My answer to this is to cover it with acceptable plants. As soon as a canopy of foliage covers the ground, any weed trying to germinate is kept in the dark and will not survive. The name given to this is '' ground cover". There are a host of plants that can be used for this purpose and once established they look after our weed problem in a perfectly natural way. No need for weed killers.
These plants will not make your garden flat, boring and colourless but will surprise you with a colourful tapestry.
Efficient ground cover comes in different heights, from ground huggers to large shrubs. Most of them flower and many have attractive, even ornamental foliage. A surprising number are evergreen and there are ground cover plants that are happy in sun or shade, dry or moist soil.
By growing the right ground carpeting perennials around shrubs you can get a double show of flowers either together or at different times. If the ground cover plants are under planted with bulbs that happily spear them, you can have a succession of flowers.
Failure with this planting regime occurs because careful clearing of perennial weeds such as tap-rooted docks and dandelions or creeping horrors like buttercup, couch grass and ground elder, has not been done. So begin with clean ground and success will be yours. Start with a small part of the border and once matured these plants can be split up to plant in the next area.
During the first season make sure the plants are well watered and you will have to do some weeding and mulching but once established simply look over the area two or three times a season and remove any weeds that have defied you before they seed.
My favourite ground cover plants are Tiarella, Bergenia, Ajuga, Brunera, Epimedium, Saxifrage,Thymus and Tellima to name a few. A good book to read is Plants for Ground Cover by Stuart Thomas.
Happy new gardening year and a weed free 2018,