In this 21st century, the word “SUSTAINABILITY” has become a popular word with people reacting in a positive way to the world’s decreasing resources. Because of this, the sustainable garden design has become more of a way of life than a mode that revolves around recycling and reusing renewable resources, embracing conservation and biodiversity and practising organic gardening.
In the late 20th century, when the New Perennial movement was introduced, it blends flowering perennials and grasses and this led to a boost of interest in natural gardening methods. German and Dutch research into sustainable plants has been very popular in this area too.
There is a common belief that sustainable gardens are too rural, but this should not be. There are lots of sharp and wonderful styles that include renewable materials such as timber from verified locations and advanced method of planting. At times, local materials are used if the need arises, this helps to reduce the garden’s carbon footprint and form a sense of regional belonging. With the use of natural controls and balanced ecosystems, pests and diseases can be prevented, instead of using chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Environment that are good for local species and help boost biodiversity are included in the design.
This does not mean to say that this gardens accept only local species alone, foreign species are also accepted as long as they attract the needed insects and wildlife and they do not invade the garden.
In bigger gardens, prairie and meadow species are planted extensively, especially in America in the designs of Late Ed Bye and Jens Jensen. In small sustainable gardens, wilder species can be planted too so as to have different habitats within a small space without a complicated design solution.
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE STYLE IN GARDEN DESIGN?
A sustainable garden is that which has the ability to serve as an effective ecosystem with little or no intervention. This is what makes it different from a local garden.
In setting up an habitat where planting neighbours survive, ecological principles play a major role. It also helps to balance competition and match species to the dominant soil and climatic conditions.
SUSTAINABLE GARDENS IN DETAIL
Sustainable garden materials need to be evaluated against a number of requirements. Recycled products are good because they reduce the abuse of new resources but at times their carbon trail can be on the high side whereas getting timber from a local plantation can be a better option.
Among other things to consider are drainage of landscaped surfaces and permeability. They should be designed in a porous way so as to fill up ground water, or designed in a way that water goes into a certain place so as to reduce stress on supplies. A major key in a sustainable garden is planting and other types of useful wildlife habitats. Make a selection of plants that survive in prevailing climate and harmonize each other so as to prevent pest and disease. However, you might still need to make use of biological control. Your own organic manures and compost heap should be used as soil boosters.
KEY DESIGN ELEMENTS
GREEN ROOF systems help to provide insulation, manage rainwater run-offs, convert existing roofs with the use of pre-planted sedum mats. New structures can contain bigger habitats.
ENCOURAGING WILDLIFE If you create an effective habitat for wildlife, then diversity would be increased. The more the habitats such as bee hotels, old logs and insect friendly planting, the higher the diversity.
RAINWATER HARVESTING Water containers are always a good means of storing rain water no matter how small they are. If you require a storage with larger capacity, you can make use of pump mechanism and underground storage.
RUSTIC GARDEN FURNITURE You can contribute to your local economy by getting a craftsman near your home to make your furniture. All the furniture should be made from well sourced, natural materials.
RECYCLING FEATURES It is very important that you Recycle organic waste through compost. Compost bins may be needed so as to have constant supply. Put them in locations where you can regularly and easily access them.
NATURALISTIC PONDS For natural habitats for aquatic creatures and birds and insects like dragonflies, you can set up a wildlife pond with sloping sides that are easily accessible and have margins to give cover.
Also read: Garden design and colors.