Garden Notes

Gardening for the time poor

Published on 1 May 2009

If you are the usual multi-tasking parent, you may feel that you need to attack the garden in the same way as the rest of your life by creating an all singing and all dancing production, a beautiful, child friendly garden with multi-seasonal interest and of course the very popular vegetable garden.

But ask yourself, can you really spend a large part of your week maintaining the garden and do you have the skills and knowledge to do it? If youíre going to develop the garden yourself, without professional help, donít take on too much and be selective about what you want.

My advice would be to choose a plant that you like, read up on how to grow it, and where and buy several. Planting the same plant creates rhythm through the garden and you can learn to look after them well.

Where possible choose evergreen versions of the plants that you like that also have a long flowering season, so that you get both structure through the winter and value for money. If your garden is to be a sanctuary then scent is also important.

To further reduce your gardening, buy bigger specimens of the plant you want, which will create architectural interest.

Finally, use tricks. There are no rules to gardening, so do what you like. If you have a gap in a border or an area with no flowers, put a pot with bulbs in amongst other shrubs or actually sink the pot in the soil and take it out and replace with something else when those flowers are over. This way you can move colour around the garden, rather like the furniture. Youíll be in good company with head gardeners and Chelsea flower show exhibitors, there are no rules so have fun with it.

Happy gardening.

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