The problem… Chalky soil, a weed-choked lawn and neglected beds. Sound familiar? Yep, it’s a typical London garden in need of love.
The low-maintenance garden
Laetitia Maklouf is the author of ‘The Virgin Gardener’ and ‘Sweet Peas for Summer’, which encourage inexperienced gardeners to pick up a trowel. Her blog (www.laetitiamaklouf.com) details the progress of her own London garden.
‘This is a very simple and quite formal garden with lots of easy evergreens (holly, box, Sarcococca, Helleborus), and easy-to-lay gravel paths to replace the lawn.
‘A wafty Verbena bonariensis provides a touch of romance, but is very easy to care for – just chop it right down when it’s finished flowering. There’s a focus on scent in winter (Sarcococca) and early spring – with heavily perfumed Clematis montana – when we most need the garden to provide a lift, and I’ve put in a sundowner chair to catch the evening sun.
‘The only care this garden will need is some pruning of the hydrangeas and verbenas in the autumn. Otherwise it’s just clipping the box to keep its shape. I’ve taken care to cover all of the ground with plants, so there’ll be no weeding to be done!’
‘The Virgin Gardener’ and ‘Sweet Peas for Summer’ are both available from www.amazon.com.
For more inspiration, see Time Out’s London’s best garden centres feature.