Gardening expert shares best options for British gardeners who ‘don’t want a lawn’

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Managing Director of Hopes Grove Nurseries, Morris Hankinson has shared several “options” for gardeners looking to swap out their lawns for something else. Garden lawns can look very neat and tidy, however, they also require constant maintenance. Regular cutting, shaping and fixing bald patches can take up valuable time if you’re also juggling other household tasks.

Hopes Grove Nurseries in Tenterden, Kent was established 27 years ago and grows approximately one million hedge plants, which is their speciality, in 50 acres of land.

The nursery also delivers fresh plants to thousands of customers across the UK.

Over the last year, Hopes Grove Nurseries has seen record numbers of people buying from them.

Morris exclusively told that if you’re a “true hardcore low maintenance gardener” then you wouldn’t have a lawn at all.

He described this as “option one” if you’re looking to avoid regular grass maintenance.

He continued: “Option two would be artificial grass.

“Option three, if you’ve got a bigger garden and that [artificial grass] is not practical, then do what I’ve done – I’ve just let about half of it grow.

“I’ve let all the flowers and buttercups, the clover and everything else come through.”

To ensure his family can still enjoy the garden, Morris said he has cut paths through the long grass.

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However, garden-lovers won’t need to cut if often.

“At some point – once a year – give it a cut rather than once a week,” he added.

If you don’t have time to maintain a garden, then Morris recommends getting a gardening firm in so you don’t have to worry about it.

Gardening experts visiting your garden just once a week can keep on top of your lawn, pruning and other maintenance tasks.

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Morris continued: “But I think my number one tip would be not to have any lawn in the garden if it’s a modest kind of size.

“Just design the grass right out of it.

“That is the biggest single chore, cutting the grass.”

If you’ve got children, the idea of a garden without a lawn or a soft landing area can seem a bit daunting.

Instead, Morris suggested putting down a weed-suppressing membrane covered in bark chips.

He said it’s a great place to put swings, slides and trampolines too.

The gardening expert said you can put planting around the edge of it to soften up the edges of the area.

“As far as gardening maintenance goes, there isn’t any,” Morris added.

For those looking to change-up their gardens and add gravel or bark, Morris suggests putting down a weed-suppressing membrane first.

He said: “You could have bigger areas with bark, you could do a gravel garden, either way you’d have a weed-suppressing membrane underneath.

“Depending on whether it’s shady or sunny you can plant appropriate plants through the membrane.

“You can leave paths through it, you can have a bigger area, maybe a paved area where you’d have a little terrace and a table and some chairs.

“It really depends on what you need from your garden

“But the bark, I can say from experience, is a very easy fix.

“Every few years I just top it up a little bit.”

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