How to create a low-maintenance garden

12th June 2017
How to create a low-maintenance garden

Are you getting tired of moving the lawn and weeding? Are you looking for a more low-maintenance garden this summer?

There are many of us who love to idle away the hours tending to our gardens, but there are also many of us who dread the onset of summer, as our gardens require a lot of maintenance.

Typically, the most dreaded garden tasks tend to be mowing the lawn and weeding, which needs to be done on a weekly basis over the summer. If you are looking to curtail your time in the garden, why not consider creating a low-maintenance gravel garden?

If the thought of weeding fills you with dread, then why not consider replacing your earth borders with gravel for an attractive but easy maintenance garden.

To create a gravel garden, you need to:

Clear the designated area

Remove the existing planting from your borders or from the designated area. If you want to keep some or all the plants, then place them to one side.

The Edge

You will be looking to place your gravel where the lawn borders meet your current planting space. Here, you will need to add an edge, such as an monoblock mowing strip. This will provide you with a nice rounded curve which will compliment your gravel layout.

Preparing your borders

Once your edging has been done, you can then prepare your borders. Start by digging over the borders to introduce air into the soil which will make it easier to work with. Take this as an opportunity to improve the health of your soil. If your soil is looking quite heavy, then you can look to add some peat free compost which will help break it up a bit. You might want to add a granular fertiliser too at this stage.

Don’t forget to rake through the soil so that it is spread evenly to avoid any bumps in the gravel.

Laying membrane

Further to preparing your borders, you can now start to lay out your membrane, in most instances, you can utilise weed membrane which is a fabric woven matting which essentially blocks out light to weeds and will keep the soil separated from the gravel. The membrane also allows water to pass through the woven material and into the soil.

Border planting

You can now take the plants that you wish to include in your new gravel garden and place them in your position of choice. You will find that it is best to plant in pockets of gravel where you can create small islands of plants surrounded by gravel.

Here, you can also plant through the membrane, simply cut a cross in the membrane which is large enough to accommodate the plant and place the plant in the soil. Once the plant is immersed in the membrane, fold back the edges of the membrane so that it seals around the plant.

Lay down the gravel

Now you can start dressing the membrane with gravel, you can opt for either small piece of gravel or larger pieces of gravel. At MB Wilkes, we have a wide range of gravel and shingle that are suitable for gardens, walkways and driveways. You may want to consider 2-6mm shingle gravel which is a light golden flint shingle gravel or go a little larger with 10mm ravel which is approved by the National Trust. MB Wilkes provides gravel and shingle up to 40mm.

Get decorative

Once your gravel is in place, you can look to accessorise your new gravel layout with garden ornaments. You can also look to add texture by incorporating different textures and colours to add interest.

Whether you go for an all-over gravel garden, or you just incorporate some gravel to parts of your garden, this will certainly reduce the maintenance of your garden, giving you more time to relax and enjoy the summer!


To find out more about the range of products we offer, from building materials and decorative stones to shingle & gravel and driveway materials, contact our team today on 01258 857465 or take a look at our special offers!

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