10 Tips for a more eco-friendly garden | General

When it comes to eco-friendly gardening, the key is to focus on practices that cause no harm to the environment. And let’s not forget about the benefits of eco-friendly garden designs such as boosting water quality and ensuring a safer environment for nature’s creatures.

As it’s the perfect time for all to go a little ‘greener’ these days, let’s take a look at 10 ways in which you can start planting your eco-friendly garden today.

1. Recycle and reuse materials

Amara Bakoven: AFTER palms Urban Landscape Solutions

Using recycled materials in your garden path, furnishings and other elements allows you the opportunity to add creativity, character, and charm to your outdoor space. To help you decide on the proper materials, look to your house’s existing design style. A more traditional/Victorian house will look splendid with a new terrace crafted from old hand-made bricks picked up at a reclamation yard, for example.

2. Be wise with water

Cottage Garden Greenacres Cape landscaping Classic style garden

To use as little water as possible, remove your sprinkler systems or set them on a timer. Where possible, use recycled rainwater for your plants (by directing your roof’s downpipe to a rain barrel) instead of watering them from a tap.

3. Grow your own food

office landscaping plan for council approval Lemontree Landscape architecture and Design

Planting and growing your own veggies and fruits not only reduces environmental impact, but also tastes better and is healthier. Depending on your yard’s size, consider planting some carrots, potatoes, apples, and more.

But remember that it’s important to attract insects to your garden as well (like aloes and Cape violet, which both attract bees), as pollinators are vital for optimum plant growth.

4. Plant indigenous plants to support wildlife

Herb garden homify Country style garden

Distributing indigenous South African plants in your garden not only makes growing other plants and foods easier, but also helps to attract (and repel) the right kind of creatures.

Rosemary, lavender, artichokes, and cabbages are just some of the edible plants popular in South African gardens. And don’t forget to scatter some herbs and insect-repelling plants around like marigolds, petunias, mint, basil, etc.

5. Reduce your energy use

Renovations to Gardenview Guest House The Matrix Urban Designers and Architects Modern Garden

How much electricity goes into your garden? Did you know using solar-powered lights and water features can help to store energy (produced by sunlight) and release it when necessary, thereby severely slashing your electricity bill?

Best of all? They are available in various styles and sizes and are quite easy to install – thus, no worries if you haven’t brought a professional Landscape Designer onboard your garden project.

 

6. Make your garden bigger

Formal Seating Area Red Daffodil Classic style garden

Although not possible for all, connecting your garden with other outdoor spaces can attract more ground-dwelling wildlife and boost your garden’s wildlife diversity. Even just cutting a small hole in your fence can do the trick (although we must insist on putting your family’s safety first).

7. Make your own compost

Cottage Garden Greenacres Cape landscaping Classic style garden

Research tells us that gardens with trees attract more wildlife than those without. But opt for native species like Cork Bush, Lavender Fever Berry, Pompon Tree, White Pear, etc.

And plan properly before you plant, as trees can provide great benefits like shade and reduced noise pollution, but can also cause trouble with roots, branches, etc.

8. Plant a tree

Enigma Mansion Urban Landscape Solutions Colonial style garden

Research tells us that gardens with trees attract more wildlife than those without. But opt for native species like Cork Bush, Lavender Fever Berry, Pompon Tree, White Pear, etc.

And plan properly before you plant, as trees can provide great benefits like shade and reduced noise pollution, but can also cause trouble with roots, branches, etc.

9. Reuse fallen leaves

HOUSE 2 Greenacres Cape landscaping Minimalist style garden

Speaking of your new garden tree(s), commit to raking up all those fallen leaves and storing them in a biodegradable leaf sack. Once they’ve finished decomposing, you will have a natural leaf mould that’s an ideal fertilizer for your garden.

10. Keep your garden creatures refreshed

pond Till Manecke:Architect Eclectic style garden

Don’t just lure your wildlife creatures in and expect them to keep themselves happy. Drinking- and bathing water, in the shape of a pond or bird bath, is always a great option to keep animals and insects refreshed.

Or see what kind of ceramic plant saucers (glazed, unglazed, painted terra cotta… ) you can put down for some extra exterior pizzazz.

 

Courtesy of Johannes Van Graan, Homify

 

 

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