Sustainable Design Ideas for Your Small Garden
Following on from our latest blog on small garden designs, we thought we would reveal our tips for creating an eco-friendly small garden.
Eco-friendly garden design is a conscious effort to counteract the negative impact of climate change. It involves choosing garden products and plants that give back to the environment rather than take away from it.
No matter what size your UK garden is, you have an opportunity to contribute to protecting the natural world. But what does an eco-friendly garden look like, and what features does it have?
Why Choose a Sustainable Garden?
Before we delve into the world of eco-friendly garden design, let’s consider the reasons why thousands of gardeners across the UK are choosing to be more sustainable.
The most obvious benefit of sustainable gardening is that it gives the homeowner the opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment. By replacing modern garden practices with rainwater butts, homemade compost, drip irrigation systems and conscious planting, you can preserve local ecosystems and wildlife.
By introducing organic sustainable garden design into your life, every plant, crop, and outdoor structure that you maintain is for an intended eco-friendly purpose. It’s quite a humble and rewarding way to live.
It also happens to be very cost-effective. By making your own compost from garden and kitchen waste, you won’t have to buy chemical fertiliser and with passive water harvesting, you’ll lower your water costs.
Likewise, green roof structures can also reduce overall energy bills throughout the year and increase biodiversity in urban areas.
6 Eco-Friendly Small Garden Design Ideas
Nowadays, even the contemporary small garden can be environmentally friendly, thanks to ethically-sourced materials and mother nature.
1 – Recycle and reuse materials.
Using recycled materials is a great way to go green as it reduces the carbon footprint of each item you choose to use in your small garden. Reclamation yards, junk shops and even car boots have some hidden gems. FreeCycle.org is also a great online resource to check out – tin baths, old mangles, scaffolding boards, and pallets can all be put to good use.
2 – Make your own compost.
Homemade compost costs nothing to make and will save you money on bagged compost for your small garden. If you’re wondering what you can add to your compost, think lawn clippings, veg peelings, tea bags, leaves, newspaper and cardboard, and even vacuum cleaner dust. A full list can be found by visiting the Royal Horticultural Society’s website.
3 – Passively harvest water.
It’s easy to install a water butt on every downpipe. You can choose from weathered oak barrels through to green plastic tubs and if you have the space, you might even think about an underground rain tank. Try not to use a sprinkler on your garden, water the roots of plants rather than the leaves, buy larger pots for plants as they don’t dry out as quickly and consider putting in place a drip irrigation system. These work by using a network of pipes to carry water around the garden. Water is then emitted directly into the soil near the roots.
4 – Choose eco-friendly plants.
In an eco-friendly small garden, the best plants provide both food and shelter, creating ideal habitats for local wildlife. Berry producing plants such as hawthorn, attract birds and insects, whilst lavender attracts bees. Hedges are better than walls and fences since they’re great nesting sites and allow hedgehogs into the garden. If you’re keen to attract nectar-feeding wildlife, choose open-faced flowers such as echinacea and buddleia. Climbers are also a rich source of nectar in the autumn and winter months when there’s little food around.
5 – Use natural solutions rather than chemicals.
It’s amazing what we already have at our disposal to control pests and help plants to grow in a small garden. Handmade natural garlic, elder and rhubarb leaf sprays can control pests, as can growing dill and fennel. Adding little boxes to encourage nesting birds will also stay on top of caterpillars. When it comes to protecting plants, onions and chives grown around roses combat black spot disease, carrots and leeks grown together repel garden pests and scattered pine seeds prevent weeds!
6 – Create a natural wild-life focused small garden.
A wild-life focused garden is one that is planted according to the garden and not the gardener. It is inspired by nature and the needs of the local wildlife. You might want to research your local wildlife. If you’re lucky enough to live by a nature reserve, take a trip out and observe what they’ve planted. Now, this might go against the grain of small garden design but try to leave a part of your garden as nature intended – e.g. not too pruned. A few scattered logs and branches will encourage insects and birds.
Sit Back and Admire Your Garden
There’s nothing more rewarding and peaceful than watching nature at work. After all, it’s one of the main reasons sustainable gardeners make the choices they do.
Offering an undisturbed view of the garden is the SMART Garden Offices’ Temple Folly Range of small garden rooms. A modern twist on the classic orangery, it is designed to withstand the test of time. Hand-painted in a 15-year colour stain, in a wide variety of colours; from traditional greens, chalky hues to a bold black, there is a colour to suit all tastes and environments.
The viewing aspect is incredible, with floor to ceiling UPVC glass panes offering the perfect balance of light, architecture, and style.
In addition, we have five other garden room designs to choose from for those looking for a more contemporary timber-clad look. The choice is yours.
All materials are of house-build grade and are environmentally certified, with much of the manufacturing completed in-house at our workshop in Suffolk. We take special care with every aspect of the build of your small garden room, enabling us to offer a peace of mind 10-year structural warranty.
Likewise, for those particularly keen to purchase reclaimed garden rooms, we occasionally list pre-owned offices for sale. You need to be quick off the mark though as they don’t very often come up for re-sale as our clients tend to keep their much-loved garden rooms for many years.
Order Your Brochure Now
Our brochure, complete with stunning photographs and ideas, will help inspire your choice of garden room.
Order a copy today and you’ll be amazed by the craftsmanship that makes our garden rooms the SMART choice for the sustainable gardener.