there are lots of different varieties available to choose from, some evergreen whilst others will die back but return year after year with new shoots popping up in spring.

14. Rudbeckia

Commonly named ‘Black-Eyed Susan’, rudbeckia provides masses of daisy shaped golden-yellow flowers which are very attractive to bees. Rudbeckia’s respond well to a Chelsea Chop which will reduce the need for staking. They have a long flower season, and the seed heads provide interest throughout winter. Rudbeckia Goldstrum look great when offset by ornamental grasses and the purple of salvia caradonna.

Overall height: 85cm
Overall spread: 50cm

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