Spoiler: think beyond a wild-flower Meadow
When you hear the phrase eco-friendly garden, your mind may first go to an untamed, overgrown space teeming with wildflowers. Whilst this can be one form of an eco-friendly space, it certainly isn’t the only option. With careful planning, our eco-friendly garden can be slick and contemporary. Make use of ethically sourced materials and innovative technology to create the perfect space for you and for nature.
Recycle and reuse materials where-ever you can. Explore freecycle.org and ebay.co.uk to source tin buckets, baths, clay pipes, pallets and scaffolding boards which can be put to good use. Using recycled materials will add charm and character to your outdoor space. It is also an opportunity to amplify your home’s identity and enhance its design. If you live in a Victorian terrace, old hand-made bricks are the perfect material to use in your project. You could also use ‘new’ materials such as recycled concrete aggregate or recycled plastic decking to perfect your garden look. Have a look at the ‘Living Ethically Directory’ and the ‘Recycled Products Guide’ to find companies which sell furniture, pots, fencing and more made from recycled plastic and wood.
Shopping locally will help you to reduce your carbon footprint as these products will have fewer airmiles attached. Water conservation is vital if you’re planning an eco-friendly garden. Place a rain butt on every downpipe and use this to keep your garden lush and green.
Avoid chemicals and opt for natural methods to combat pests in your garden. Greenfly can be knocked off plants using a strong jet of water. Keep slugs under control with copper slug rings. Explore companion planting to save your produce. Planting horseradish near potatoes will increase their resistance to disease whilst onions and chives around roses will help combat black spot.
Encourage wildlife into your garden. Bees love flowers with ‘open-faces’. Consider erecting boxes for birds to nest in and place a variety of foods out to attract them. Song thrushes loves dried fruit, chaffinches and blue tits are partial to sunflower seeds which blackbirds love rotten apples.