Lots of us love gardening and spending time outdoors, but sometimes we need some low maintenance areas that still look beautiful- so here a few ideas of what to plant if you're short on time:
1) Hydrangeas: Big impact, gorgeous colour and really easy to look after. Hydrangeas simple need pruning in Spring- we leave the heads on over winter as it protects the new buds that form. So only 5 minutes of work needed each year!
2) Lavender: Amazing scent, structure in winter and brilliant for pollinators. Simply prune back to the new growth to create a round shape in late August or September. By pruning the lavender plants they will remain compact and bushier over their lifetime.
3) Herbs: Mint, Rosemary, Sage- there are so many herbs to choose from! Most love dry conditions and poor soil- so no need to mulch or feed! I would recommend planting Mint into the ground in it's pot- if not it can grow everywhere!
4) Yew hedging: Better than box balls which can occasionally get box blight or be eaten by caterpillars, Yew gives all year round structure. Shape into balls, hedges or pyramid/cones- you can have a lot of fun with adding some shape and form to your borders.
5) Climbing plants- once established, Jasmine, Honeysuckle and Clematis simply climb up structures. They will need occasional pruning at the right times of year, and tying in whilst they get established, but relatively low maintenance compared to other plants. I have two climbing roses up my front porch and a clematis on each side too- I simply tie them in, deadhead and they continuously flower in early Summer.
6) Grasses! These are so under-rated in gardens; they add amazing texture and look brilliant in the wind. Every garden should have a grass- if you're not sure where to start then I'd recommend Stipa Tenuissima (now named Nasella Tenuissima) which is commonly known as Pony Tails'. A brilliant frothy style grass for a contemporary and classy look!
7) Hardy geraniums and the BEST one has to be Geranium 'Rozanne'. It has the most beautiful vibrant purple flowers that continuously blooms throughout Summer and into early Autumn. I can't recommend this plant enough for every garden. It will come back year after year and simply cut it back right to the ground in autumn once it has finished flowering. Another hardy geranium I love is called 'Summer Skies'
8) Catmint- I have a variety called 'Walker's Low'. It really gives you a mass of flowers throughout the summer, pollinators love it and it fills a space nice and quickly. It looks brilliant with Lavender and hydrangeas and is wonderful for lining pathways or for spilling out the edges of borders. I planted 6 catmint plants around the urn in my garden and it looks absolutely beautiful throughout all of Summer. Simply cut back to the ground once it's finished flowering in autumn and it will come back year after year.