Typically, the language surrounding a garden serves to make it seem exclusive from the local area and ecology. Many will describe their home’s outdoor space as a private escape or their own piece of nature. While the casual inference of enclosure is somewhat true, it would be wrong to assume that our residential gardens are exclusive from the area’s natural environment.
As many residents become more conscious of their carbon footprint and environmental impact, gardens are being used and designed more carefully. The connections between what is inside our gardens and beyond our fences are being scrutinised, changing the ways we think of our homes. For those who want to improve this connection, bringing a greater benefit to local ecology while also reducing their home’s impact, we’re sharing some of the most effective ways this can be done.
Some of the most harmful practices that occur within garden fences are those that affect and harm pollinators. This could be directly and severely with the use of chemicals, such as pesticides and weed killers, or more casually with the control and removal of wildflowers and long grass, which serve to benefit pollinators.
By embracing wild design, even within certain regimented areas of a garden, such as is popular during No Mow May, pollinators are able to better thrive and a garden can be a source of bounty for the local ecology, instead of a desert.
Being exposed to the elements means that a garden can become a source of energy and utility for residents. Rainfall, for example, can be captured and used as a water supply to offset water bills and consumption. Others will install compact solar panels atop sheds and log cabins so as to generate energy for their home or portable batteries. Even small efforts, such as having a home compost system, eliminates the carbon cost of food waste and restore nutrients in a garden’s soil.
Welcoming The Wild
Beyond the plants that a garden grows, there are other ways to facilitate local wildlife. Insect hotels are a fun creation to build with family and friends, which can be discreetly placed in a garden space, supporting local bugs to prosper. Much the same are bird and bat boxes, as well as hedgehog hotels, which offer shelter to local creatures. Feeders and water drips are also simple, low-cost additions that can be hugely valuable to wildlife, especially during periods of drought.
By growing your own vegetables and fruits, even herbs and spices, a garden can support your diet and relieve the demand for industrial agriculture. Even a simple grow box can be a source of tomatoes or carrots that help to feed yourself and others. Many will also combine their home growing with compost systems, being able to reduce their home’s food waste to barely any impact at all, returning what cannot be consumed back to the soil to aid further prosperity.