Better planning

Keep the higher-maintenance areas close to the house—at least you won’t have to walk as far when maintaining them. Make sure that all paths are wide enough for wheelbarrows and are even, well constructed, and easy to walk on (wheeling heavy barrows over gravel is difficult). Try to make sure that deciduous trees do not overhang parts of the garden, such as ponds, where leaf drop is a problem. If you have a paved patio, make sure no barring shrubs and trees hang over it or unsightly splashes of fruit will spoil the look.
Remove complex areas of plantings, simplify the planting scheme to include more shrubs and fewer perennials, and keep the shapes of borders simple. Ideally, ensure that there is a narrow path at the back of each border to make tending it easier. Make sure that all hard surfacing areas are properly laid on a level bed of hardcore so that paving stones do not move. Gravel must be laid thickly on top of landscape fabric to prevent weeds from growing up through it.

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