Sustainability, and how we go about achieving it, has become a trending topic over the past few years. The most recently aired episodes of Blue Planet 2 emphasize the need for us to come together and protect our environment from further damage. Though we cannot revoke what’s already been done, there are certainly steps we can take from now on. It may seem like a small factor in the grand scheme of things but creating a sustainable garden can have a bigger impact than you think on the environment. Here’s a few ways I’ve achieved a sustainable garden over time:
One of the easiest ways to start a Sustainable Garden is through composting. The introduction of compost bins now means that you don’t need masses of room for a compost heap at the end of your garden. The beauty of composting is that it requires very minimal effort for significant return. There are many household waste products you can add to your compost including: tea bags, vegetables peels, grass cuttings, and plant trimmings. Compost is not only sustainable in terms of recycled household waste -but it also helps you grow you own plants, which is another step in achieving sustainability!
Invest in all-weather furniture
Sustainability isn’t solely about providing for yourself, it also allows you to save money. Most people’s gardens become a hub in the summer, a place to congregate with loved ones and enjoy the glorious weather. When it comes to outdoor furniture, it’s best to invest in something that won’t quickly depreciate over a short period of time. All-weather wicker furniture is perfect for keeping outside all year round, which is worth the investment if you’ve got nowhere to store your furniture indoors for the winter months. If you are looking for good furniture, consider that Online decor stores offer a wide selection of Outdoor furniture on their websites.
Grow your own
From your nutrient filled compost, you should now be able to grow your own fruit and vegetables! The notion of growing your own produce is nothing new, in fact, there was a time where living off the land was all we knew. So, why not get back to your roots with your very own vegetable patch? Not only will you be benefitting from fresh, homegrown produce that will encourage you to eat healthier, but you’ll also feel reassured in knowing exactly where your food is coming from. Once you make the switch from supermarket tomatoes to home grown, you’ll never go back! If your garden isn’t spacious enough for a fully-fledged vegetable patch, then consider a raised vegetable bed. This raised wooden box will allow you to grow your own fruit and veg, just in a more compact space. Benefits of using a raised bed include: improved drainage, easy maintenance and using the best soil for maximum yield.
Recycling is a fundamental element to achieving sustainability. We’ve all been made aware of the importance of recycling in our homes to save our planet, so apply the same rules when it comes to your garden. You’ve already ticked one box for recycling with your introduction of composting. Now, it’s time to think of ways you can “upcycle” or “re-purpose” everyday items that you’d otherwise throw way. Not only does this save you throwing away “junk” – but it also adds another dimension to your garden! One way fellow gardeners have been getting creative is by reworking an old set of drawers into a vertical garden. It doesn’t matter if your chest of drawers has a few scratches or marks, you can always paint over it with some wood paint – or leave them there to add character. Simply arrange the drawers as if they were steps, filling each compartment with your desired arrangement. Other ways of upcycling junk include: wheelbarrow plant pots, a rustic illusion mirror (which will make your garden look bigger), and old cuts of slabs as mosaic wall art.
Get seed savvy
Possibly one of the most obvious but underused way of achieving a sustainable garden is to start re-planting from old seeds. Once your plant has matured, you’ll notice it produces seeds before it eventually dies out. Don’t throw them – keep them! You can re-plant them for another flourishing garden next year. There is absolutely no need to purchase new plants and bulbs every year, when you can salvage usable seeds and become self-sufficient. It also means you will be saving money at the same time.
During the summer months, it’s not unheard of for a sprinkler or hose pipe ban to be implemented in some areas. Turning off your sprinklers is a key component if you wish to conserve water in your garden; only water at the right time. Collecting rainwater is a fantastic way to “recycle” water. Simply divert the water from your drainpipe into a watering can or bucket. Tthen you’re free to reuse the water for your plants whenever needed! If you’re feeling a little more high-tech, then fit a water butt in your garden to a downpipe. Then you can collect larger amounts of rainwater (plants prefer rainwater anyway).
Save the bees
Saving the bees is an important step in sustainability for the greater good, not just your garden. Scientists and environmentalists have come together to warn us, as a society, of why it’s so important to protect bees. We can all help in our own way; including when it comes to what we plant in our gardens. Some beautiful flowers that attract bees include: Lavender, Butterfly Bush, Stonecrop and Goldenrod. Encouraging bees into our gardens means we play our part in the ecosystem, which is becoming more important than ever.
Consider your resources
Where your resources come from plays a big part when it comes to helping reduce your carbon footprint. When you visit your local garden centre, how sure can you be that everything your buying is homegrown or homemade? And if you’re sure it’s not, have you considered how many air miles that will have traveled just to reach you? Make better informed decisions when you’re buying materials for your garden. Of course, it’s not always practical solely acquire materials available in your country. However, if everyone were to shop a little more consciously, perhaps we’d be able to collectively reduce our contribution to global warming in some small way on our journey to creating a sustainable garden.