As more and more people start to shift their behaviours towards being more eco-conscious, the demand for sustainable garden design is on the rise. Our home gardens play a vital role in bringing nature into our home space, to celebrate wildlife and plants, and enjoy the fresh air. Thus, it only makes sense that we do our best to ensure that our little pockets of greenery remain sustainable -– helping our planet to thrive rather than hindering it.

Looking to give your garden an eco-friendly makeover? Look no further. Today, we share 6 trending green design ideas for growing a sustainable garden in your home backyard, so read on to find out more!

1. Consider Investing In A Water Feature

If you thought that water features only serve an aesthetic purpose in your garden, think again. Many of us are familiar with the concept of incorporating an outdoor water feature to create a serene and zen-like atmosphere, but did you know that water features also offer a variety of eco-friendly benefits? For starters, the moisture that ponds and fountains create can be beneficial to nearby plants, as they create a self-sustaining cycle of hydration. This can help to keep your plants alive and healthy without having to constantly water or tend to them. Secondly, one of the greatest benefits of a water feature such as a pond is its ability to conserve water, which not only is beneficial for your wallet but the environment as well. Lastly, water features are an effective way to attract pollinators to your garden, like birds, bees and butterflies. Thankfully, you can find many garden water features online, allowing you to pick and choose options that best suit your individual gardening needs.

2. Use Recycled Materials Where Feasible

By now, all of us are more than familiar with the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle. In this point, we will be focusing on how you can use recycled materials in your sustainable garden design where feasible. When it comes to raised garden beds, there are numerous suppliers now offering options made from durable recycled plastics and other reclaimed materials. If you are someone who is an expert at DIY projects, you could even consider building your own raised beds with recycled sheets of roofing iron and old fence posts. Old buckets, containers, or  even sinks, can be transformed into nifty plant pots for sustainable gardens. Where feasible, it’s also a good idea to look into reclaimed paving, timber and all manner of other items that can be used all around the garden. You won’t be sacrificing on style, but you will be making a huge impact by creating a sustainable garden environment that prioritises the three R’s for a healthier, happier planet.

3. Look Into Sustainable Garden Furniture

If you are someone who enjoys entertaining outdoors or simply relaxing with a cup of tea in your glorious garden, one of the best things you can do is to look into purchasing sustainable garden furniture. When choosing your outdoor furniture, It’s worth thinking about the materials that it is made of and where it comes from, too. There are various eco-friendly materials to choose from when buying your garden furniture, such as stainless steel, stone, recycled plastic, wood and other recycled materials.

Top Tip: Alternatively, pop into one of your local charity shops to see if there is any furniture you can repurpose or reuse in your garden. Second hand shopping helps keep items out of landfills and discourages the production of brand new goods by lowering consumer demand.

Explore 7 eco-friendly and sustainable outdoor furniture brands here.

4. Say No To Peat

Often referred to (and utilised) as a great alternative to garden compost, peat has been a regular staple in most gardens. However, over the last couple of years, gardeners have become more conscious of the negative consequences that this material  has on the environment. Unfortunately, peat releases huge amounts of stored carbon dioxide when it is harvested, which adds to greenhouse gas levels. Peat also takes a very long time to reform (growing just 1mm a year), much longer than it takes to mine it – which makes it a highly unsustainable material to use in the garden. At the end of the day, the foundations of your garden set the tone for sustainable design, so say no to peat and look towards more sustainable options such as coconut based materials, expanded clay, anaerobic digestate and bracken.

5.  Prioritise Permeable Surfaces

One of the most eco-friendly things a garden can do is decrease rainwater runoff. This is where prioritising permeable surfaces comes into play. In technical terms, a permeable surface is one that allows water to percolate into the soil to filter out pollutants and recharge the water table. When designing your garden, consider incorporating a permeable surface if you’re doing a hardscape project, and use captured rainwater or greywater in the garden. Choosing hard-scape materials such as mulch rather than hard landscaping (concrete etc) is a great way to ensure that moisture in your garden soaks into the soil, thus preventing it from gushing into storm drains. This is yet another simple way to prioritise sustainable garden design in home gardens of any size or scale.

6.  Incorporate Native Flora and Fauna

Last but not least, one of the easiest and most effective means of designing a sustainable garden is to incorporate as much native flora and fauna as possible. The reasoning behind this is simple — native plants help to improve biodiversity, thus building a healthy ecosystem that cleans the water, purifies the air, maintains healthy soil, regulates the climate and provides us with food and resources. Using plants native to your personal geographical region will aid in connecting your garden landscape to larger ecosystems, inviting wildlife to your garden and decreasing the need for supplemental water and fertiliser. Exotic and non-native plants, on the other hand, require vast amounts of fertilisers and pesticides that inevitably runoff into waterways and can be harmful to aquatic life.

Find out more about plants that are native to Australia here.

And there you have it — 6 greed design ideas for growing a sustainable garden that you can be proud of. At the end of the day, sustainable gardening is just one of the many ways we can use what we have resourcefully, give back to the earth, and try to provide a better future for generations to come.


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