Inspiration and ideas from your own gardens
Making Your Garden Eco-Friendlier
Making Your Garden Eco-Friendlier
There are 12 million gardeners in the UK, and the number keeps on growing. There are a number of factors for the increase in popularity, but one that cannot be ignored is a general change in perception and understanding of the effects of global warming. Gardeners understand the importance of nature; a single forest tree will absorb 48 pounds of cO2 in a single year, and plants help to moderate greenhouse gases through the process of transpiration. Making changes to your garden to make it more environmentally friendly can have lasting benefits both to the eco-system and your garden.
Choose eco-friendly plants
Choosing plants for your garden is a personal experience, and the motivation for choosing particular species ranges from how they look to how compatible they are with the environment you want to grow them in. Plants are also highly important for the eco-friendly garden; they provide food and shelter, creating welcome habitats for wildlife that can be beneficial to your garden. Hedges are better for creating an eco-friendly environment than fences, as they offer protection from predators and nesting opportunities. Climbers are also particularly good for your garden. Honeysuckle provides shelter and food in the form of nectar, leaves and berries – and it looks beautiful and smells good too.
Bring water into the garden
Water is the life-blood of your garden and without it your soil would dry out, so your plants wouldn’t get the nutrients they need to flourish. It makes sense to be conservative and conscientious with your water consumption, which is why installing a water feature in your garden could be a perfect solution. Water features don’t require water to be plumbed into the installation, rather water is recycled from a hidden reservoir called a sump. Plus, your garden will be better off for it; water encourages wildlife into your garden, which can help ward off bugs and insects that cause destruction to gardens and plants.
You may also want to consider reducing your water consumption in the garden by installing a water butt. These cheap and easy to install containers collect rain water, and depending on the size can store anything between 100 litres of water and up to 500 litres in a larger container.
Choose local, eco-friendly materials
Green materials that are sourced and produced locally are advocated by sustainable gardeners. Your decision to choose them helps to reduce your carbon footprint in a number of ways. Green materials are made with recycled materials, and contain little or no cement. The production of cement contributes for more than 5% of the world’s carbon emissions. There are also a large volume of carbon fumes emitted during the transportation of other materials; locally sourced products reduce that amount as there is less travel and air-miles involved.
When considering wood for decking, fencing or trellising, opt for a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) logo, as this wood comes from certified plantations.
An eco-friendly garden will bring you closer to nature, and in return you will enjoy a healthier, more sustainable garden. Simple changes can help reduce your carbon footprint, helping to make a positive impact on climate change.