Could you design a garden for someone who hates gardening? Any ideas?

Hi everyone,
After denying it for some considerable years I have come to the conclusion this year that I absolutely detest gardening. These past 2 summers have been the worst and where there was once a lawn (if you could ever call it that) is now just a bed of weeds and nettles.
Out of pure consideration for both my dog who needs to toilet there, and my poor neighbours who have to look at the sorry state everytime they open their bedroom curtains I have decided that this year I really need to sort it out once and for all.
I'm looking for ideas from people who love gardening. Half the reason being that I am a hairdresser who can cut many styles and invent many colours, but when a client tells me they want 'low maintence - wash and leave' I try to still use some creative thought into making something suited to them than simply utilitarian.
My non gardening loving friends have so far suggested 2 things - "flag it over" or "get that false grass stuff", neither of which appeals to me (or my neighbours I imagine) so could I possibly draw on your experience and creativity to help me with a very low maintence plan?
My garden is typically suburban. Rectangular - 30ft wide by 70ft long. A full width shed sits at the bottom of the garden and a full width decked patio sits at the top which is accessed by 2 patio doors.
It's the 'sea of green' that lies in the middle of those 2 areas that gives me such a headache every year (totally embarrassed here admitting this).
Here's what I like to use my garden for: Letting my dog out to go wee or poo at night or through the day, Having 2-3 intimate barbeques per year on the decked area, Storing stuff, burning stuff (just occasional paperwork from work that contains private information such as client addresses or contact details etc. - I tried shredding and it takes AGES - much faster to burn), and I guess if it was tidy without risk of being stung by nettles I would love to have a covered hammock or swing to sit in occasionally to read my kindle.
Oh, and I am not keen at all on any bees or wasps coming anywhere near me hence me not ever wanting to mow the lawn in the summer!
Many thanks in advance if you can help me out with some ideas that will work long-term.
Chris
--
classixuk


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classixuk wrote:

We need to know why your grass is doing so poorly. Does it get any sun? Is it always wet (or dry)? Is there any topsoil or is it just sand or clay or rocks? What is your climate ? Until we know some details specific recommendations are a WAG.
There are other ground covers aside from grass. Some will do better than grass where the situation is not good for grass. Some are less trouble to look after than grass, that is they don't need to be mowed/fertilised much or at all. Not that grass is very durable but it tends to be more durable than others, however unless your dog is very large and active that might still be OK.
Forget about bees, unless you set out to catch them by hand or attack their hive they will leave you alone. Wasps are more aggressive and will defend the area near their nests vigorously. Do you actually have wasps or just fear that you might? As for nettles, wear long pants while mowing, they are not usually aggressive. Watch out for triffids though.
David
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On 7/10/12 6:21 PM, classixuk wrote:

I love gardening. However, I found it very useful to have a professional design my garden.
I designed the garden in my first house by myself. It was quite beautiful, but it was high-maintenance. In the summer, I was gardening by moonlight because there was not enough daylight.
For my second house, I had a professional design the garden. I told him what I wanted and that I needed something that required much less effort to maintain. It too was beautiful, and I enjoyed it far more than the garden at my first house. Some 30 years later, I had the garden completely redesigned. By then, I was too old to install it myself and instead had the professional install it. This one is even more enjoyable, and I am able to maintain it myself.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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wrote:

It says UK in your .sig, right? Anyone who tries to help you needs to know your climate, as well as your mini-climate. How much sunshine? How much rain? How long is growing season? You don't necessarily have to have a grass lawn. Depending on your climate (that's why the info is SO important), you could cover the area with wood chips, even gravel, and leave yourself a tiny grass area to park your chaise long and kindle. The rest could be occupied by handsome, low-maintenance shrubs, interspersed with the wood chips/gravel/tough, low-maintenance ground cove, or a combination of all. Do you have any artistic friends who could develop a plan for you? Or break down and hire a landscape architect (or less expensive assistant). Sometimes spending a few bux saves problems down the line.
BTW: My city hosts free shredding parties every quarter. People can bring umpty boxes or bags of documents to feed the maw of the mighty civic shredder. Maybe yours does as well? Or should...
HB
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Grass is one of the lowest maintenance items. If you aren't mowing, that explains the appearance you describe.
Any decent sized dog will completely destroy a garden if you let it run lose. It doesn't matter what you plant.
So:
1. Mow and mow regularly. 2. Describe climate/sun conditions better. 3. Consider posting some pictures.
Danger from bees and wasps is reduced to almost nothing if you wear long clothes.
--
Dan Espen

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classixuk.gardenbanana.uk wrote:

You're obviously hopeless (lazy bastard disease), move to a 3rd floor flat and hire a dog walker.
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Brooklyn1 wrote:

Chris
Ignore him, we just keep him here to make the rest of us look better.
D
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classixuk;964038 Wrote: > Hi everyone,

> conclusion this year that I absolutely detest gardening. These past 2 > summers have been the worst and where there was once a lawn (if you > could ever call it that) is now just a bed of weeds and nettles.

> my poor neighbours who have to look at the sorry state everytime they > open their bedroom curtains I have decided that this year I really need > to sort it out once and for all.

> being that I am a hairdresser who can cut many styles and invent many > colours, but when a client tells me they want 'low maintence - wash and > leave' I try to still use some creative thought into making something > suited to them than simply utilitarian.

> it over" or "get that false grass stuff", neither of which appeals to me > (or my neighbours I imagine) so could I possibly draw on your experience > and creativity to help me with a very low maintence plan?

> full width shed sits at the bottom of the garden and a full width decked > patio sits at the top which is accessed by 2 patio doors.

> gives me such a headache every year (totally embarrassed here admitting > this).

> poo at night or through the day, Having 2-3 intimate barbeques per year > on the decked area, Storing stuff, burning stuff (just occasional > paperwork from work that contains private information such as client > addresses or contact details etc. - I tried shredding and it takes AGES > - much faster to burn), and I guess if it was tidy without risk of being > stung by nettles I would love to have a covered hammock or swing to sit > in occasionally to read my kindle.

> me hence me not ever wanting to mow the lawn in the summer!

> work long-term.

I would love to have a go. I have designed many (although I say it myself very pretty functional gardens particularly with low maintenance.
A photo and dimensions would be great or at least dimensions, slope etc.
Regards Ian
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ianb


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On Wed, 11 Jul 2012 14:11:54 +0000, ianb

A description with dimensions was provided, can't you read?
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classixuk;964038 Wrote: > Hi everyone,

> conclusion this year that I absolutely detest gardening. These past 2 > summers have been the worst and where there was once a lawn (if you > could ever call it that) is now just a bed of weeds and nettles.

> my poor neighbours who have to look at the sorry state everytime they > open their bedroom curtains I have decided that this year I really need > to sort it out once and for all.

> being that I am a hairdresser who can cut many styles and invent many > colours, but when a client tells me they want 'low maintence - wash and > leave' I try to still use some creative thought into making something > suited to them than simply utilitarian.

> it over" or "get that false grass stuff", neither of which appeals to me > (or my neighbours I imagine) so could I possibly draw on your experience > and creativity to help me with a very low maintence plan?

> full width shed sits at the bottom of the garden and a full width decked > patio sits at the top which is accessed by 2 patio doors.

> gives me such a headache every year (totally embarrassed here admitting > this).

> poo at night or through the day, Having 2-3 intimate barbeques per year > on the decked area, Storing stuff, burning stuff (just occasional > paperwork from work that contains private information such as client > addresses or contact details etc. - I tried shredding and it takes AGES > - much faster to burn), and I guess if it was tidy without risk of being > stung by nettles I would love to have a covered hammock or swing to sit > in occasionally to read my kindle.

> me hence me not ever wanting to mow the lawn in the summer!

> work long-term.

Well here is something to start with. Not in proportion but you can get the idea. I suggest to have the whole of the lawn lifted. I have shown a small lawn, I know it has to be mown but as a texture a well kept lawn is unbeatable. Small and easily mown.
A circle is marked, a trench is dug filled with concrete then bricks are laid. Charcoal is probably best colour. The turf is then laid.
The remainder of the area is covered in weed control fabric. Allows water to drain through but prevents weeds from growing. Great stuff! This is then covered in chippings.
You can then either place pots with plants in or plant some permanent perennials. These will take care of themselves and grow every year.
To plant these all you need to do is cut an X in the fabric. Dig a hole and place in some compost. Stick the plant in, firm in place , fold the fabric back and replace the chippings. Easy peasy.
Now I know some of these flowers will attract bees especially the lupins. They love them. That's why I have placed the swing seat away from them. But really bees will never sting you. They go about their business of collecting nectar and unconsciously picking up pollen to cross pollinate the plants. Where would we be without those wonderful little insects! Perhaps you will grow to love them.
Obviously more plants could be added. I have only given a few suggestions.
Only maintenance required is to cut the little lawn. This could of course be replaced with artficial grass which is very realistic nowadays.
Also the flowers could also be replaced by foliage only plants, but what a shame that would be.
Ian
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ianb


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ianb;964100 Wrote: > Well here is something to start with.

> well kept lawn is unbeatable. Small and easily mown.

> laid. Charcoal is probably best colour. The turf is then laid.

> water to drain through but prevents weeds from growing. Great stuff! > This is then covered in chippings.

> perennials. These will take care of themselves and grow every year.

> and place in some compost. Stick the plant in, firm in place , fold the > fabric back and replace the chippings. Easy peasy.

> lupins. They love them. That's why I have placed the swing seat away > from them. But really bees will never sting you. They go about their > business of collecting nectar and unconsciously picking up pollen to > cross pollinate the plants. Where would we be without those wonderful > little insects! Perhaps you will grow to love them.

> suggestions.

> course be replaced with artficial grass which is very realistic > nowadays.

> a shame that would be.

Hi Chris I am trying to motivate you. Awaken you from your slumbers. I have even a drawn a pictorial view of what your garden might look like. Can you not just imagine sitting on that bench (cushion under) with your kindle and a cup of tea. I've even split the garden in two so that it could be two stage project.
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ianb


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classixuk wrote: ...
get someone to brushhog it (knock it all back) and then mow it on a regular basis. don't bother weeding, seeding, weedkilling, fertilizing, etc. your animal will make it pointless. whatever is there will either adapt or be replaced by your surrounding seed suppliers and those are best adapted to the situation you will be creating for them.
cut it a little on the long side and watch your step on the way to the hammock.
songbird
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