A large garden is, in many ways, a complete blessing. You have one of the most valuable commodities in the world at your disposal: a large area, which you can turn into your own little Eden.
However, if you currently own a large garden, you will likely have encountered a few downsides too. While in many ways having too much space feels like a good problem to have, it nevertheless does pose problems that can make living with the space rather challenging.
The trouble with large gardens
Large gardens ensure that you have plenty of room to do everything you might want to do with your outdoor space. However, when it comes to maintenance, a garden of this size can become a very laborious chore. Everything takes longer: where owners of smaller gardens may be able to complete weeding in an afternoon, for you, it’s more like a weekend at least, and clearing leaves in autumn also poses a significant challenge as there’s simply more ground to cover.
As a result, a large garden can quickly begin to feel like a problem. Unless you genuinely enjoy garden maintenance (which is unlikely), owning a big garden may leave you feeling like you spend more time maintaining it than actually enjoying all the wonders the space can provide.
Considering alternative uses
Thus far, we have looked at a garden space as one that is being used for what could be described as “conventional” purposes: i.e. you have a lawn, flower beds, an eating area (either a patio or a deck), and perhaps a few activity options (such as a climbing frame) for your kids. This kind of setup would be considered to be the more traditional garden – but it’s also one of the most time-intensive. The lawn has to be mowed, the flower beds have to be tended, the patio or decking has to be washed, and so on and so forth.
One of the simplest ways of reducing the amount of time your garden requires is to change the purpose of the space. Installing a swimming pool, for example, is one such option; while you’ll still need to maintain the pool itself, you should find doing so is far simpler than tending to a conventional “garden” arrangement that takes up the same space – which is advantageous in itself, and you’ll also be able to experience the joy of owning your own private pool. Alternatively, garden rooms can be a fantastic option; there will be less “garden” to maintain, and you’ll have extra living space that you can use as you see fit.
As the above options demonstrate, your garden doesn’t need to adhere to the conventional setup at all – instead, you can use the area for other purposes that are actually beneficial to you and your family.
Introducing hard landscaping
Hard landscaping has become more and more popular in recent years, due in no small part to the benefits it offers in terms of maintenance. Hard landscaped spaces cannot be described as “maintenance-free”, but they are definitely low maintenance; you’ll need to occasionally sweep and clean any hard-landscaped areas, but that aside, they’re relatively straightforward to live with.
When it comes to choosing the type of hard landscaping you might want to use, gravel is often the best choice. It’s relatively easy to install yourself, and given that gravel is available in a range of different colours and styles, it’s an excellent aesthetic choice too. Essentially, you can use gravel anywhere that you are currently using grass. One idea you might want to try is laying a bed of gravel, and then placing raised beds on top; this allows you to keep greenery in the space, but is far simpler to maintain – the gravel should need relatively little ongoing work, especially if you use weed-suppressing fabric beneath it.
Simplifying maintenance of a large space
If you’ve still got a lot of “conventional” garden space – even after the measures above – then there are a few things you can do to make sure the maintenance is as simple as possible. Here are a few suggestions you may find helpful:
- Choose your plants and flowers carefully. Ideally, focus on plants that are considered to be easy to grow and which require relatively little maintenance, while avoiding options (such as roses) that have a reputation for requiring a lot of work.
- Consider faux plants. Alternatively, reduce the need for active “growing” altogether and instead opt for faux plants. While this idea may initially sound off-putting, modern faux plants are often so well-designed they are indistinguishable from the real thing, and require no more maintenance than the occasional dusting.
- Use artificial grass. As with faux plants, artificial grass is the ultimate low-maintenance choice, allowing you to create a garden that looks the part but requires relatively little input from you in order to stay pristine.
- Invest in a robot lawn mower. If you’d still prefer to at least have a real lawn as part of your garden, a robot lawn mower is a great investment that will save you a huge amount of time. Rather than needing to be actively involved in mowing every inch, you can simply set the robot to go and then busy yourself with another task.
- Install an irrigation system. The larger your garden, the longer you will have to spend watering each individual plant during the hottest months of the year. However, an effective irrigation system can take care of this work for you, so you can be sure every plant gets the water it needs with relatively little effort required on your part.
- Plant certain flowers and herbs to deter pests. Keeping a big garden pest-free is always challenging, but you can make it far easier by choosing herbs and flowers that are known to repel pests to help take care of the matter on your behalf.
Large gardens can sometimes be difficult to manage, but with the ideas above, you should hopefully be able to find a way to make the most of the space you have available without needing to spend all your free time on maintenance – enjoy!