Simple Steps to a Sustainable Garden

Gardens are important wildlife sites. A little effort can ensure your garden stays beautiful without harming the planet. Many of us think of our gardens as our refuges from the world but our attempts at turning our own little patch into an idyllic peaceful area can have far reaching and detrimental consequences.

Below are ways you can make a real difference.

Respect Nature

  • Encourage wildlife in your garden – put up nest boxes, build a pond and plant a wide range of native flowers and plants.
  • For tips on how to help your garden wildlife visit the BBC’s garden wildlife page.
  • Plant native wild flower seeds in your garden.

Save Energy & Water

  • Avoid using a hose where possible, use a watering can or buckets of water.
  • Invest in a water butt to collect rainwater to use in the garden.
  • Try to water plants in the morning or evening instead of in the heat of the day This will enable the water to soak through to the roots, rather than simply evaporate.
  • Let your grass grow a little longer, it will require less water.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

  • Avoid burning rubbish - this can produce toxic chemicals, as well as releasing carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change.
  • Try to use organic and environmentally friendly fertilisers and pesticides - organic gardening reduces pollution and is better for wildlife. Chemicals will eventually end up in the sea and can upset the delicate balance of lifecycles.
  • Reuse plant pots and other items to make unusual features in your garden.
  • Start a compost heap or wormery - these recycle organic waste, including food, and produce excellent compost.


  • Respect nature – try to use dark based compost, not peat that is irreplaceable. If you are unable to use your own compost, alternatives are available in most garden centres and DIY stores.
  • Only buy garden bulbs from cultivated stocks.
  • Use non-toxic organic fuels to light your barbeque and for greenhouse heaters. For information about these fuels visit
  • Grow your own food – This is the best way to ensure you know what you’re eating, and it cuts down on wasteful packaging and transportation.
  • Use natural materials (paints, wood, upholstery) where possible and avoid concrete which is not eco friendly
  • Make sure that any new wood you buy comes with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Label, MDF and chipboard often contains Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, in the glue that holds the wood together.


  • Spending time in the garden is an excellent way to get exercise and fresh air
  • Remember to spend time relaxing in your garden, put your feet up and enjoy the benefits of your hard work


The Green Grin-o-meter

Website by Andy Grant