If you are looking to overhaul your outdoor space and create your dream garden, then it is important to consider the wildlife and the climate when making changes to your garden. Here are some eco-friendly ideas to consider when designing your dream garden.
Think About Trees
Trees are a fundamental aspect of any garden. Think about whether you can add any more to your garden space as they play an important role in reducing carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air. Not only that, but they also offer a habitat to lots of different wildlife, from birds to bats.
On the other hand, you may have to remove a tree from your garden if it is now dangerous or dead and rotting away. However, it is a good idea to contact tree surveyors from a company like treesurveys.co.uk to take a look and assess it. They will be able to tell you if there are any tree preservation orders in place. If any do have to be removed, then try and plant more in its place.
Add a Pond or Water Feature
In your dream garden you should definitely try and make space for a pond or water feature, especially if you are trying to make it more eco-friendly. Having water in your garden is so beneficial in that it will attract lots of different wildlife to your garden and create its own little eco system. It not only provides a home, but also a bathing spot and food and watering hole for creatures such as frogs, toads, newts, bats, and insects. Foxes and hedgehogs are also likely to benefit from having water readily available. Make sure you have rocks or a plank of wood leading out of the pond so that smaller creatures and frogs can get out of it easily.
Use Eco-Friendly Composite Decking
It is likely that you are going to want to create an eating and entertaining area of your garden. If so, you should consider using eco-friendly composite decking rather than timber, as it is made up of 90% recycled materials, and some types are made in a factory using 100% wind power. It has a considerably lower global warming contribution than timber decking too. This means trees are not cut down in the making of it, and it also saves things that would otherwise go into landfill.
Grow Your Own Veg
Try and make room for a vegetable garden when rehauling your garden space. Whether you have room for several raised beds, or if you can only grow a few things such as tomatoes and potatoes in large containers, it is a great way to be more sustainable in your garden. It can be very satisfying growing and harvesting your own food. You can try fruit such as strawberries, or even some herbs in pots. If you have room for even a couple of raised beds for vegetables, then you can try your hand at growing carrots, lettuce, and other fairly easy to grow veg.
By growing your own you are reducing your carbon footprint by vastly reducing the ‘farm to table’ miles. You are also reducing the need for plastic in wrapping up food that you would normally have to get from the supermarket. It can also be a beautiful and interesting feature of your garden.
Having a compost bin, especially if you are going to be growing your own vegetables, is a great addition to consider in your new dream garden. By making your own compost you are reducing waste and saving carbon emissions. You can even make your own compost bin out of wooden pallets if you like. Just make sure it is positioned somewhere where it will get the sun to help break down everything into compost.
Mulching your plants and borders, which is essentially covering it with compost, or other materials such as sawdust, is a great way to help reduce evaporation (meaning less watering needed), maintain soil temperature and control weeds. You can start adding in leaves from the garden, certain food wastes, and other garden waste and start having your own home-made compost in as little as six to 12 months.
Another eco-friendly addition to the garden would be a water butt. By collecting water and using this to water plants rather than a hose, you are being much more environmentally friendly. You are also covered if there is ever a hosepipe ban over summer since you will still be able to water your garden. Not only will this conserve water and be better for the planet, but you can also reduce your water bills. Rainwater is also better for your plants and flowers than water from the tap, and a sprinkle of rainwater can be the equivalent of a dose of fertiliser.
Upcycle Garden Furniture
Your dream garden is bound to have a space for you to relax and enjoy your garden, and probably a space to eat with family and entertain others. Rather than spending lots of money on new garden furniture, if you want to be more eco-friendly, then why not have a go at upcycling some old furniture? Take a look in charity shops to find old benches that just need a sand down and lick of paint. Look for old tin baths that can be repurposed as a place to store drinks for a summer BBQ.
Create a small meadow or wildflower area in your garden. Fill it with nectar rich flowers to encourage bees and butterflies to come and pollinate. You will find that by encouraging pollinators to the garden your flowers will flourish, and the number of flowers you have will increase without you having to do a thing. If you are growing your own vegetables too, you will also find an increase in pollinators in your garden will benefit the food you grow too.
So, when thinking about your dream garden design, consider being more eco-friendly in your decisions, and be sure to include at least some of these features so that your new garden is attracting a wide variety of wildlife.