Homeowners are searching for more environmentally friendly ways of living to support the planet, reduce energy consumption and lower energy bills.
From recycling in our homes to finding ways to reduce our energy usage and carbon footprint, in the last few years, we’ve all stepped up a gear in making our daily habits more sustainable and kinder to the Earth.
You may already be doing lots inside of your home, but have you considered how you could make your garden more sustainable?
There really is so much you can do in your garden to support the local wildlife, cut your water and energy consumption, and reduce your carbon footprint by opting for recycled or more sustainable materials.
Every single garden is a mini ecosystem in itself. From the tiniest living creatures such as worms, bees and butterflies to the bigger species such as birds, badgers and foxes, every single living organism in your garden has a part to play as part of the wider ecosystem.
There are lots of things you can do to make your garden more inviting and homely for these important insects and animals.
Bees, butterflies and dragonflies all love flowers.
By creating a wildflower garden, you can choose plants and flowers that continue to support these creatures all year round, in the most natural of ways.
What’s more, native wildflower gardens are generally a low-maintenance option. Apart from a trim every now and then, you can leave these natural beauties to do their own thing.
For somewhere to plant your fancy feel-good florals, choose a raised bed.
This will help you to contain the easy growers, whilst sculpting the aesthetic structural layout of your garden.
Raised beds can be made using responsibly sourced sleepers and filled with super enriching homemade compost.
Place your beds in a spot that is both partially sunny, and partially sheltered and try not to put the raised bed too close to doors in your house.
Don’t forget to use a weed ground control to reduce or cut out the need for harmful weed chemicals.
Give them the space they need to grow and bring wildlife into your garden.
Throughout different seasons, the local wildlife needs different types of foods and habitats to live.
As the winter season approaches and the ground begins to harden, give the birds a helping hand to stay fed and warm by introducing bird feeders and boxes into your garden.
Throughout the winter months, opt for seeds. And, when spring kicks in, treat them to protein-rich fat balls.
To enhance the biodiversity of your garden, provide food and habitats at different levels. Opt for a trellis and grow Ivy or Clematis. Both plants are a great source of food and pollen for insects and birds.
For hedgehogs, provide a small hole in your fence so they can access your garden and plenty of shrubs and hedges for them to snuggle in over the winter. Have a look at our hedgehog-friendly concrete gravel boards which allow them to pass through your garden.
Plant hedges such as raspberries and wild cherry, which bees and caterpillars also love too.
For the bees, have you considered a hive? If you have pets and children and are put off by the idea of a hive, provide the bees with a safe place to shelter and lay their eggs, with a bee hotel. You can make these yourself using hollow stems, such as bamboo canes and a few leftover pieces of timber.
Don’t forget to offer somewhere for insects, birds and animals to have a drink. A small dish of water or even an empty plant pot provides the perfect spot for a little water refreshment.
If you have the space, why not incorporate a small pond where water-loving creatures such as newts, pond skaters and dragonflies can kick back and enjoy your garden?
For another boost in biodiversity, leave your lawn long in a few areas.
Every time you cut the grass, you take away a home for the insects and animals in your garden. However, you do have to be realistic. Keeping the grass long isn’t always practical.
Instead, mow once every 4 weeks to allow ‘short-grass’ plants such as daisies to flower. Leave some of the grass long to give grass-loving insects and animals a safe place to live. This will help to support the biodiversity of your garden and boost nectar production.
Want to cut your carbon footprint in the garden? Choose the recycled and upcycled route.
If you want to replace your deck, you could use Trex decking, which has been made from recycled plastics.
But, rather than throwing away your old deck, save the old timber and use it to create other garden features such as a composter, bench seating, a wall feature for bird feeders or even a hedgehog or butterfly house.
Create garden edging, retaining walls and furniture using reclaimed sleepers.
These sleepers not only offer a rustic and characterful look, but they will also have a second lease of life in your garden, providing aesthetic functionality, and an insect-friendly habitat.
For garden features, why not upcycle old watering cans, paint pots and even household items such as basins, baths, biscuit tins and old oil cans to create stunning plant pots?
Household waste is inevitable. But rather than chucking it away and sending your waste to landfill, why not recycle?
Compost bins offer the perfect solution for re-using kitchen waste such as peelings, coffee and food waste, as well as garden waste too.
Rather than buying soil for your beds, save cost and carbon by opting for an eco-friendly homemade compost.
Composting is really easy, and the by-product of your compost heap is far better for the environment than standard shop-bought soil.
That’s because it’s naturally resistant to weeds, meaning that you can cut back or cut out harmful herbicides.
What’s more, compost heaps are loved by frogs, slow worms, woodlice and worms. And, if you’re worried about rats, put only raw foods in your compost heap.
If you haven’t already started composting and are looking for a little help and inspiration to get started, take a look at this easy guide.
Save your water bill and help to reduce your usage by collecting rainwater in your garden.
While you can buy purpose-designed water butts, you can also get inventive and save cost by making your own water collection system.
Recycle old oil drums, plastic bins, large PVC barrels or even old wine barrels.
Use the water you’ve collected to hydrate plants and flower beds instead of using the garden hose.
Looking to live more sustainably and eat with the seasons? Why not grow your own fruits and vegetables?
There’s lots of fun to be had with growing your own food.
And while you may not be able to entirely eat from your garden, for everything that you do grow, harvest and eat yourself, you’re saving your carbon footprint.
There are so many things you can plant in raised beds to keep you going throughout the year.
And, if you’re already growing your own fruits and vegetables and want to step it up a gear, why not invite chickens into your garden?
There is something lovely about fresh eggs, but what’s more, chicken poo is a great plant fertiliser too.
Garden lighting is a must if you want to sit outside in the evening.
If you’re looking for garden lighting that’s a little kinder to the planet, why not consider solar-powered fairy lights and pathway lighting?
Save on batteries and bills and use solar energy to light up your garden space.
Creating an eco-friendly garden is all about supporting the natural ecosystem, whilst finding ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
There are lots of different ways to recycle old pieces of timber as well as options to replace timber features with responsibly sourced timber materials and products.
Don’t forget that to boost biodiversity in your outdoor space, you need to mix and match between a range of plants and insects, bird and animal-friendly plants and habitats.
Avoid pesticides, and instead, use other interventions such as homemade compost and weed ground controls.
And to make your garden usage more sustainable try out using composting, growing your own food and collecting rainwater.
Find everything you need to get eco-friendly-garden-ready here.