Garden maintenance is another important aspect to consider when designing your garden.

Some people love to spend time in the garden each day, relaxing, maintaining, and adjusting their garden design.  If you are somebody who likes to do this then your garden can perhaps be a little more complex.  It can include a greater diversity of spaces and planting areas, all in line with the elements and principles of design set out earlier in the website.

Many people are too busy to look after a high maintenance garden and want to enjoy using it without having too much work on hands.  In this case you should have a very careful look at everything during the design stage.  Herbaceous planting will need to be kept weed free early in the season, possibly during spring and early summer.  During the flowering period, if you have chosen your plants well, they will occupy their spaces and provide you with all the colour that you want.  Once they have finished flowering they will sometimes need to be tidied up, old plants cut down and composted or burned.  Often I like to leave most of the dead herbaceous material until spring because the winter frost on the dead plant material give the garden a whole new dimension.

You can employ ground cover plants with your shrub planting in order to prevent weed growth, however during the establishment period these areas will need some weeding and feeding.

If you are thinking of using some plastic mulch matting to effect weed control, then do have a good long think about it.  If this matting is visible during the establishment period of your planting schemes it usually looks much less than pleasing.  You can consider covering it with bark, or another type of mulch, however this mulch on its own should be completely effective without the plastic matting.

It is important to remember that there is no such thing as a garden that requires no maintenance. You will need to spend some time working in it to keep it in good condition. In fact a little bit of garden maintenance is very much part of the pleasure of owning a garden, where you outdoor work will bring you into touch with the seasons.