Ten Plants Too Many

I find it impossible to imagine a life not being addicted to plants and the natural wonders all around us. So I find it quite difficult when I am asked to create a garden that requires no maintenance. After all, for people like me, its the tweaking and pinching out and getting in amongst the greenery that is part of the joy of being alive and certainly the best part of owning a garden.

Even mowing the lawn was a chore for the owners of this small town garden (I'm a bit inclined to agree with them there) and so it had to go. And, as far as they were concerned, ten plants would be ten plants too many. The design I came up with centred on this slate water feature - if there were to be no flowers then at least water would give the garden some 'life'.

We still needed a path from the house to the garage but to get away from a too solid look, I went for these 'old but new' cobbles set in gravel, the zig-zag line developing from the twist of the fountain. The same cobbles were used to create the patio area.

Left with a sea of gravel to the left of the path I decided to break the expanse up with a small 'lozenge' using the cobbles again. And much against the wishes of the client I built the timber raised planter along a wall with the promise that I would remove it for free if it became too much like hard work. My ruse worked for, when I returned a few months later, they had added some new pots at the foot of it - they were getting hooked!

I love these raised planters and find it difficult not to put them into every garden I create! They are easy to build and easy to maintain: they do not have a base but just sit on the ground. It's always the bottoms that rot out first anyway and also, like this, roots can get down deep and there is much less watering to do because of it. Below is another L shaped one I made as a divider between two levels in a different garden. One day I intend to turn one into a water feature in its own right - if you do it first make sure you send me a picture!

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  1. What I experience is that there exists nothing that requires “no” maintenance Johnson.
    Even the cobbles and the patio area becomes after a while green from the algae, and even between the stones the weeds find a place to grow.
    I love these raised planters too Johnson. I had them when i lived on a penthouse and they were easy to maintain.
    The total result of your work is really beautiful and i prefer this above the lawn! In fact the only thing that you can say about the lawn is that it's: green!
    You made a beautiful creation!

    PS: If I sometimes don't go deeper in on a subject Johnson, then it's not because i am not interested but because i need more time to read it thoroughly.

  2. Very nice Johnson! What a fantastic design for someone who wants a low maintenance garden. I'm proud of you for being able to 'sneak' that raised planter in on the owners and they, in turn, fall in love with it. And I love the water feature. What a unique design for a fountain. There's just something to be said about having a water feature, even if nothing else is present--I agree with that!! But I love having water incorporated somehow--besides the sprinkler ;)

    I'm very impressed! If I were rich, and could hire you I would! And,no fear, I would want lots and lots of plants and shrubs--deer/elk resistant of course! LOL

  3. You are right, Fran, all gardens - even empty ones - require some maintenance. To keep gravel looking good it needs to be swept and brushed and weed free too. And even concrete turns green and slippery!

    With reference to your PS - I am just grateful, Fran, that you bother to read my blogs at all and also find the time to respond to them! Johnson

  4. Thanks Jeannie. Perhaps you could win the lottery as quickly as possible - a working holiday in the mountains sounds just perfect! Johnson

  5. That turned out beautifully! As a gardener it's hard to imagine not wanting to have plants or the pleasure working in the garden can bring. I bet these people will start adding more plants now that they see how pretty it looks.
    Thanks for visiting my blog the other day, I will definitely be back to visit!

  6. Thanks, Catherine and welcome - see you again soon, I hope!

  7. Though this "garden" design is lovely, I couldn't imagine not strolling with my morning cup of coffee deadheading the flowers. I love my flowers and so enjoy the time I spend working with them. It's the very best way to spend a day.


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