Five Top Tips for a Sustainable Garden Design
Growing awareness of the problems of global warming and climate change means that people are increasingly aware of the need to make their gardens more environmentally friendly.
Here Compass Garden and Landscape Design, who also provide a planting consultancy service in Bath, Bristol and across the south-west of England, identify five key areas in which gardeners can do their bit to help preserve the planet.
Take Care with Hard Landscaping
Using hard surfaces for paving slabs and driveways creates the problem of run-off. Rainwater splashes off the surface, instead of sinking into the ground. This means it can pick up all sorts of potentially harmful chemicals before it enters the nearest drain, stream or river.
An integrated approach to hard and soft landscaping features will help to eliminate this problem. Solid driveways can be broken up with grass strips between your vehicle’s wheels, while permeable gravel is an eco-friendly alternative. Consider using permeable paving for paths and patios. And hedges are preferable to solid wooden fences, as they provide valuable shelter and habitats for wildlife.
Even drought-tolerant plants need some moisture. The best way of ensuring you have a plentiful supply of water is to install a rain barrel or water butt, which is particularly useful during the summer or in areas which are likely to suffer long dry spells.
An irrigation system which covers your flower beds will ensure that the water gets to the areas where it will do the most good.
Choose Plants Carefully
A good mix of plants is essential for a sustainable garden design, as this will attract a variety of insects and pollinators and ensures that your garden has a rich and thriving eco-system.
Native species, bought locally, are more likely to flourish than non-native varieties. Drought-resistant plants are less thirsty and will save on your watering (and reduce the size of your water bill).
And whatever plants you pick, use mulch wherever possible. This will ensure your flower beds retain a lot more moisture in the soil, and mulch is also very good at suppressing weeds.
Include a Tree
Even the smallest of gardens benefits from a tree. They can provide a striking focal point, and, in the case of fruit trees, a valuable source of food. Depending on where you put them, they can also provide extra privacy from neighbours and passers-by.
And trees act as valuable ‘carbon sinks’ which means they absorb more carbon dioxide than they produce. So even one new tree can, in its own small way, help to combat the problem of global warming.
Let Plants Grow Wild
Another way of encouraging wildlife into your garden is to let plants grow as nature intended. Let the grass grow long, and don’t pull up all the weeds as these provide shelter and nutrition too. And you can give nature a helping hand by installing bird feeding boxes, while insects will flourish if you create piles of twigs and leaves in the backs of beds and borders.
Sustainable Gardens from Compass Landscape and Garden Design
If you are interested in creating a sustainable garden, then Compass Garden and Landscape Design will be able to help you. Our planting consultancy service means we will be able to recommend which varieties of eco-friendly flowers, shrubs or trees are likely to flourish in your soil and climate, whether you live in Bath, Bristol, Bradford on Avon or anywhere in Wiltshire or Somerset.
And our network of tried and trusted local contractors means you can enjoy sustainable hard landscaping features which will form an integral part of your overall garden design. If you would like to know more, you can reach us on 01225 949581 or click on this link to find our contacts page.