How to Create a Sustainable Garden That Doesn’t Cost the Earth
Transforming your garden into a more usable and sustainable space for you and your family can also have a positive impact on the environment with just a few simple considerations:
Choose Sustainable Materials
For new patios and other hard landscaping, choose materials which are locally sourced rather than those that come from the other side of the world. They will be quicker, easier to source and more cost effective. Also, using local materials will create a more cohesive feel and naturally tie in with your neighbourhood.
Make sure that you choose sustainable FSC-certified wood for pergolas and peat-free compost to reduce the impact of your choices on the environment.
Consider whether you can reuse existing materials in your garden, whether cleaned up on view or as a base for new areas. This will also reduce the amount of waste you need to send to landfill, which in turn saves you money. If you have items that are not to your taste, but perfectly serviceable, why not freecycle them, offer to charity or your neighbours via your local WhatsApp group.
Use Small Local Businesses
In the same way, choosing a local business ensures they are making shorter journeys to your garden. There will be plenty of designers and landscapers to choose from in your area, so make sure you do your research carefully: check their green credentials on their website, get personal recommendations and interact with them in person to see how you click with them before you make a choice. It is important that you are on the same wavelength and have the same outlook on sustainability – if they mention wildlife and recycling in the first meeting, you are onto a winner!
A Sustainable Garden is Wildlife-Friendly
Modern low maintenance gardens can be short on habitats and food for wildlife and birdlife, but they don’t have to be! With carefully chosen plants for nectar for bees and berries for birds, a natural pond or even a simple compost heap, your garden can be a haven for wildlife, whatever its size and style. Adding gaps into your fences to create hedgehog highways and providing hog houses will help the populations of these popular creatures to continue to grow in urban areas. And attracting wildlife can help your garden manage itself with its own natural ecological system in play to keep down unwanted pests.
Getting professional advice to ensure your plant choices are suitable for your garden location, soil and aspect will reduce the need to add in chemicals to feed your plants and keep them pest free, as they will naturally thrive. If you do need to control the occasional pest, try to do so organically without the need for using harmful pesticides.
If you are not so keen on some of the plants in your garden, try donating them to charity or your neighbours (if they are healthy and you are not going to transport hidden weed roots with them!).
Harness the Weather
By harvesting rainwater in water butts, planting hedges as wind breaks for more tender plants and adding in solar features in sunny parts of your garden, you will be harnessing whatever the British weather throws at us!
Grow Your Own!
There’s nothing quite like eating fresh food straight out of your garden. It’s organic, has zero air miles and tastes amazing! Whether you only have room for just a couple of raised beds, a collection of pots in a sunny corner of your garden, or a complete kitchen garden area with potting shed and greenhouse, it can make a wonderful addition to your garden. With many herbs and vegetables offering food for pollinators, it’s great for wildlife too.
Rewilding Your Garden
Leaving areas in your garden and creating wildflower meadows in a corner of your garden can provide plenty of habitats for wildlife and give you lots of pleasure, while at the same time removing some of the more laborious mowing and pruning tasks. If you prefer your garden to look tidy, choose a spot which is not on show to go wild and create an area for pollinators to help with natural pest control and ecology.
Keep Yourself Happy and Healthy
The great thing about having a sustainable garden is that it has plenty of life and there is always something to enjoy. Gardening is recognised as being wonderful for mental health, as it allows you to make the most of the outdoors while keeping fit at the same time. After recent difficult times, many people have realised the importance of gardens for helping deal with stress and offer a sanctuary of calm, away from the modern world.
Cathy founded Wild to Wonderful Gardens in 2004, putting her passion for gardening, design and planting flair to good use creating beautiful gardens. She now runs the company with her husband Alan and their friendly team of landscapers, craftspeople and gardeners, creating beautiful gardens across Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties.
For more details, please visit their website at www.wildtowonderful.co.uk or give their friendly office team a call on 01235 835664.
The team are also exhibiting at local shows in the coming weeks, so why not pop along and visit their stand for a chat:
- Easter Sunday 17th April & Monday 18th April – Newbury Garden Show – Craft and Gift/Shopping Pavilion at the Newbury Showground, Priors Court, Hermitage, Thatcham, RG18 9QZ. Please visit https://www.aztecevents.co.uk/garden-shows/newbury-garden-show/ for more details and to buy tickets. The show celebrates the very best of gardening, home and lifestyle. The Showground will be filled with inspiration, flowers and plants and everything you need for your home and garden.
- Saturday 4th June – Harwell Feast 2022 – Craft marquee at the Recreation ground, Harwell village, Oxfordshire. Events start with a parade through the village, and the fun continues on with lots of entertainment for all the family for the rest of the day on the recreation ground. Please visit https://harwellfeast.com/ to find out more!