Grass and hard surfaces have an important role to play in informal gardens. In many cases, such a garden will be a family one and grass has the obvious importance as a play area.
But grass and surfaces also have a visual importance. If the whole garden is filled with flowering plants, the eye becomes restless, there is too much to see. An expanse of grass gives the eye a chance to rest and acts as a foil to the liveliness of the borders.
The edge of grass, paving or path also acts as a defining limit to the border by creating an edge, which again, is very important visually. Such an area of grass does not have to be kept pristine, mown with perfect stripes. It can be a hard wearing, everyday sort of lawn, which copes with bicycles and ball games, and still has just the same visual effect.
Is maintenance hard to do? Informal gardens can become rather high in maintenance, particularly if irregular attention is given to them. It is an inescapable fact that garden jobs do not just go away if they are ignored, they just get bigger. So, if you leave the weeding for a few weeks, the effort to rid the borders of weeds can become a daunting task that takes a long time to do.
Similarly, if herbaceous perennials and shrubs are left growing, with no attention paid to them, they will merrily go on growing until the garden becomes almost over run and a major operation is needed to get everything back to the original plan. It is therefore important to do a little bit of work often rather than a lot in sudden bursts.
With a little bit of attention, informal gardens are easy to maintain. Containers can be used just as much in informal arrangements as they are in formal gardens. They are especially useful for providing temporary fills.
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