Little Cherry’s Little Guide To Green Gardening
Summer might seem like forever away right now, but it will soon be here, so it is worth thinking about how your garden will grow when it finally arrives. Now, if you are anything like the team here at www.littlecherry.co.uk, you will love nothing more than being outside in the summer; taking in the sights, smells and sounds of nature.
There’s no doubt that gardening is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors in summer, but many people forget to be green when they are busy being green-fingered. So to help you keep environmentally friendly whilst you’re tending to your gorgeous gardens this summer, here are some reminders of how to be green in the garden:
Waste Not Want Not
This particular sentiment is one that is popular in all aspects of green living. Whether it prompts you to reuse and recycle, to avoid wasting food or to be less frivolous with energy and water usage, it works. Of course, there will be obvious ways to cut down on waste, such as saving water and picking only what you need from the herb and vegetable patch, but what about when it comes to actually designing and planting your garden?
Filling your garden to the brim with bright, beautiful flowers may seem like a good idea to begin with, but unless you can dedicate hours of maintenance and unlimited amounts of water, compost and sunlight (or shade), you will soon find your garden starts to wilt. This is wasteful because you either have to waste copious amounts of water and use chemicals to keep everything alive and fresh or you end up with lots of dead and dying flowers; a shame and a waste.
Instead, opt for a few select areas to plant beds and pots. Leave the majority of your garden as grass, which will grow quite happily with minimal interference. This will leave you time to focus on tending properly to the smaller, statement-making plants and flowers in the garden. A manageable amount means less water wastage and less plants will die from – albeit involuntary – neglect.
Better yet, keep things low-key and high-impact by choosing plants, flowers and vegetables native to your area. They will not only look healthy and stunning, but they will thrive without constant care because they will be well adapted to the climate, temperatures and environment in the region. A good rule of thumb is that the less work you have to do to keep plants healthy, they better suited they are for your garden. Try to incorporate robust wildflowers into your garden for a natural, low maintenance beauty. You can even buy seed bombs that can be thrown into the garden and, for the most part, be left to their own devices.
Mind Your Materials
In the same way choosing environmentally friendly options for the home can make all the difference, making a conscious effort when it comes to kitting out and caring for your garden can have a big impact on how green you are. Being green fingered is all about doing what is best for the plants in your care, but that should not be done at the expense of the environment. You need to be aware of the materials you use in the garden and their effect on the bigger picture. Plastic trays full of pansies may look stunning but what will you do with the plastic once you’ve planted your hanging baskets? Similarly, using the market leading weed-killer is an easy quick fix to an overgrown garden of weeds, but think what kind of damage it will do to the plants, animals and soil quality in your garden.
Do your best to give plastic bags and containers the boot, whether you are trying to protect your vegetable patch or carrying your plant purchase home. The plastic will not only have been made in non-environmentally friendly manner, but it will not biodegrade and you could even risk the chemicals used in its composition leaking into the soil. If you absolutely must use plastic in the garden then try to use things like recycled yoghurt pots instead of cheap black plastic trays, also opt for small terracotta pots for herbs and such rather than the plastic pots. Better yet, skip buying plants in plastic containers and choose seeds in recyclable paper packets instead.
As far as compost is concerned, ensure it is all natural and environmentally friendly. You can make your own from household waste and food scraps or you can buy green approved compost that is free of pesticides, herbicides and other nasty chemicals. Don’t be afraid to top up your compost either. You could have a compost bin (made from a non-biodegradable material like metal) or simply pop your Sunday roast vegetable peelings on the soil itself (tip: if you throw a party this summer, you can break up your palm leaf plates and scatter the pieces around the garden – they’ll biodegrade easily and top up your soil’s nutrients a treat). Just remember that healthy compost means a happy garden. For the UK's best offers on biodegradable plates be sure to click here!
Embrace Elbow Grease
In a busy modern world we tend to be too wrapped up in doing things “now” and doing them “the easy way”. This need for instant gratification takes all of the fun out of doing things and it is actually unfriendly to the environment. You are better off embracing elbow grease and doing things the old school way. Not only will your garden and the environment thank you for it, but also you will have a better sense of achievement.
Use traditional hand held gardening tools instead of pollutant-filled and non-energy efficient powered ones. Push mowers will do a better job than a high powered electric or oil mower and it will be safer all round. Similarly, using a spade, a rake and trowel along with a watering can will help with wastage and ensure more precision with work and watering. To save extra water, try harvesting rainwater by popping a metal bucket underneath your gutters. Rain is part and parcel of the British summer, but this way you can use it as an opportunity to be green and keep water to use in a dry spell instead of waste more water from the tap.
These are just some of the ways you can go green in the garden for summer 2015, with just a little help from Little Cherry. There are lots of little changes and tweaks you can implement, just use your imagination, be creative and do your homework. There is no better feeling than being both green-fingered and a green household!