As a literal “green space”, you’d think that having an environmentally-friendly garden would be a piece of cake – but in reality, our traditional lawns and flowerbeds might not be as eco-friendly as you’d expect.

Don’t worry though – if you’re interested in making your garden even more green, there are a few simple steps you can take to get started.

 

Water

 

If you have extensive flowerbeds or a lush lawn you’d rather not turn yellow, you’re no doubt used to getting out the watering can, garden hose or sprinkler and giving it all a good watering. However, it’s always worth trying to conserve water where you can, and in a country like the UK where rain is never far away, it makes sense to make the most of it. If you can divert your downpipes into water butts, you can collect rainwater that you can use across your garden, without having to access your mains supply. Water butts can be anything from old barrels to terracotta pots to recycled plastic, so see what kind is best for your garden. If you’re concerned about installing them, a handyman would be able to help.

 

Recycled materials

 

Reduce, reuse and recycle are the watchwords of going green, and you can keep these in mind just as much in your garden as you can in your home. There are lots of elements in your garden that can be constructed with salvaged materials, whether that’s using reclaimed tiles, old timber for fencing, or railway sleepers for steps. If you’re planning a total garden overhaul, it’s worth speaking with a landscaper about the availability of these kinds of materials and where they can be sourced from.

 

 

Make your own compost

 

To encourage healthy plant growth, you need good quality, nutrient-rich soil, and the best way to speed this along is to create your own compost. Most food waste such as vegetable peelings can go in along with other garden waste such as lawn clippings and dead leaves, along with some paper and card. Using your own compost will save you trips to the garden centre to buy pre-made compost, and help put you on the path to growing your own fruits, herbs and vegetables, for the ultimate in food with low mileage. If you want to create a dedicated area for composting, a bricklayer or general builder can help partition an area where you can start your pile.

 

Allow nature into the garden

 

There are many ways to encourage local wildlife into the garden – for example, allowing a part of your garden to grow wild with weeds and wildflowers can allow insects to thrive, which in turn provides a good source of food for birdlife. You can also put up feeders to entice birds, while avoiding pesticides when dealing with unwanted plants can stop toxins getting into the soil and the food chain. Plants with single flowers such as marigolds are a good choice for welcoming bees into the garden, as they are a good source of pollen, while choosing varied plants that bloom at different times of year can help bring them back all year round.