Ecological gardening is a way of gardening which is different than your normal gardening. In the history of gardening there is a clear line that every type or form of growing plants and maintaining them had a particular purpose. For example growing vegetables and fruits for food, woodland for supply of building materials, charcoal, brooms. It is just recent that more and more gardens are used as a display of plants who do not have another purpose than just looking nice. Within this there are lots of different types of planting and maintenance styles, from very wild (read no maintenance at all) to the other extreme of having almost nothing except a lot of pavement or gravel. These so called low maintenance gardens do hardly provide any contribution to any existing eco system. Ecological gardening has its focus on supporting existing eco systems, and creating new eco systems. With the development of city’s a lot of the countryside has disappeared and what is left in the country side has been drastically changed by the modernisation of agriculture.
1) Work with what you have and observe the surrounding landscapes to reduce the impact on the landscape.
2) Use native trees and shrubs to provide the back bone of the garden.
If possible sourced from a local nurseries which sources there seed in the local area.
3) Choose the right plants for the existing soil and aim to achieve sustainable plant communities.
4) To garden with nature makes the garden less intensive to maintain and will enhance the existing natural processes and provide a healthy and productive garden.
5) NO use of chemical weed killers and fertilizers, use eco friendly alternatives instead.
6) Reuse of all materials coming from the garden; composting, woodchips, branches, existing timber, stones.
These principles can be used in any other garden regardless off there size or location.
The principles are to be put into practice by using one of the following tools.
These tools are not set and just some of the ideas you can use to garden more
eco friendly. Basically any well though idea can be used in your own garden form
and detail are the best thing for a creative mind to work with. Following tools can
be put into practice;
- Provide shelter and food for insects, bacteria by making wood piles in the garden
- Reuse your pruned branches for making small fences or even a bench
- Chip your pruned branches for making paths or mulch in the border
- Water is a basic element for life; create your own pond or wet/dry pool, bird baths
- Plant a variety of eatable fruit shrubs/trees or trees with berries for birds to feed
- Time your pruning wisely do not prune away berries just before winter starts
- Use native sourced trees/shrubs/plants
- Choose the right materials for construction and landscaping Source FCES wood
- Leave seed heads on perennials for birds to feed on and insect to find food and shelter
- Reuse building materials, instead of bringing it to the skip, challenge yourself with another purpose. Brick blocks make fantastic dry stone walling
The joy form eco gardening is not only to have a fantastic garden but to have one which is full of life and has a divers pallet of wildlife.