8 eco-friendly ideas for your garden
There are plenty of ways you can achieve a beautiful garden whilst being conscious of the environment and local wildlife. Read on for our top tips.
1. Start composting
A compost heap doubles up as an ideal way to reduce waste, while providing an important habitat for the wildlife in your garden. If you want to give this environmentally-friendly method a go, purchase an inexpensive compost bin, position it in a shady area and add a spadeful of soil.
2. Be kind to wildlife
Maintaining ecosystems is important for our local environments, and it’s always good to encourage wildlife into your garden. Providing food and shelter for species of birds, hedgehogs, and bugs is a great way to start – you can purchase bird boxes, hedgehog houses and bug hotels in lots of places, or make your own. It’s important to make sure animals like hedgehogs will also have easy access in and out of your garden.
3. Choose native plants
Growing native plants in your garden - species that naturally grow in the UK – is a good way to support wildlife and will also be easier to maintain. A wildflower patch in particular is ideal for attracting bees, so plant varieties such as primrose, honeysuckle, foxglove, bluebells, lily-of-the-valley and dog rose to encourage them into your garden.
4. Grow your own
Growing your own produce is a fantastic way to reduce your impact on the environment, and also brings the joy of knowing you’ve grown your own meal from scratch. A small vegetable patch doesn’t require much space, and there’s a huge variety of fruits and veg that grow well in the UK, including carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries.
5. Collect rainwater
Water butts are a great way to conserve water, especially given our rainy UK climate. Designed in a range of sizes and styles to suit any garden, water butts collect rainwater which can then be used to keep your garden looking beautiful and healthy. To be fully environmentally-friendly, you could opt for a water butt made out of recycled plastic.
6. Companion planting
Companion planting is the method of growing certain plants together in combinations that will deter insects and diseases, aid pollination and encourage growth, leading to an all-round happier garden. This works especially well for varieties of fruits and vegetables – some of the best plant companions include carrots and leeks, tomatoes and marigolds, and strawberries and borage.
7. Go wild
While green and perfectly manicured lawns look lovely, they’re not ideal for wildlife, especially if you use weedkillers and fertilisers. For a garden that really encourages life, consider leaving a patch of lawn to grow wild – the long grass and flowers that spring up will provide a great habitat for insects, and attract bees and butterflies.
8. Upcycle garden furniture
Need to furnish your new garden? How about saving money and the planet by upcycling and finding secondhand garden furniture. If you’re crafty, you could repurpose some wooden pallets into bench seating, turn old wooden step ladders into a pot display, or use recycled timber to make outdoor shelves. Ebay and Facebook Marketplace are also great sources for secondhand garden furniture that you can strip down, sand and repaint.
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