Top Tips for Sustainable Gardening - Re-Wild
In the past 50 years, it is estimated that 50% of wildlife has been lost. Recently there has
been a lot of awareness of the benefits of wild flowers, re-wilding and letting nature do its thing. Wherever possible, we are being encouraged to allow a portion of our gardens to 're-wild' - to allow plants to naturally seed themselves and in turn allow wildlife and the natural eco-system to return to that space.
But how do we do it? Here's a few ideas....
How to Re-Wild
Try to stop using un-natural fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides and leaving a patch of your garden undisturbed and wildlife will quickly return, as will wild flowers brought in by birds and other wildlife.
If you have the space - an undisturbed pond will encourage all sorts of wildlife. Even an old washing up bowl filled with rain water and left alone will bring in all sorts of wonderful nature to your garden. You could even sink it into the ground to make it look a bit prettier. The key here is to let nature do its thing, and leave it undisturbed.
Make Use of Verges
Verges can often be unloved and unfortunately contain a lot of litter. It is becoming more and more popular however, for verges to be sown with wild flowers - great for pollinators and wonderful for us to look at.
This is our verge that was very much trampled down and dominated by grass. We simply removed some of the grass by hand, threw down wild flowers and let nature take its course. As you can see, beautiful to look at and buzzing with bees, butterflies and a whole host of other insects.
To Weed or Not To Weed...
What we once thought were weeds are now being recognised for their ability to support nature, pollinators and the part they play in the eco-system. Those pesky nettles support a whole host of caterpillars and butterflies. Thistles when left are usually buzzing with bees and are adored by beautiful Goldfinches. For a long time we were pulling up Dandelions, but now know their importance to bees and other wildlife, especially as they bloom early in the year when other food sources may be scarce.
Ditch that pesticide and maybe turn a blind eye to that nettle - your garden will thank you for it.
Grass cutting is a big topic for any garden lover as well as a big time investment. Lawnmowers have their own carbon footprint with the petrol or electricity they use - plus cut the flowering heads off of Dandelions and Daisies. Try to reduce your grass cutting a little. Let the daisies and dandelions do their thing for a bit. It gives you more time to enjoy your garden and the bees a bit more time to collect that nectar. Win win!
Arianne & I are BIG fans of this! We love the 'no dig' movement and the free time it gives us. Don't get bogged down in the intricacies and methods, the simple message behind it is: Leave the earth to the worms! So simple!
All you really need to do is remove existing 'weeds' (if you don't want them), by hand, then let the worms turn the earth. By hoeing and turning soil, we disturb the worms and also disturb seeds which may have been laying dormant. Those disturbed seeds then grow and you have more weeds. Worms are our gardening friends that fertilise our plants and help us keep control of 'weeds'. We were both sceptical at first - but it really works. Give it a try!
Do you have any tips or ideas on how to re-wild or bring nature into our gardens? Have you any success stories? We would love to hear them!
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As always, hoping you, your family & friends are safe and happy,
Keelly & Arianne xx