The Huddersfield Gardener

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Plants for Low Maintenance Garden

Posted on 11 February, 2022 at 10:50

When planning a low maintenance garden it is important to make sure there is interest throughout the year, otherwise your garden could look bleak in the autumn and winter.  

Sedums - provide interest in the autumn
Pinus Mugo - a compact conifer that provides interest throughout the year
Viburnum davidii - flowers throughout the winter

Other low maintanence plants include:

Stachys byzantine 

Low Maintenance Lawn Ideas

Posted on 1 June, 2021 at 18:20

Keeping a lawn in a good condition involves doing quite a lot of work such as mowing, scarifying and spot weeding, but there are ways to avoid having to put so much work into your garden.  

The best way to make a low maintenance lawn is to convert it into a wildflower meadow.  Cutting a path through it with a scyth enables you to walk through your garden.  

Alternatively you can dig out areas of lawn to create beds and fill them with low maintenance plants.  Shrubs take up a lot of nutrients so tend to keep weeds at bay. 

Low Maintenance Plants

Posted on 1 June, 2021 at 17:55

We are often asked about good ideas for a low maintenance garden.  Below are some ideas:  

Hardy Geraniums are perhaps the best low maintenance plant because they root so well that weeds rarely find their way through them.

Cotoneasters thrive in sun. partial sun or shade and can easily be cut back with secateurs.  They are easy to shape so can be kept in check easily.  Cotoneaster horizontalis is a good groundcover plant so it keeps weeds at bay.

Bergenias (common name: elephant ears) are great for covering bear patches of soil.  They have evergreen foliage which provides interest throughout the year and in the Summer they develope pink flowers which bees like.  

Viburnums provide good displays of flowers and berries, fill large areas and most varieties tolerate considerable pruning.  Vibernum tinus shrubs can even be cut into a hedge.  


Posted on 1 June, 2021 at 17:45

We are often asked what to plant for a low maintenance garden

Skimmia are ideal because they:

1) are drought resistent 

2) provide pleasant foliage throughout the year because they are evergreen plants

3) don't need pruning

Classic English Tree for your garden: Field Maple

Posted on 1 February, 2020 at 4:20
It is becoming fashionable to plant trees at the moment so why not try?  Otherwise you can ask us to plant the tree for you.  Trees can be grown from seed but it is much easier to buy saplings and plant them instead.  Now is a perfect time to plant trees.  The Field Maple or Acer Campestre is a good tree to plant because being a native tree it is liable to thrive in your garden.  However these trees grow to be too big for smaller gardens.  

These plants are medium-sized deciduous trees.  These plants are native to the UK.  These trees grow to a height of about 800cm.  The ultimate spread of these trees is about 400cm.  These trees have light brown flaky bark.  The twigs of these plants are slender and brown.  The leaves of these plants are dark green and shiny and they have five lobes.  These leaves fade to orange and yellow in the autumn.  Clusters of yellow-green flowers appear in spring.  They are cup-shaped and they hang in clusters.  It should be noted that younger trees are reddish-purple. 

These plants are regarded as valuable garden plants because of their rich autumn colours of orange and yellow. 

They are ideal for wildlife gardens because they support a wide array of animals.  They support many aphids which in turn support a wide range of predators.  The flowers provide nectar for bees and the seeds are eaten by birds and small mammals.  These plants are important understory plants in lowland deciduous woodland in the UK. 
These trees tolerate pollution so they can be confidently located in urban settings.  These trees are appropriate for informal/cottage gardens.  They tolerate sea air so they can be located in coastal gardens. 

These plants require a relatively low amount of maintenance so they are a good choice for those who require a low maintenance garden.  Like most shrubs they take up a lot of nutrients from the soil thereby making the area around their base inhospitable for weeds.  

Possible Nuisance

These trees should be located with care to ensure they do not interfere with overhead and underground services.   These trees should be positioned sensibly and growth should be kept in check so they do not become an issue for those using highways.  In addition care needs to be taken to ensure that branches do not overhang public walkways as leaves could potentially cause accidents.  A significant number of leaves fall from these trees during the autumn so we must ensure nearby walkways are free of leaves. 

 Growing Conditions

These trees grow especially well on chalky or limestone soils.  These plants grow well in moist but well-drained soil.  These plants also grow well on sandy, loamy or clayey soils.  These plants grow well in full sun or partial shade. These trees favour exposed sites. 


Dead and diseased growth should be cut away in spring.  During the first two years of life these plants need to be watered during periods of drought in late spring and summer. 
For the first two or three years of life it is appropriate to add a general fertilizer to the soil around these trees. Such fertilizer should be applied in late winter.  Those trees that are newly-transplanted have not had time to develop extensive root systems so a slow release fertilizer should be incorporated into surrounding soil.  Once established the root systems should gain sufficient nutrients from surrounding soil.  The area around these plants should be kept clear of weeds whilst these trees are getting established.  Weeds can be controlled manual weeding or by applying a mulch. 

It is advisable to apply a mulch to the area around young or newly-planted trees.  A mulch has several functions.  A mulch conserves moisture in the soil that surrounds plants, hence making them better able to cope with periods of dry weather.  A mulch suppresses weeds.  In addition when biodegradable mulches break down plant foods are created and soil condition is improved.  When young these plants may require supporting to prevent wildrock. 


Plants for a Sunny Border

Posted on 10 February, 2019 at 7:02
A good set of plants for a sunny border is shown below.  It is sensible to plant one of each plant that we mention unless we state otherwise below.  

Buddleja x weyeriana
Lavandula stoechas (plant about 3)
Syringa microphylla 'Superba' 
Rosemarinus officianalis 
Sedum spectabile (plant about 6) 
Euphorbia myrsinites (plant about 3)
Salvia x sylvestris 'Blauhugel' (plant about 4)
Geranium pratense

When you plant ensure you look at the expected height of the plants you plant so that you can ensure the taller plants are towards the back of your border.  

We can do planting schemes for you.  We look at the expected amount of growth to ensure the plants are planted the right distance apart.  Alternatively you can buy the plants and we can simply plant them for you.  

Before we plan a planting scheme for you we ask you questions about what you would like to achieve with your garden.  

Hedge Planting

Posted on 30 January, 2019 at 14:04

Having a hedge planted is an ideal way to create a border around your garden.  Hedges subdue the wind effectively (far better than fences and other solid features) thereby making your Yorkshire garden less weather beaten.  Plants that don't fair well in exposed conditions will benefit from the protection of a hedge.  

We have experience of planting mixed native hedges.  Seeing them grow into large effective hedges is rewarding.  

Quite a lot of hard physical work is needed to plant a hedge so you may want to employ a gardener to do it.  Getting bare root saplings in is the cheapest way to establish a hedge but this involves doing the work quickly so in this case employing a gardener is highly recommended.  

By having a hedge planted you will be doing a good turn for the environment as they provide a good habitat for lots of wildlife.  

Low lying hedges make great formal features in gardens so however small your garden is the chances are you will have room for a hedge.  

We provide a hedge planting service.  Please ring and we can provide you with the details.  

Having Trouble Making a Wildflower Meadow? : Here are some tips

Posted on 15 March, 2018 at 6:13

Plugs can be planted directly into areas of turf in order to establish a wildflower meadow. 


A crop such as oil-seed rape can be grown on the soil and harvested.  The crop takes nutrients out of the soil and removing the crop at flowering time ensures the nutrients do not return to the soil.  Soil that has low fertility is typically needed for a wildflower meadow

Semi-parasitic Plants

We can control weeds and vigorous grasses by introducing plants that are semi-parasitic.  Rhinanthus minor (pictured below) is often planted in wildflower meadows because it is semi-parasitic.  

Wildflower or Weed?

Posted on 8 March, 2018 at 15:43


Ragwort is a generally seen as a weed.  It is toxic to horses.  To get it out dig out the roots; some of these weeds have very long root structures so dig deep down as if you are getting rid of a dandelion.  

Ragwort does provide a home for various caterpillars though so you might want to keep it.


Foxgloves contain digitalis which is poisonous in quite small amounts so you may want us to dig it up and get rid of your foxgloves.  Foxgloves are excellent for bees and quite attractive to some so we recommend keeping some for this.  Foxgloves love shade so they provide something for areas of the garden where not much seems to go.  

You can buy special varieties of foxglove from the garden centre or just rely on the wild ones that naturally pop up in your garden.  

If you don't want foxgloves they are easy to pull out.  


Planting this as a wildflower has become popular in recent years.  When allowed to grow teasel create very interesting plants so naturalists should plant these.  

Teasel look ugly when undeveloped so we are asked to remove these plants most of the time but let them grow and you would get a surprise.  Butterflies and bees love these and the cones look nice in the snow in winter.  This plant is a weed in formal gardens but it definitely has a place in informal gardens.  

Garden Jobs for February

Posted on 2 February, 2018 at 6:00

  • Winter Digging and soil preparation for spring.  We can supply and dig in some compost for you 
  • Cleaning out the greenhouse
  • Seasonal pruning of: Buddleia, clematis, ceanothus and hardy fushsias
  • Pruning roses, if have not already been pruned
  • Trees, shrubs and roses can be planted towards the end of the month
  • Cut back overgrown shrubs and hedges
  • Certain variaties of turnip can be sown at this time of year (we can sow seeds for you.  We often do this alongside a garden tidy up)
  • Hardy ornamental vines, such as Virginia Creeper and Boston Ivy, can be trimmed back now in preparation for the growing season
  • We can treat your wooden garden furniture for you.  
  • When Winter Jasmine has finished flowering prune that back
  • Sow hardy winter types of lettuce and spinach.  Plant them under cloches.  We can supply cloches for you. 
  • Put netting over fruit bushes and winter brassicas as they are extremely attractive to certain garden birds.  
  • Sow hardy annuals in your greenhouse such as Calendula 'Indian Prince'.

These is lots to do in February for gardeners.  This month of the year is the calm before the storm for gardeners.