At first glance, gardening is synergistic with environmentalism. Both involve fostering the growth of the environment. But the way in which this growth is pursued in gardening determines the extent to which it can be considered an ally of environmentalism. Carefully curating a garden full of low maintenance plants, trees and grasses is an example of gardening and environmentalism going hand in hand. Alternatively, overindulging in water and energy-intensive processes in a traditionally water-starved climate can be incredibly damaging for the environment. To help you assess or even reassess just how environmentally friendly your garden actually is, we have put together this guide to optimizing your green spaces for energy efficiency.
Creating an energy-efficient garden from scratch
Efficient supply of resources
It is important, however, to make clear the disparate ways you can go about doing this. The first, and perhaps best method, is to intentionally cultivate a garden that requires little in the way of resources. Outfitting a garden with xerophytes and artificial grass will drastically reduce water and energy consumption from the get-go. Of course, completely uprooting your garden isn’t an option for all, and it can be far economical instead to simply go about supplying your garden with resources in a far more efficient manner (think rainwater harvesting and watering cans instead of sprinklers).
Select plants that require less water
Photo by Ilana Shkonik, via Wikimedia Commons
Coined little over 30 years ago, xeriscaping has since emerged as a blossoming environmental movement. Striving for the reduction or even absence of supplemental water is at the crux of xeriscaping and its principles can easily be applied to your own garden with a few simple steps. Foremost amongst these is selecting plants that require as little water as possible. Cacti are one of the most popular xerophytes, as well as the one you would most typically associate with the class, but there are also xerophytic succulents and perennial bulbs.
Photo by Jeremy Levine on flickr
While your attention may be drawn to scything down water-hungry trees, plants, bulbs, and succulents, there remains one component of every garden that is a far greater drain on resources – the lawn. Regular watering and constant application of fertilizer is a prerequisite for the gleaming green lawns we take for granted on both sides of the Atlantic, but their removal is as important an energy-saving move as any. Artificial grass suppliers and installers like Lawrence Lawns can supply, fit and install synthetic turf in a matter of days.
Plant deciduous trees
There is even a way of building a garden that not only cuts your garden’s use of resources but your home’s too. By strategically planting deciduous trees, you can cut your home’s spending on heating. Deciduous trees will flourish in summer, providing shade from the sun. By the time winter rumbles into view, the leaves will have fallen away, allowing your home to absorb as much sun as possible. Year round, an intelligent smattering of deciduous trees can help reduce both heating and cooling costs.
These kinds of changes are dependent on the kind of climate you live in and will have to be altered accordingly. Nevertheless, hopefully, you now have a better grasp of what constitutes an energy efficient garden and how you can go about creating an environmentally friendly garden of your own.