More and more people are interested in having there garden landscaped in an environmentally friendly way.
This article takes a look at what that entails.
Be neither an Eco warrior or an Eco worrier.
If you are not careful, becoming an Eco-friendly landscaper could cause so much confusion, the temptation might be to say, "sod that". Unless you chop the driftwood you have collected from the beach by hand. Pull your wooden trolley with wooden wheels down to the nearest quarry to fill your hazel basket with loose chippings. Almost any landscaping material you might want to use has an environmental impact.
The more environmentalists I Liston to and the more product labels I read, the more confused I become!
So what is the Eco-garden landscaper supposed to do about paths, terracing and patios, driveways and walls? It is basically about five things.
Reclaimed landscaping or building materials have already had an environmental impact, done the air-miles, been taken from the ground.
Reclaimed materials are a safe way.
When laying paths, terracing and patios, driveways and walls, a slightly more expensive option, but positively Eco friendly would be to use reclaimed materials such as house brick (they make attractive and permeable surfaces), terracotta roof tiles (for path edges), reclaimed walling stone and timber sleepers make great retaining and boundary walls.
When laying patios allow water to filter through and into the ground, instead of pointing the gaps, fill them with sand or grit.
It is all about balance and common sense because almost all of the landscaping materials we use in our "green" garden will have had, or will have, some impact on the environment, but some have less impact and are more Eco-friendly than others.
Conserve water. Even with all the rain we get in this green country of ours we still need to plan ahead and conserve as much water as possible and use it thoughtfully. In periods of normal rainfall we should be using water butts to collect run-off rainwater and during longer dry spells, try to recycle household water from baths, etc.
Watering generously only when absolutely necessary is far better than little and often, as it encourages deep rooting rather than shallow surface roots. This Encourages the roots of garden plants to search more effectively for water in dry weather. Watering in the evening or early morning, directing the water at the soil rather than the leaves minimises evaporation.
Mulching with organic material or gravel helps retention of moisture within the soil. Green-Lawn-Man (You know who I mean. Every neighbourhood has one, he's the guy in love with his hosepipe and box of chemicals) wastes the same amount of water in one hour as a family of four uses in a week.