Many of us are making a concerted effort to up our game when it comes to protecting our planet. There seems to have been a collective intake of breath over the past few years, which has compelled us to take note of the impact of our modern ways of living and make changes.
If you’re on a mission to go green, you may be wondering how to turn your garden into an eco-friendly haven. Here are some top tips to get you started.
Plants and flowers add serious aesthetic appeal to any garden, but they also play a role in creating valuable ecosystems. When choosing plants for your home, it’s wise to opt for native varieties, which are accustomed to the conditions in your garden. If you’re looking to add new plants, or you’re keen to diversify, take a good look at your garden first, and figure out which kinds of plants would be best suited to the environment. If you have a lot of damp, shady patches, for example, you might find that woodland plants and rockery shrubs are a better investment than plants, wildflowers or vegetables that need a lot of light to thrive.
Attracting the birds and the bees
We often read about human activity destroying ecosystems and natural habitats. If you’re a keen gardener, and you want to do your bit to protect valuable species, you can make your garden more creature-friendly. Pollinators, most notably bees, are particularly important.
To attract bees, take care when using fertilisers or any other chemical products that are designed to nourish soil or facilitate plant growth. Pesticides can be harmful to bees, and you can buy products that contain chemicals that are safe for home use from garden centres and home stores. Creating a house for insects is another great idea to increase pollination.
You can buy or design your own bee house. Growing a diverse range of plants can also lure in a wider range of insects and make your garden more appealing to bees. Turning a blind eye to the occasional dandelion can also make a difference. You might want your lawn to look pristine, but if you don’t mind a few dandelions or you have a wildflower patch, visiting bees will be very grateful.
There’s nothing like waking up the sound of birdsong on a sunny day and looking out onto the garden to see birds chirping in the trees or hopping from one fence-post to another. If you’re keen to bring more birds to your garden, look into adding a birdhouse or a feeding tray and provide water. A shallow bird-bath is a great addition.
Every green-fingered guru understands the importance of water when it comes to ensuring that flower beds thrive and lawns flourish. The trouble is that often, we take water supplies for granted, and we waste water. If you’re looking for ways to make your garden greener, saving water is a brilliant place to start. There are various options open to you, and one of the best is to invest in a water tank. You can buy slimline tanks or larger containers, which are designed to collect rainwater. If you have a tank full of rainwater, you can use it to water your plants, keep your lawn moist, and reduce water consumption in the home.
You can also reduce the amount of water you use in the garden by buying an eco-friendly sprinkler system and setting a timer. It’s also beneficial to eliminate watering sessions on rainy days. If your garden is already wet, you don’t need to add moisture.
Another important consideration, particularly if you live in an area where rainfall is low, is the type of plants you grow. If the ground lacks moisture and you tend to experience prolonged dry periods, look for plants that can cope with these conditions. Good examples include lavender, palms, and sedums. If you choose wisely, you won’t need to worry about continual watering.
Reducing outdoor energy usage
Have you got strings of bulbs or hidden lamps and lights in your garden? Illuminating an outdoor space can have an incredible aesthetic impact, but it can also increase your energy consumption significantly. If you’re eager to enjoy evenings in the outdoors, there are ways to reduce energy usage without making compromises on the look of the garden. Solar power lighting is an excellent option for gardeners with a conscience. These lights convert sunlight into energy, enabling you to power your lamps and lanterns when the sun goes down. This kind of lighting will lower energy usage, at the same time as saving you money.
You can also lower energy consumption by switching to a battery-operated lawn mower. Charge your battery before you plan to cut the grass to avoid getting half-way through the job and running out of power.
Recycling is a really simple means of making your garden more eco-friendly. Create or buy planters made from recycled materials, and recycle any plant pots and trays you no longer need. If you can get into the habit of recycling glass, cardboard, plastic and tins around your home and garden, this will undoubtedly make a positive difference. Most UK households have a recycling collection at least once a month.
Many of us are looking for ways we can do more to help to protect our planet. While most of us are aware that there are steps we can take to make our homes more eco-friendly, it’s also important to be aware of the benefits of creating a greener garden.
Shop around for plants that are well-suited to the conditions, encourage living creatures to pay you a visit, avoid using pesticides and buy chemical products that are approved for home use.
Recycle, invest in a water tank or a butt to collect rainwater and water the garden only when required. Switch traditional bulbs powered by mains electricity for solar-powered lights and lamps and consider buying a battery-powered lawn mower. Even the simplest steps can have a positive impact.