Planting is key for sustainable gardening. Choose plants that thrive in local conditions and complement each other; doing so will help reduce the likelihood of pests and diseases.
This sustainable garden supports and protects its precious resources, such as water and wildlife, by hosting a range of habitats, including a pile of decaying logs and tree stumps to provide homes for rare beetles, small mammals and frogs and toads. The cabin is made of sustainably-sourced cedar and features a \"living\" green roof covered in stonecrops. The gravel path that weaves through the garden allows visitors to enjoy its features at close view without interrupting them. It ties the home and landscape together perfectly while also directing rain runoff into nearby plantings, which reduces dependence on municipal water.
Green roof systems are good for the environment and the wallet. They put rainwater run-off to good use and provide insulation, saving you a different kind of \"green\" in reduced utility bills. They also attract beneficial insects when in bloom. Convert existing roofs using pre-planted seed mats. New structures can accommodate more elaborate rooftop habitats.
Planting to attract wildlife is an easy way to increase your garden's diversity and organic appeal. Add little habitats here and there, such as old logs and insect-friendly planting. You could even make a bee hotel and invite these precious pollinators to stay for a while.
However small, water barrels are an excellent way to catch and store rainwater. If you need something with a larger capacity, underground storage and pump mechanisms, typically installed by a contractor, are the way to go.
Rustic Garden Furniture
You'll need to think about the materials you use in your sustainable garden. Recycled products are good, in theory, but the carbon emissions required to recycle them often outweighs their seeming benefit. Purchasing new products made from sustainably-harvested wood may actually be a better option, especially if the product was made by a local craftsperson who can customize it to be a one-of-a-kind perfect fit for your design.
Recycle organic waste by composting, if you can. You may need more than one bin to maintain and rotate the supply. Think carefully about their location and whether you have the time to give them; composting requires regular attention.
Wildlife ponds with sloping sides and marginal plantings offer a natural habitat for aquatic creatures, as well as birds and insects.
A sustainable garden can follow a formal layout, but most are informal, with relaxed planting drifts and seemingly random mixes of grasses and perennials, indigenous trees and shrubs. To bring some organization to the organic free-flow, section off areas into habitats, such as wetland, meadow or woodland.
Pond margins provide one of the richest garden habitats, bringing together aquatic, marginal, moisture-loving and dry planting designs. Keep planting groups large and mixtures simple for the best results.
Feeders and bird baths will help attract wildlife, especially during harsh winters when food sources may be scarce.
It's especially important to match planting to the environment in meadows. Here, checkerd lilies nod their elegant heads toward the dampness at their feet.
Let wildflowers bloom where they're sown by spreading mixes, some of which include grasses for textural interest and herbs for delicious scents.
A simple wood structure provides dry storage for logs, an important habitat for hibernating insects.
Allowing native plants to run wild in meadow grasses brings visual interest and helps to conserve endangered species.