Keen gardeners, almost by default, are people who love nature and want to take care of it in their own way, however small. In fact, as a green-fingered type, there are many ways you can act in an eco-friendly manner to preserve our beautiful planet. In this article, we’re taking a look at some of the choices you can make and products you can buy to become a greener, more environmentally-minded gardener. Use it as a checklist for creating an eco-friendly garden.
Choose plants to attract wildlife
The plants you choose are the keystone to having a truly eco-friendly garden. Choose berry trees to encourage visiting birds, create damp shady areas by ponds using low shrubbery to make amphibians welcome, while sunflowers and marigolds are an attractive choice for ladybirds and lacewings. If you’re hoping for a garden that beautiful butterflies will love to call home, select delphiniums, cosmos and asters. To get the place buzzing with pollinating bees, go for honeysuckle, English lavender, jasmine and Sweet Williams. Of course, the other way to plant in an eco-friendly manner is to grow fruits and vegetables. As well as being an immensely satisfying thing to do, growing your own produce also cuts down on the air miles that are used importing it.
Consider eco-friendly alternatives to eradicate pests
Using chemicals to kill slugs, snails and weeds has long been known to have wider damaging effects on the environment. Instead, think laterally to deal with garden pests. For example, installing extra bird boxes will attract more birds who, in turn, will make light work of those plant-munching beasties. Or, try natural plant barriers like crushed eggshells to make simply getting to the feast that bit more difficult.
Making your own compost, as well as being a good money-saver, is also an excellent way to deliver the richest nutrition to your hungry garden. Use biodegradable kitchen waste to create a deep, dark brown sludge of goodness and you’ll soon see the positive impact in your blooming garden.
Conserve precious water
Even in a country as rainy as the UK, water is a precious commodity that should be used carefully. As a gardener, you may already have a handy water butt. However, there are many other ways to challenge water waste. Firstly, be sure to recycle water used for cooking vegetables or pasta. Use a mulch to help retain water at the roots of your plants and water deeply, soaking the entire root in a focused way rather than simply haphazardly spraying. Try drip irrigation (which is especially handy if you’re planning time away) or consider installing decking to decrease the size (and thirst) of your lawn.
Install permeable paving
As well as looking very smart, good quality permeable paving, is great news for the planet. In recent decades, many householders have chosen to concrete over gardens and other land in order to create parking spaces, or to extend their living areas. This means that the land available where water can drain off has dramatically decreased, which in turn has increased the risk of urban flooding. As a sustainable urban drainage system (or SuDS), permeable paving helps to stop excess water from pooling on the ground’s surface and causing potentially damaging flood situations. It takes the strain off drains, and prevents harmful substances like engine oil from being washed into our rivers and streams.
Creating an eco-friendly garden is a satisfying and very affordable project to undertake. By following the ideas set out above, you can transform your garden into a haven of green thinking, while simultaneously doing your bit for the wider environment.
Wednesday, 12nd April 2017