Page 20 - Redbriik: Property and Lifestyle Magazine Summer 2019
P. 20

Make your outdoor space environmentally sound
 As a nation we’re finally becoming more environmentally aware, so much so that in a recent survey
by Wyevale Garden Centre 67% of people consider themselves eco- conscious gardeners. Our outdoor spaces can have a huge impact on overall wildlife and ecology,
yet small changes can reap big rewards. With warnings that wildlife populations are in severe decline, it seems that gardeners are keen to take steps to create a more sustainable future.
We look at some of the small changes you can make to create a beautiful garden as well as deliver those all- important environmental benefits.
Veganism is one of the fastest growing lifestyle movements with a 600% increase since 2015 in people claiming to follow a plant-based diet. Coupled with rising supermarket prices and an increased focus on organic produce, it could be the perfect time to start growing your own.
You don’t need masses of space
but do look for a level area with a good amount of sunlight exposure and easy access for watering. Raised beds are great for beginners as you can use good quality compost in the planter and have fewer problems with pests. Strawberries, herbs and salad leaves do brilliantly in pots on a sunny balcony whilst there are some great mini-greenhouse options for those with more space. Consider vegetables that you can grow vertically such as French beans, broad beans, peas and squashes to get the most out of a limited amount of growing space.
Bee populations have declined by 97% since 1940 and they are facing many threats including habitat loss, climate change, toxic pesticides and disease. Without bees naturally pollinating
our food crops, we would see a
severe decline in the amount of food produced. Luckily there is a lot you can do in your garden to encourage the return of the bee.
These beautifully made trugs are the perfect height for growing your own. Medium VegTrug, £180, or available from Homebase stores
Plant borders and bushes populated with native flowers and shrubs provide
a rich source of food for butterflies
and bees, as well as seeds, berries and shelter for small mammals and birds. Bees can see purple better than any other colour so grow lots of purple plants, such as lavender, alliums and buddleia. Bees get easily dehydrated so shallow water features with flat stones for the bee to perch on or even shallow saucers of water are a great idea.
With the quest for plastic-free living becoming a major focus why not switch to biodegradable plant pots using materials such as coconut husks, wood chips or even seaweed? These can then be added straight to the compost when they’re no longer needed. Shopping carefully can also help. Buy bare root plants wrapped in hessian rather than a plastic pot and look for garden centres who run a pot- return scheme.
Garden furniture made from recycled material is a huge trend and you can
buy some beautiful items made from items such as boat sails, plastic bottles, wooden pallets and recycled cork.
Minimising the use of fresh water in the garden is a simple way to help both the environment and your bank balance. Install a water butt to collect rain-water and ensure you only water plants early in the morning or late at night to avoid evaporation.
Water features can be a great addition to a garden but look for solar powered fountains or use a solar pond pump.
A hot tub is without a doubt one of
the most fun items you can have in your garden but unfortunately their environmental footprint is appalling.
If you must have one then try one of the new eco-friendly systems which use full heat insulation, reflective technology and recycled heat from the pumps to keep the water at the right temperature. Alternatively take a tip from Scandinavia and invest in a wood fired hot tub for a more natural experience.

   18   19   20   21   22