Want to liven up your backyard with a lush garden? You have probably already come across a dozen gardening plans that tell you how and when to fertilise, how to prune, scale, trim, when and how much to water, habitat zones, and tons of other technical terms that experienced gardeners have on the tip of their tongue.
However, all of that is difficult for you as a beginner. So if you are also wondering whether or not you should take up the challenge, here is a guide to help you pick the easiest plants to grow in the UK and give your bare lawn a full makeover!
- Juniper – This evergreen shrub remains yellow-green during summers and spring. It changes into beautiful yellow-orange foliage during winter and fall, growing up to 18” in height and 9′ in width.
- Norway Spruce – The Norway Spruce dwarf shrubs are a great option to place on garden entrances and around fences. Reaching just 3′ max in height, these are pretty self-sufficient and give a nice backdrop to your garden.
- Butterfly Bush – Tough and beautiful, the butterfly bush is a shrub dotted with pink, purple, and white thrushes and typically attracts butterflies. However, make sure your vendor has the sterile, noninvasive variety of the bush!
- Fountain Grass – A drought-resistant, breathtaking species of grass that livens up the farthest corners of your lawn. The whimsical stems of this grass will look fresh and inviting even in scarce water conditions.
- Fescue – This is a groundcover perennial, which can help control soil erosion for your garden. The clumping growth with bluish foliage and flowers grows up to 10” in height and 12” in width.
- Feather Reed Grass – This is herbaceous grass that has brown-red feathery stalks during summers that turn a slight golden-brown during colder seasons. They can grow as much as 24” in height and 6′ in width, so cutting it down once during winter will last all year.
Succulents and Plants
- Dusty Miller – If you feel like having a change in your garden backdrop, a few pots of the dusty miller are all you really need. The dusty white leaves thrive even in tough hot and cold seasons and do not require much pruning.
- Houseleek – This refers to a range of succulents available in 40 different species and with over 100 species hybrids. Their name literally means to ‘live forever,’ which indicates that this variety of succulents can easily make well-drained soil their permanent home.
- Peppermint – They look gorgeous. These succulents also smell really good, and they keep away mosquitoes. And the best of all, they are an excellent mojito ingredient! Peppermint plants are not only low maintenance for your garden but also help to keep your health imperfect shape due to their incredible herbal benefits.
- Creeping Jenny – In small gardens, a mellow, yellow-and-green leaved creeper provides the perfect cascading effects for walls, fences, and doors. It fills all empty areas so that you don’t have to look for new paint or other ornaments. Instead, the Creeping Jenny will just soak up the sun and beautifully spread over those bare surfaces without much of your effort.
- Stonecrop – Also known as creeping sedum, this is a succulent creeper that is available in a variety of colours, sizes, and textures and is great for making patterns on the bare patches in your garden. These can withstand run-off minerals as well as arid climates without anything toning down their eye-soothing appearance.
- Creeping Thyme – Yes, it is the thyme you use in cooking. It’s also a perfect creeper for newbie gardeners! The edible perennial with its tiny white flower bunches is also a popular hangout for butterflies and bees, and it can keep your lawn alive all year round!
- Thornless Honeylocust – Although available in a variety of foliages, the thornless honeylocust is one of the best low-maintenance trees for a beginner at gardening. It provides ample shade, is easy to prune and trim, and its leaves naturally decompose when they fall, so you don’t even have to rake the area!
- Smoke Tree – These deviate from the standard greens of your dream garden to provide a royal, maroon, red, purple, and plum hue with its leaves. The wispy seed clusters attached to the branches make it appear even more mesmerising during snowfall. The tree can reach 15′ in height.
- Hawthorn – Almost double the height of smoke trees, hawthorns remain green during summers but also have a purple and red leafy affair during winters. The tree bears crisp white flowers that are replaced by bright red hawthorn berries during winters. It can withstand urban pollution, light shade, and extremely dry soil and air conditions.
- English Lavender – Revive a Victorian spirit in your garden with these signature Mediterranean herbs. The purple blossoms are packed with a powerful fragrance, and the silvery leaves take up little space in small gardens.
- Ninebark – The ninebark is a classic choice for gardeners who want to forget that they ever even planted these. The white flower bunches transform into berries at the end of the flowering season, too.
- Hydrangeas – The hydrangeas can be made into compact pots as well as large bushes and clusters according to your choice. The types include oakleaf, bigleaf, smooth, French, bobo, panicle, mountain, and climbing hydrangeas. You can also choose multiple varieties and colours for different parts of the garden.
As part of this article, we decided to speak to Henry Scott from Pehrsson Scott Garden Design: “With any project, we carry out, keeping a garden looking great is the ability to take care of the plants in it. So as part of our process, we help our clients figure out what they can take care of, and what they can’t.”
As a beginner, these six plant categories are all you need to get started. They are low maintenance, long-lasting, and add splendour to your house’s front and back yards. Even if you do not have time to learn gardening skills, basic garden grooming once or twice a year will be sufficient for this collection!
Sean Barker is the MD of First Tunnels, and is enthusiastic about providing quality gardening supplies to gardeners across the UK