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Designing a Sustainable Garden

The earth’s resources are being used up at an alarming rate which means that many of us are looking to cut back and live more eco-friendly, sustainable lives, preserving the environment as much as possible in our everyday lives in order to make choices that do not impact the environment negatively or, when we do impact the environment, to take steps to minimise the impact as much as possible.

What is a sustainable garden?

You can take steps at home and in your everyday life to protect the environment and sustainable gardens are becoming more and more popular. A sustainable garden blends in and supports it’s surrounding environments and ecosystems and, in doing so, results in minimal negative impact.

In order to maintain a sustainable garden, it must not depend on huge inputs of water, external energy or consumables in order to survive and grow. You must take threats to the environment into account when designing and maintaining the garden which means minimal use of pesticides or unnatural products.

Here are just a few of the ways you can create a sustainable garden:

Reclaim, Recycle and Reuse

Where possible, try to reclaim and recycle as many of the materials you use in your garden as possible. This includes wood, paving, flowerpots and other elements of your garden. Many people use old wellies or teacups as plant pots!

At Yorkstone Supplies, we stock a wide range of reclaimed York stone paving which is reclaimed from sites around the UK to be used in garden or renovation projects. Reclaimed York stone is perfect for adding an already worn look to your garden or paving project and brings prestige and history with it.

Choose plants carefully

Plants are a vital part of a sustainable garden and should be chosen to suit the environment of your garden and the climate and where they will be happiest. Happy and contented plants will take care of themselves but stressed plants require constant feeding and watering. Matching the correct plant to the right location will help to keep your garden maintenance time to a minimum.

Always try to choose native plants because these are the plants that will contribute more to the ecosystem of your garden and location. Native plants should thrive in the soils, moisture and climate of your garden, leading to lower watering requirements and fewer pest problems which require toxic chemicals. These plants will also encourage native wildlife to thrive which is the most sustainable way to offer a habitat.

Reduce water use

A huge part of a sustainable garden is reduced water use and wastage. This can be achieved through careful and well-chosen planting but you can easily harvest rainwater (especially in the UK!) by installing a water butt on every downpipe in your garden. This allows you to reuse the water when watering your plants or performing any tasks outside.

Choose local materials

Make sure you try to choose materials and features such as paving, decking and pergolas which have been built and sourced locally. This will help to reduce your garden’s carbon footprint and support nearby businesses.

All of our paving stone at Yorkstone Supplies is quarried from our own quarry in Huddersfield and is hand finished by our stonemasons. In addition, our reclaimed York stone paving is sourced around the UK.

Composting

A compost pile gives you somewhere to recycle all of your food, natural waste, dead leaves, flower heads and clippings. Over time, all of these elements will degrade down into a nutrient-rich and organic fertiliser for your garden. This will help to make the soil much richer and your produce will be much more healthy and tasty. Composting is a great way to recycle and reuse and even has a positive impact on the environment.

Rock features

Rock features in the form of rockeries can cut down on the area of land that is needed for flower beds and lawns which reduces the amount of water needed to keep the plants healthy. Rockery plants tend to be alpine and mountainous and so thrive better in your rockery environment, causing much less maintenance for you and protecting the environment.

To find out more about using our York stone as part of a sustainable garden project, please contact us to find out more about the materials we have in stock.

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