The essentials of an eco-garden

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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If we said the words 'ecological garden' to you, what would you be picturing? We admit it does sound a little like we are encouraging you to open a nature reserve at the back of your house but in actual fact eco-gardens are much easier to create than you might think and aren't as full-on as the term makes them sound.

Essentially, an ecological garden is one that looks to make the best use of space while remaining as organic and environmentally-friendly as possible. We know lots of you out there would love to make your garden a little more eco in essence, so take a look at our tips for creating and ecological garden and see if you might fancy starting a new outdoors project, today!

Go chemical-free

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to creating an ecological garden is that you won't be able to use any form of chemical pesticides or artificial pest deterrents. While you might hate the idea of letting pests into your space, there will be a host of more organic methods to deal with them that will let other, more welcome members of the natural world continue to thrive.

We love this natural space, created by Barnes Walker, and can't imagine any dangerous or harmful chemical being in use. What a beautiful spot!

Use your plants for privacy

 Balconies, verandas & terraces  by HBstudio
HBstudio

Balcone /terrazzo

HBstudio

If you like to maintain your privacy but are really keen to create that ecological garden of your dreams, you can combine the two ambitions into one lovely installation.

We love gazebos, arbours and anything else that allows wild climbing blooms to really take over and. for the ultimate in natural privacy, what could be better than a lovely draping wall of greenery? Ideal for cordoning off areas in your garden or even making a secret spot where you can enjoy picnics and solo time, you get all the camouflage you want but without walls!

Include a vegatable patch

For an ecological garden that gives back, we think a vegetable patch is a great idea and with a little hard work a couple of times a year, you can subsidise your weekly grocery bill with fantastic edibles that you have tended to and grown yourself. What a fantastic feeling!

Dealing with pests will become a concern for any eco-garden that has included a vegetable patch so try reading up about organic deterrents, such as a ring of salt for slugs and snails. The old housewife tricks are often more effective than you might give them credit for.

Build a pond

modern Garden by ユミラ建築設計室
ユミラ建築設計室

庭と一つになる家

ユミラ建築設計室

While you will be encouraging nature and wildlife into your garden just by negating chemical pesticides, a super simple way to ensure a healthy dose of animal company is to put them there yourself. A beautiful pond will never be a bad addition to an ecological garden, especially when you pop some fish in there and encourage frogs and newts to make it their home too.

To prevent your pretty golden friends from coming to any harm, a thin mesh net cover is a good idea, otherwise neighbours' cats might think it's dinner time!

For more ideas, you can learn about: Attracting Wildlife Into Your Garden.

Try your hand at composting

We know this tip won't be for everyone, but to truly get yourself an ecological garden you should at least give some thought to trying your hand at composting. With a special bin in place it can be as simple as just throwing any grass clippings, food scraps and decomposing items in there and forgetting about it.

Composting allows you to make your own, totally organic and unadulterated fertiliser, which in turn will help to maintain your lovingly created outdoor space. Plus, think of all that space you'll save in your regular bins. What a bonus that your bin men will thank you for!

Plant native blooms and shrubs

Contemporary Garden - North London: modern Garden by Earth Designs
Earth Designs

Contemporary Garden—North London

Earth Designs

When trying to create an ecological garden try to include plenty of native blooms as well as more unusual items that you like the look of. This is so that butterflies and nature will be encouraged to visit your space.

We love this example as it combines a tropical palm with more conventional British box hedge. Not only does it look great, the native hedging will also offer wildlife a recognisable place to set down for a little while, thus making your patio a wildlife reservation after all.

For more garden inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Garden Pond Ideas. Just in case you fancy trying your hand at something really special, we think this is a great article to bookmark!

Have you got the urge to create a more eco-friendly garden? Perhaps you already done it? We'd love to hear what you did!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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