The key to a successful, low-maintenance outdoor space is to use the right plants in the right places. It’s an old adage and the reason it’s still in frequent use is that it’s incredibly accurate. In today’s climate of budget cut-backs, using the right plant in the right place can save a lot of money. Here are some suggestions.

How much does drought cost you?

The summer of 2018 has taught us that we may not always be able to rely on Britain being a green and pleasant land in future. In a matter of weeks, lawns and road verges have changed from verdant green to a sandy straw colour. Only the toughest of garden plants have survived without extra watering and greenkeepers are despairing at the damage being done to their stressed out playing surfaces.

The drought has changed the look of our towns and countryside. And certainly in urban areas, we’ve not benefited as much from the cooling properties of green plants.

Summer 2018 will be remembered for brown straw-like lawns and road verges

If you are amongst the many who are faced with either large bills for irrigation or for replacing desiccated planting schemes, perhaps now is a good time to think about planting solutions that could save money if weather patterns are repeated next year.

Do you really need a closely mown lawn?

I love fresh green lawns. I love the look of them, the feel of them and the smell of them. They are fantastic at absorbing excess rainfall, great for cooling an area down and make a beautiful backdrop for planting schemes and architectural designs.

But, a grass lawn can be costly in terms of maintenance. There’s the mowing of course. And then there are autumn renovations that will help the plants cope with heavy wear and tear in all weathers. I’m talking about aeration, scarification and topdressing.

What if, part of that lawn could become a wildflower meadow? The aesthetic is quite different. But it’s still rather beautiful. You still benefit from minimal rainwater runoff and maximum cooling effects. But you can add wildlife habitat, environmental education, minimal maintenance and a huge “wow” factor into the equation.

Perennial flowering plants and grasses in a loose planting style are easy to manage and a great substitute for formal lawns

From a design perspective, there’s no reason why you can’t mow paths through the wildlife area or even cut out some seating areas.

By using a mixture of perennial wildflowers, grasses and non-native flowering plants, you can have a fabulous display year after year whilst reducing maintenance costs considerably.

For a dry area with little foot traffic

If you like the low-growing aesthetic of a grass lawn but don’t want to mow or water it, what about substituting grass for sedum plants? True, the initial cost of installation is higher than a traditional grass lawn. But it’s somewhere similar to the cost of artificial turf AND you get lots of environmental benefits.

A sedum lawn is drought-tolerant, it will cool the atmosphere on hot days, attract pollinating insects and never need mowing.

The disadvantage is that sedums will not tolerate heavy foot traffic the way that grasses do. However, clever use of paths or stepping stones can overcome that problem.

Green roofing to reduce building running costs

Don’t forget that plants are not just for ground use any more. They can be used for green walls and green roofs.

Living green walls are generally considered to be quite costly to install and maintain. However, they give excellent value in terms of PR and insulation.

Green roofing is also very effective at insulating against heat, cold and noise. Not every building is suitable for retrofitting a living green roof but many are. And that goes for small utility buildings (sheds, smoking shelters, bike storage) as well as for warehouses and dwellings. With a green roof you have potential to reduce heating and air conditioning costs in the short-term. And in the long-term, the green roof build-up protects the waterproofing against the vagrancies of the UK weather meaning that you probably won’t be needing a new roof in your lifetime, potentially saving thousands of £££££’s.

Discussing the options

If you would like to discuss the options for planting solutions that can save you money, contact the customer services team at Harrowden Turf for more information about perennial meadow planting, sedum lawns or green roofing.


The key to a successful, low-maintenance outdoor space is to use the right plants in the right places. It’s an old adage and the reason it’s still in frequent use is that it’s incredibly accurate. In today’s climate of budget cut-backs, using the right plant in the right place can save a lot of money. Here are some suggestions.

How much does drought cost you?

The summer of 2018 has taught us that we may not always be able to rely on Britain being a green and pleasant land in future. In a matter of weeks, lawns and road verges have changed from verdant green to a sandy straw colour. Only the toughest of garden plants have survived without extra watering and greenkeepers are despairing at the damage being done to their stressed out playing surfaces.

The drought has changed the look of our towns and countryside. And certainly in urban areas, we’ve not benefited as much from the cooling properties of green plants.

Summer 2018 will be remembered for brown straw-like lawns and road verges

If you are amongst the many who are faced with either large bills for irrigation or for replacing desiccated planting schemes, perhaps now is a good time to think about planting solutions that could save money if weather patterns are repeated next year.

Do you really need a closely mown lawn?

I love fresh green lawns. I love the look of them, the feel of them and the smell of them. They are fantastic at absorbing excess rainfall, great for cooling an area down and make a beautiful backdrop for planting schemes and architectural designs.

But, a grass lawn can be costly in terms of maintenance. There’s the mowing of course. And then there are autumn renovations that will help the plants cope with heavy wear and tear in all weathers. I’m talking about aeration, scarification and topdressing.

What if, part of that lawn could become a wildflower meadow? The aesthetic is quite different. But it’s still rather beautiful. You still benefit from minimal rainwater runoff and maximum cooling effects. But you can add wildlife habitat, environmental education, minimal maintenance and a huge “wow” factor into the equation.

Perennial flowering plants and grasses in a loose planting style are easy to manage and a great substitute for formal lawns

From a design perspective, there’s no reason why you can’t mow paths through the wildlife area or even cut out some seating areas.

By using a mixture of perennial wildflowers, grasses and non-native flowering plants, you can have a fabulous display year after year whilst reducing maintenance costs considerably.

For a dry area with little foot traffic

If you like the low-growing aesthetic of a grass lawn but don’t want to mow or water it, what about substituting grass for sedum plants? True, the initial cost of installation is higher than a traditional grass lawn. But it’s somewhere similar to the cost of artificial turf AND you get lots of environmental benefits.

A sedum lawn is drought-tolerant, it will cool the atmosphere on hot days, attract pollinating insects and never need mowing.

The disadvantage is that sedums will not tolerate heavy foot traffic the way that grasses do. However, clever use of paths or stepping stones can overcome that problem.

Green roofing to reduce building running costs

Don’t forget that plants are not just for ground use any more. They can be used for green walls and green roofs.

Living green walls are generally considered to be quite costly to install and maintain. However, they give excellent value in terms of PR and insulation.

Green roofing is also very effective at insulating against heat, cold and noise. Not every building is suitable for retrofitting a living green roof but many are. And that goes for small utility buildings (sheds, smoking shelters, bike storage) as well as for warehouses and dwellings. With a green roof you have potential to reduce heating and air conditioning costs in the short-term. And in the long-term, the green roof build-up protects the waterproofing against the vagrancies of the UK weather meaning that you probably won’t be needing a new roof in your lifetime, potentially saving thousands of £££££’s.

Discussing the options

If you would like to discuss the options for planting solutions that can save you money, contact the customer services team at Harrowden Turf for more information about perennial meadow planting, sedum lawns or green roofing.


 
 
 
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