Seasonal Thoughts From Planting Gems
Do you have a sustainable garden for the new decade?
We all know the importance of green spaces in a large city but we can play a role in the greening of our urban environment. Sustainable gardening is increasingly important as we enter 2020 for the quality of the air we breathe and the survival of wildlife, and to fight climate change. There are many ways in which you can do your bit, even with only a small space to play with.
Plant trees and shrubs: consider a hedge rather than a fence – there are many varieties that grow quickly, or you can source an ‘instant hedge’! There are many small trees that are suitable for urban gardens, and a few that can even be grown in a container. Choose a good proportion of evergreen plants and plants with long flowering periods.
Allow your outdoor spaces, back and front, to breathe and be green, mixing planting with porous, permeable hard landscaping materials to allow water run-off. Store rain water in a butt or other suitable container. Water only containers, annuals and newly planted plants and vegetables.
Making your own compost is the ideal, but if you have to purchase some – choose peat-free, good quality, organic compost. More Nurseries are now selling plants and bulbs in recyclable pots and pots made of compostable materials. If you do have to buy in plastic pots, save and re-use them. Save shrub and tree prunings to act as plant supports.
Avoid using any pesticides that are harmful to wildlife. Use environmentally friendly pest controls – a spray with diluted washing up liquid often does the trick. Plant shrubs and perennials that will attract the wildlife to your garden, and provide a haven for them.
With just a little thought and a few changes, we can make our outdoor spaces greener, more attractive and sustainable.
Anne Fraser & Caroline Streets