You don’t need to rely on a cocktail of chemical pesticides, fertilizers and weed killers to make your garden grow. These top green landscaping trends will help Mother Nature thrive and save you money.
Creating a truly harmonious environment for the ‘ecosystem’ of a garden has experienced a huge upswing in popularity as more people realize that a healthy home for all the butterflies, bees, birds, lizards and small mammals is just as important as healthy plants. Next time you’re in your garden, think of ways you can provide havens of shade, safety and water. Start by installing a feeder or nesting home for birds - they’ll reward you by making a feast out of plant destroying slug, slugs, snails, caterpillars.
This DIY Bird house is a good way to start!
Instead of trying to persuade plants to bloom with heavy watering, painstaking maintenance and a concoction of chemicals, many time poor gardeners are now choosing species that naturally thrive – even when left to their own devices. It makes sense to work with Mother Nature; it means less maintenance, watering, pest control and feeding.
Consider where you can use natives – these use less water, attract local wildlife and many are also drought resistant. Research what plants and trees are local to your area – and make sure they’ve been cultivated from seeds, rather than dug up.
‘Laundry to landscape’
More and more homes have been adopting the ‘Laundry to landscape’ method of recycling grey water, and installing rain barrels to capture mineral and chlorine-free water. It saves water and money, and also reduces storm water runoff, which in turn helps prevent erosion and flooding.
Compost, compost, compost
Composting has boomed in popularity, with some city councils even offering free courses on how to turn kitchen scraps, grass cuttings, leaves and garden waste into ‘Gardeners Gold’. It just makes sense – you’ll save money, send less to landfill and in a matter of months you’ll have a nutritious brew to improve soil texture, aeration and water retention. Speed up the process with the help of earthworms.
With all the media surrounding pesticides and herbicides used in industrial farming practices, it’s no surprise that foodscaping has become so popular. Turning a traditional landscape into a bounty of herbs, vegetables and fruit the really pays off once the harvest comes in. You don’t even need a dedicated patch; it’s all about looking for opportunities where you can plant vegetables and fruit trees in your existing garden.
The pesticide revolution
We all know about the devastating impact of pesticides on the environment, and thanks to the number of blogs dedicated to natural pest and weed control, the alternatives are no longer a secret. There’s companion planting, planting to attract beneficial insects, and plenty of non-toxic homemade remedies that call for tea tree oil, canola oil and baking soda. A quick Google or Pinterest search will yield plenty of results to help get you started.
Reuse and recycle
Creating outdoor furniture and design features out of recycled materials bring real character to your garden; and knowing that your elegant sofa was innovatively crafted from a few humble pallets brings a real sense of pride!
Not the DIY type? If you’re in the market for materials for walls or furniture, consider buying second hand. And don’t stop there - yogurt pots and other plastic containers can be adapted as seed trays or used to raise seedlings, while larger plastic bottles with the bottom cut off are great to protect young plants.
When it comes to your lawn mower and power tools, consider borrowing or if you are going to buy, invest in good quality equipment that will last.
Nurture the butterflies and bees
The plight of our falling bee and butterfly populations has been well documented. But you can help by simply aiming to provide a pesticide-free sanctuary for our pollinator pals and growing a diverse variety of native flowers they're particularly drawn to. Your local garden centre should be able to recommend what plants are best for your area.
Turfing the turf
Another trend you’ll have seen in the glossy pages of gardening magazines is crawlers, ground covers and garden beds in favour of grassed areas. More plants mean more biodiversity and less lawn will help you reduce water usage – and the time you spend mowing!