Make the most of a large garden

27th April 2021

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For many people, owning a large and sprawling garden is the ultimate goal. However, the practicalities are sometimes far less romantic. It is easy to get lost or overwhelmed by the idea of giving your spacious garden an overhaul. The key with larger spaces is to divide them into sections and treat areas as separate parts of the garden. Progress is in the process.


Is your garden area mostly lawn? To get the best out of your lawn the key is consistency. Regular cutting at a manageable height will serve you better that hacking overgrown areas back. If you have patches which fail to grow particularly well, usually due to shade and a change in the mindset of the lawn, then why not create a low maintenance woodland. In terms of planting, go for ferns such as Dryopteris wallichiana (alpine wood fern) or Dryopteris erythrosora (Japanese shield fern). For flowering and added interest try Liriope muscari (Lily turf).

Dryopteris erythrosora (Japanese shield fern).

To minimise lawn area you can also cut in sweeping pathways with planting either side. This shortens the time required on lawn areas whilst creating interest. Purpose built petrol mowers will save time and are a worthwhile investment.

Beds and Borders

Pesky weeds are always going to get the better of any border if not regularly tended to. Take the time to get them under control and regularly mulch borders to help suppress weed growth, improve soil conditions and retain moisture for plants.

Want a bit more assistance with the weeds? Go for ground covering plants such as Stachys byzantina ‘Silver carpet’ (lamb’s ears), Bergenia cordifolia ‘Purpurea’ (Elephant’s ears) or another flowering option Vinca minor (lesser periwinkle). If flowering is not at the top of your wish list, then Hedera helix (common ivy) will cover the ground nicely.

To many borders? Add into the lawn space or invest in hard landscaping areas to reduce required maintenance.


Planting is the easiest way to create an instant improvement in any area of the garden. Keeping a large garden under control can be helped by utilising planting that’s easy to maintain.

Large plants provide instant solutions. Whether you want to create more privacy or a specific theme; big plants make a big impact. Believe it or not, planting schemes that include small to mid – sized plants, work better in a larger space. In a smaller garden this can feel bitty and disjointed but more space allows for flowing borders.

A well-structured border can define areas in your garden and create year – round colour, scent and interest. Use one or more large architectural plants to create a structure then build around that. They don’t necessarily have to be in the back of the border. A large plant partially blocking a view of the rest of the garden can create a sense of space and intrigue.

Here are a few options to think about:

• Sarcococca confusa
• Aucuba japonica (spotted laurel)
• Choisya ternata
• Mahonia japonica

There are many more options available at the Big Plant Nursery and expert staff to further help you pick the right plants for your lifestyle and garden.

Again, to keep the plants on your side do a little research if buying new and the same if improving what may already be there.


Art reflects who we are, our personality as well as how we would like to be perceived by others. It is an instant way to project yourself into to your garden.

On a practical note, a piece of artwork in a larger garden, such a sculpture or water feature works really well to draw the eye to a particular focal point. It’s also a good way to accentuate your plants and any outdoor structures, such as a garden office.

General Maintenance

The most important part of any garden is to make it work for you and your lifestyle.
Not pruning at the right times or allowing hedges to get out of control makes for longer work. A little research and correct timing will keep you ahead. Use the weather as your guide rather than what month things should technically be done in as it’s the weather that will dictate what is required in the garden. Set your targets for lawns, beds/borders and plants and be consistent.

Most importantly enjoy it.