Creating a low-maintenance artificial garden

Annabel Thain Content marketing executive 🌱
Garden design

How do you plan and create a more low-maintenance garden? You go faux of course!

In this article, we explore all the ways to create an artificial garden, including which plants are best for different spaces, tips for small gardens and how to liven up your tired fences.

Artificial outdoor seating area with faux bouquet and artificial green wall

If you're not a lover of gardening but still want to reap the rewards, either a partial or fully artificial garden could be the way to go while barely lifting a finger. Below, we revealed our best ways to landscape with artificial plants and create an effortless artificial garden!

Planning an artificial garden

Artificial flowers by Blooming Artificial

The best place to start is to consider what you're garden will be used for. Is it a quiet space for you to hide away and relax or a playground for little ones?

- Annabel, garden design expert.

Planning is the key to creating an impressive outdoor space. Before you begin landscaping with artificial plants, grab a pen and some paper, sketch out the shape of your garden and plan away.

The best place to start is to consider what you're garden will be used for. Is it a quiet space for you to hide away and relax or a playground for little ones? With the former, you'll likely want to create a private space away from your neighbours where you can sit in peace. The latter means you'll want some open space somewhere without too many plants and obstacles in the way.

Once that's decided, you should have an idea of whether you want to build upon your existing garden design or start over with something new. Remember to make a list of any existing plants that you want to keep and draw your plan roughly to scale to help you plan how many new plants you'll need.

Start mapping out your new low-maintenance garden including any flower beds, paths, seating areas, sheds and other features. You might miss things out in your first draft, so make a few different plans, mull them over in your head, talk to other house members and return to your planning later with any revisions.

Planning your artificial garden will give you a rough idea of how much it will cost before you get stuck in. Most projects tend to cost more than you first imagine, so give yourself some wiggle room to cover any unforeseen expenses.

Forest foliage living wall screen surrounding outdoor seating with wine

Garden inspiration

It can be tricky at first to envision a new space, especially if you've lived with your current garden for a long time, and most of us aren't Picasso when it comes to drawing and designing. To help spark some ideas for your own garden, here's some examples.

Explore garden inspiration

The benefits of using artificial plants in your garden

Landscaping with faux plants comes with a plethora of benefits:

  • Saves money on your water bill

  • Plants are always healthy

  • Flowers are always in bloom

  • Easy to care for, especially as you grow older

  • Allows those with disabilities to enjoy a beautiful outdoor space

  • Suitable for shade covered gardens where real plants may not survive

  • Ideal if you travel often

  • Saves a heap of time

While we'd all love to own a flourishing, natural garden, the pay off is that you'll forever be caring for it, instead of enjoying it. While some people love to care for their garden, it might not be for you and that's okay.

Unlike real greenery, faux outdoor plants are suitable for anyone and live happily in most conditions no matter how, cold and shady they may be.

Artificial garden ideas

Now that your planning is out of the way with and you've decided how you'd like your garden to look, you can get stuck in!

Below we've listed some expert artificial garden ideas and inspiration.

Patios & outdoor living

Blooming Artificial Faux Areca Palm Tree on patio, along with picnic bench and colourful potted flowers.

The most low maintenance gardens should include a patio to eliminate the need for weeding or mowing.

Patios and potted flowers are like bread and butter. Without flowers, your patio can feel empty so try dotting around a few patio tubs to splash around some lively colour. Our best-selling erica and geranium patio tub works brilliantly for this with three colours to choose from.

You can add a more homely vibe and transform your patio into a tropical paradise with the help of some palm trees. This tip works especially well if you use them to frame a seating area or a hot tub.

Our areca palm is the most common choice for gardens due to its UV stability, which means it won't turn a nasty shade of blue when the sun comes out. Either plant it up in a stylish pot or sit it directly in the ground and top with some decorative gravel.

Any faded fences or crumbling walls can be instantly hidden away by the botanical beauty of a green wall. These easy-going foliage mats can quickly hide a boring background and turn a dull grey garden into an uplifting plant utopia.

Try simple foliage like our forest foliage living wall, or go for something with a little more oomph with a wildflower green wall.

Entrances & curb appeal

180cm 6ft tall large artificial bay trees by front doorway

Your front door is where people will form a sense of who you are and your home. An untidy, neglected front garden might reflect poorly on the rest of your home, but with the help of some faux flowers, you'll add beautiful curb appeal without having to care for it.

A hanging basket or two is the easiest way to immediately add beauty but a pair of topiary trees either side can really amp up the elegance of your home and create a grand entrance!

Popular picks include faux hanging baskets like our trailing wild berry and geranium hanging basket which features cascading ivy to gently sway in the breeze, or you can make your own faux hanging basket. On the topiary side, bay trees are the top choice, with natural wood stems and UV stable greenery. Alternatively, the captivating twists and turns of spiral topiary make any garden look expertly maintained. Our boxwood spiral offers a classic topiary look while our premium cedar spiral has the extra touch of glamour.

Artificial bay laurel trees either side of a red front door of house

5 Stars from Nicole 🌟

"We ordered two 120cm bay laurels for the front door. We are so pleased with how they have turned out.

Arrived quickly and the quality is spot on. Very happy with this purchase and would recommend."

Get the look

Flower beds & borders

We love a flower-filled border but the daily dead-heading, watering and replacing when they lose their colour is a tiring (and costly!) cycle. Instead, you can do it once and reap all the reward with a few faux flower bushes and shrubs.

A border bursting with colour can be achieved by mixing and matching different coloured hydrangeas and geranium bushes. Finish it off with a few outdoor grass plants to add height and interest to your border, and voila!

If your garden style is more minimal, a border of elegant palm trees or topiary might be up your street.


Stepping stones in a garden

Sure, a path can be plain and grey, or it could be something more inviting with the help of a few plant buddies.

If you want to liven up an existing path, you can simply line it either side with some flowering bushes of different colours by poking their stems directly into the ground.

If adding a path is part of your new garden design, the easiest and most affordable way would be to use stepping stones. You should be able to find some at your local garden centre and you want to choose stones that are flat and around 15 inches wide and 2 inches tall. You can find different types, some with more natural textures, some of unique shapes and others with a more contemporary style.

Once you've found your favourite type of stepping stone, lay it down in position on your grass and use a knife to trace around the edge and cut into your grass. Then take a spade or shovel and dig out your grass and some of the soil.

Artificial outdoor bamboo in planters, outdoor screening

Plants for privacy 🪴

Create a private space away from prying eyes with our selection of quality artificial plants for privacy. Discover bamboo, hedging, grasses and more.

Shop privacy plants

Lay your stepping stone down and check the depth. You want it to be low enough so that you can run a lawn mower over it (unless you're going for a grass-free garden) but tall enough that it's easy to walk over. Repeat for all of your stepping stones until your path is complete, leaving about 5 inches in between each stone.

You could go one step further, and fill in the spaces between each stepping stone with a ground-cover plant like creeping thyme, periwinkle and creeping phlox, all of which have beautiful flowers that will grow back every year, adding gorgeous colour to your path.

If stepping stones aren't the vibe you're going for, you could try a gravel or mulch path, but that does mean you'll have to dig out your full pathway which, depending on the length of your path, would need lots more work than the stepping stones. If this is the route you want to take, make sure to lay down some landscaping fabric underneath (not plastic, which will collect water) to fight off any sprouting weeds.

Finally, finish off your path by lining it with some solar-powered lights to help you find your way in the dark.


Your lawn - arguably the most high maintenance part of your garden may be the standard choice for a garden, yet allergies and weekly lawn mowing might have you thinking of switching it up for something a little less demanding.

One of the latest garden trends is to swap your grass for a no-mow lawn! Something sustainable with no need to scarify, feed or weed kill, as well as being supportive of bees and good for drainage. Sounds good right? Here are some options to choose from:


Moss garden with a tree

Yes, really! You might have spent your whole gardening life, up until now, trying to keep moss out of your garden. But it's not the villain you might believe it to be.

In fact, moss gardens are incredibly low maintenance, happily remaining green in times of little rainfall, where your neighbours turf will likely be a faded shade of brown...

Creeping thyme

This beautiful ground cover blooms with vibrant purple flowers in the summer and possesses aromatic leaves which help to ward off mosquitoes. What's more, just like moss, it doesn't need watering, doesn't require mowing and it's great for bees.

The payoff for its stunning purple hues is that creeping thyme isn't great at withstanding high foot traffic, so those stepping stones we talked about earlier would come in handy here!


Clover lawn

Lucky, affordable and incredibly eco-friendly! Clover is an excellent low maintenance lawn option and is loved by pollinators.

Just like the others, clover lawns demand far less water than grass and doesn't need mowing, growing up to just eight inches a year. That said, some owners prefer to trim theirs once a year in the summer to deadhead old flowers.

It also removes excess nitrogen in from your soil which can damage some plants, while providing a home for butterflies and other wildlife.

Small gardens & balconies

Red faux window box on wooden balcony

Having no garden, or very little, shouldn't mean that you're left out. Artificial wall gardens, or vertical gardens, are a brilliant way to maximise your space and enjoy a splash of colour without needing tons of room.

There's a couple of ways that you can go about this. The first is an artificial green wall...

How to install an artificial living wall

Green walls, or living walls, have become a popular choice for landscapers, designed to bring space-saving greenery to urban spaces, while providing year-round colour. While you can opt for a natural living wall, they can be tricky to maintain, with recirculating water systems that need setting up to store, pump and distribute water throughout your wall.

Instead, you can go for the one and done approach and opt for a faux living wall, which is available in a variety of different styles from tropical foliage to wildflower walls. Read our full guide on making an artificial living wall or watch our video below.

Potted plants

Pink hydrangea patio planter with green garden bench

How do you make a small garden look good on a budget? Using some colourful patio tubs and small flower pots will bring some beautiful, vibrant colour to your space without the need for a flower bed.

Add plenty of variation including blooms of different shades and sizes, and use pots of different heights to create a more wild feeling to your space. You can add in extra style by choosing colourful flower pots, or stick to a more classic style with elegant terracotta pots.

Sit them by a doorway, on a balcony or, try mounting a window box underneath your window sill for instant impact and colour you can see from the inside out.

Blending real and faux plants together

Owning an artificial garden doesn't mean it must strictly be artificial-only! In fact, mixing real and fake plants together can help your garden to look even more realistic.

Using artificial and real plants together is a great way to make your faux plants look more authentic. Try mixing small low maintenance conifers with a patio tub or two. Alternatively, sit an artificial topiary tree along side a natural shrub to enhance its realism.

You can keep plants which are naturally low maintenance like grasses, leave in a few bee-friendly blooms and fill in the gaps with faux to minimise any maintenance.

This way, the natural plants help your artificial ones look more real, and your faux plants save you time and lots of hard work. By blending real and faux you get the best of both worlds!

Artificial garden maintenance tips

Artificial bay laurel tree planted in gravel

The biggest reason for going faux is the low maintenance lifestyle that they bring. That said, there are a couple of things you can do to keep them happy and extend their lifespan.

It's worth mentioning that an outdoor artificial plants' lifespan will vary depending on various factors including how much direct sunlight they receive, whether you live near the coast, humidity, altitude, weather...the list goes on!

  1. Shelter

    To keep your artificial plants in good shape, it's best to shelter them in extreme weather like storms and excessive wind.

  2. Protect from heatwaves

    In a heatwave, consider wrapping up your plants to protect them from UV rays or apply a UV spray for some extra protection - just like sun cream! 🌞

  3. Protect wooden stems

    If you're planting an artificial tree with a wooden stem. If you're going without a pot and want to plant your tree directly into the ground, it's important to consider how moisture will affect your plants stem. Check out our tips to planting artificial trees in the ground.

  4. Drainage

    Consider how rainfall will escape your pots. Most outdoor pots have drainage holes, which we suggest drilling into to make use of.

For more tips, read our guide to protecting outdoor artificial plants.

Think seasonally

One of the benefits of faux plants is that they're in bloom all year round, but if you're particular about making them really convincing, you'll want to consider swapping them out with the seasons.

If you want your artificial garden to look highly realistic, switch out your plants with the seasons. Try hydrangeas in spring and pansies during winter!

In spring, hydrangeas and geraniums are you friend, along with lavender, sunflowers, and tulips. And once autumn arrives and the weather turns cold, swap out your summer flowers for pansies and foliage arrangements.

  • Spring - hydrangea, geraniums, lavender, sunflowers, tulips

  • Summer - Roses, geraniums, alliums, lavender, hydrangeas, sunflowers

  • Autumn - Heather, begonias, rudbeckia, cyclamen

  • Winter - Pansies, hellebore, snowdrops, cyclamen, violas


Our artificial flowering bushes and shrubs all come with a short spike which you can push straight into the ground. Other plants and trees can be planted directly into soil too, but there are precautions to take for wood-stemmed trees to prevent any rotting.

You can't go wrong with some faux flowering bushes and grass plants. Use lavender, hydrangeas, pansies and geraniums along with UV-stable river grass or phormium grass to add some height and interest to your flower bed. You can of course, always make more of a statement by adding a few topiary trees or bushes to your flower bed for a more modern, architectural style.

The most important rule is to choose plants that are UV-stable or designed specifically for outdoor use to avoid them turning blue in the sun - nothing gives the faux game away more than blue topiary!

The next step is to arrange your outdoor plants to replicate their natural brethren, (a step you can skip for tightly pruned topiary) that means bending out palm leaves in a nice arch, adjusting the leaves of your bay laurel tree and fluffing out your flower heads to look just like the real thing. Read more about arranging artificial plants.

The materials used in our outdoor artificial plants are durable and designed to withstand the peaks and falls of weather in the UK, so your fake plants shouldn't melt in the sun!

If there are any issues within a year from purchase, get in touch and we can try to resolve the issue.

Need some advice with creating an artificial garden?

We hope our tips above have helped if you want to landscape with artificial plants and have set you on your journey of creating a beautiful artificial garden. If not, our friendly team can point you in the right direction if you need some more help. Feel free to get in touch!

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