Gardeners near Harlow, United Kingdom
How do eco-friendly gardens reduce CO2?Five tips to do an eco-friendly urban garden design in London
Eco-friendly gardens in London can feel like a drop in the ocean—at least when it comes to climate change. But they make a world of difference for local plants and wildlife. Stay tuned for our guide on the topic next month. In the meantime, though, here's our brief introduction to eco-friendly residential garden design.
A garden isn't eco-friendly simply because it's a garden. Modern gardening practices can be damaging to the environment. Two of the worst culprits are inefficient greenhouse heating and synthetic fertilizers. Synthetic (as opposed to organic) fertilizers, for example, emit excessive greenhouse gases in production—and of course distribution.
General ways to reduce CO2 with your garden (explored in more detail below) include:
What are the best plants for reducing CO2?
Trees are a staple of carbon-neutral garden design because they absorb more CO2 than other plants. And the bigger the trees are the better. Some of the best include conifers, poplars, beech, oak, and pine.
But choose fast-growing, long-living varieties to increase your carbon reduction. Also, look for low-maintenance species. This can help to cut down on pesticides, plastics, and synthetic fertiliser products.
Native species are a good choice for London eco-friendly gardens. Not only do they grow better; they're preferable for local wildlife too.
What about growing fruit and veg?
Obviously, your degree of self-sufficiency will depend on the available space. But even a small fruit or veg patch can be a vital part of eco-friendly garden design.
Depending on your choice of crops, they can deter certain pests from destroying your plants or attract birds and bees to your garden.
Some popular options include:
- Carrots (and spring onions to help deter pests)
- Tomatoes (and chives to help deter pests)
- Cucumber (and dill to attract pest-eating predators)
- Cherries and crab apples (as fast-growing native trees)
Are eco-friendly gardens only possible with lots of space?
Eco-friendly gardens in London don't have a minimum size limit. The key is symbiosis with nature. Manicured lawns, for instance, don't invite biodiversity. Establishing habitats for insects, birds, and small mammals can be as simple as letting it grow.
It's also important to help all these critters get in. Insects and birds are easy, but the likes of hedgehogs are easily deterred by urban walls and fences.
How about an eco-friendly London roof garden?
To make the case that space isn't all that important, just take a look at some roof gardens. Green roofing has become increasingly popular in London, where outdoor space can be limited and residents have to improvise new solutions.
As far as eco-friendly garden plans go, green roofs cover numerous bases. They help to:
- Improve insulation and air quality
- Increase biodiversity
- Control water run-off (and with the right set-up collect it)
- Add to visual appeal
Why should you make your own compost?
You've probably heard that peat-based composts—the most common type available in Britain—are actually no good for the environment. Although peat absorbs CO2, it does a better job in the bogs it comes from. Extracting the peat just depletes them.
Making your own compost is better. The old mantra to “reduce, recycle, and reuse” is a wellspring of eco-friendly garden ideas—and it’ll save you money too.
Here are some common household waste items to use:
- Fruit and veg peel
- Eggshells (and boxes)
- Tea bags
- Shredded cardboard and newspaper
- Garden waste (cut grass, leaves, a little wood ash, etc.)
These are just a few ways to reduce your carbon footprint with a garden. You can find out our garden designs options for small, medium and large size gardens on our garden design company website.
Author: Jonathan Taylor