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Building a garden is a fun and challenging endeavor to pursue. There are right and wrong ways to do this, especially if you take the eco-friendly route. Here are some ideas on pretty and prudent ways to build an eco-friendly garden in this collaborative post.
As much as we might find our garden to be a sanctuary of natural beauty, representing the very best of the environment all in our own home, the truth is that they might not be quite as natural under the surface. More gardeners are becoming aware of the impact that their lawns and flowerbeds have on the wider environment, and more are doing something about it. Your garden can still look gorgeous and it can be eco-friendly without having to impact the budget too much.
Vertical gardening is becoming all the rage with homeowners more than happy to start planting up their walls, their fences, on their windowsills and so on. But did you know that it also has real benefits to the environment around you and the health of the garden? First of all, vertical gardens present a safe environment for birds and insects that are less likely to spend time on the ground, keeping them away from predators. But they also protect your garden and your home, reducing the impact of smog especially in urban environments, as well as providing some insulation against airborne chemicals that can often filter in from the road.
Skip the Chemicals
Speaking of chemical pollution, the sad fact is that many gardens don’t need a lot of help getting soaked in chemicals. Pesticides and weed-killers might a quick solution to a problem but the truth is that they’re contributing to the widespread contamination of the soil and water supplies in many cities. What’s more, pesticides don’t discriminate and can cause a lot of harm to even the most benign of wildlife in your area. Using natural solutions such as companion plants to attract pest-predators or deter predators can be a lot more environmentally friendly. If you’re looking to help your garden grow more fertile, then compost is more effective in the long-term and a lot cheaper.
Micro-manage the Water
You want to make sure you give your lawn and your plants all the water they need but are you overdoing it? Beyond risking over-watering your garden, being too eager with the watering can and will cause your utility bills to skyrocket. What’s more, we’re facing a genuine water crisis in the future, with some major cities across the world already running out of the resource we take for advantage. Amongst the irrigation benefits that ensure your garden gets just the amount of water it needs, smart watering and sprinkling systems use just as much water as is necessary, not a drop more. More people are starting to reuse grey water from the home as well. So long as the water isn’t contaminated with bleach, reusing water from sinks and baths can help you save a lot of the wet stuff.
Invite Some Houseguests
When we think of wildlife in the garden, a lot of us think only of the pests that can end up ruining our garden or even getting in our homes. But we have to remember that we share our ecosystem with all kinds of creatures and you could help some of the more harmless ones find a home or temporary refuge in your garden. You can build a hedgehog home, for instance, that gives them shelter, especially in the winter, helping them survive. Bird feeders are an easy, cheap way to help your winged neighbors, too. Making your garden more suitable for wildlife is all about learning which species live locally to you and using the environment you already have to make it more suitable to provide them with a place to be safe.
Especially the Bees
Regardless of where you live, everyone could do a little more to help the bees. You can plant flowers that are more attractive to bees to help them pollinate. But you can even provide a temporary home for bees. Besides honeybees and bumblebees that create big hives, the solitary bees that find their own individual nests for their larvae are just as important to our ecosystem’s health. More people are investing in bee hotels to provide these solitary kinds with a place to live temporarily. However, you can just as easily build your own if you have some wood and a penchant for DIY.
You want somewhere comfortable to be able to enjoy the views of your garden or to sit back with friends and enjoy a drink and conversation out in the sun. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, when you’re choosing garden furniture, are you choosing furniture fabricated out of new plastic or wood, contributing to the widespread overuse of our natural resources? Instead, consider looking at recycled garden furniture. There’s recycled wood, recycled plastic, and recycled metal. The industry is growing, too, so your choices of different styles aren’t as limited as they might have once been. In most cases, recycled goods tend to be more sturdily built than your standard retail furniture, too. This means you won’t have to spend on a replacement in a couple of years.
Enjoy the Fruits (and Vegetables) of Your Labor
Growing your own food has lots and lots of benefits. First of all, it ends up cheaper than buying all your food if you do it on a budget. You can be certain your food isn’t being altered with chemicals or preservatives. There’s also a certain sense of satisfaction when you enjoy the taste of something that you personally helped to create from scratch. What’s more, planting your own organic garden is a lot more environmentally friendly. It might seem like a small change, but it makes a big difference to your carbon footprint. You’re not paying for the heavy-duty farm equipment or the transport trucks that burn through fuel to get your food to your plate.
If you’re willing to take the eco-friendly option with your garden, you can do a lot of good not just for your local environment, but the health of your own plants and the vibrancy of your own garden. Before you invest in any changes to the garden, always do your research to find if there’s an option that’s healthier for the world around you.
How would you build your eco-friendly garden? What are you doing to maintain a pretty eco-friendly garden? Let me know in the comments below.
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