Let’s be honest, most people hate weeding it may be the biggest reason for the popularity of low maintenance and gravel-based garden designs. So if you want to create your own low-effort garden, here’s how:
Step 1. Focus on the borders
The quickest and easiest way to remove the effort from your gardening is to exchange the earth borders for gravel-dressed replacements, as this cuts a significant amount of the earth out of the garden. This is what we’ll look at in the following steps.
Step 2. Get clearing
You’ll need to cut down on the amount of planting you have within your earth borders ready for your paired-down upgrade. Extract all (or at least most) of your plants and put aside the ones you wish to keep be aware the different conditions of the gravel may favour some particular plant types.
Step 3. Planting on the edge
You’ll now need to turn your attention to where the lawn and planting border meet. If you’re not to have a messy, stone-covered join that can often really hinder mowing the lawn you’ll want to put in some sort of edging. Single (mono)-block paving laid vertically along the join works great and allows you to design in sweeping curves along the lawn edge. They should be set in mortar and aligned slightly below the level of the lawn, yet slightly above the level of the gravel to keep the gravel within its bed.
Step 4. Prepare the area
In order to ensure the soil under the gravel is as good as it can be, dig the border somewhat to introduce some air into the earth and break it up. You can add compost or fertiliser granules at this point to contribute to the soil quality. Rake and even out the surface ready for the under-gravel membrane.
Step 5. Lay the under-gravel membrane
Generally this should be a black, weed-controlling fabric matting or membrane. It should be pegged or weighed down across the desired area, helping to separate the soil and gravel and blocking the light for those pesky weeds. Don’t cut corners in this area, otherwise you won’t get the weed-less benefits!
Step 6. Plant it
Now for the fun bit laying out and planning your planting. Put the potted plants where you think best, remembering that these types of gardens tend to look best when the plants are grouped together in bunches and large areas of gravel are allowed to show. For each plant cut a cross in the membrane and fold back the points. Dig out just enough soil for the plant and transfer to a receptacle, being careful not to spill any on the membrane. Put in the plant and fold back the points to seal it in the membrane.
Step 7. Lay the gravel
This is basically a case of buy the gravel, lay it out and rake or design to your liking. You can mix different sizes of gravel or incorporate rocks or ornaments to give a bit more variation. Small gravel tends to get stuck everywhere and attracts cats (think kitty litter) so generally 20mm gravel is the most convenient.
Now sit back and enjoy your minimalist, low-weeding garden!