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Gardening

There are strong links between green spaces and wellbeing. Plants can help reduce stress, anger and depression and gardening is a good form of exercise. Growing your own vegetables encourages healthy eating as well as saving money and helping the environment by reducing food miles.  

Gardens can also help the wellbeing of the wider environment. Choosing plants for a wildlife friendly garden can support bees, butterflies and other insects which in turn supports birds, small mammals such as hedgehogs and other wildlife. Garden features such as ponds can also contribute to local improvements in biodiversity.  

Choosing to garden more organically can also reduce your impact on the environment.  There is evidence that the ingredients of some gardening products are having an impact on wildlife, particularly bees.

For more information download our Green your Garden leaflet /uploads/GYG.pdf 

Gardens and climate change

Climate change will have an impact on our gardens by changing what grows best or when plants come into leaf, flower or bear fruit. Some plants may be not be resilient to extremes of climate or to potential changes to invasions of pests and diseases. Choosing drought tolerant plants will not only mean they are more likely to survive a hot and dry summer but should also use less water.   

The way we manage our plants and gardens can also help to mitigate climate change effects. Plants can provide shade or help to insulate buildings. Plants can also help improve air quality or manage rainwater to reduce potential flooding. Green or living roofs and walls are able to provide some of these benefits in areas with limited outside space.

Reducing environmental impact

By composting at home you will have a ready source nutrient rich material to help your garden grow.  Peat based compost use an effectively non-renewable resource, the extraction of peat for horticulture is unsustainable, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and damage to rare habitats and archaeology. If you need more compost then look for more sustainable peat free alternatives which also which reduce the amount of biodegradable going to landfill sites further reducing environmental impacts.  

The water you use and even the way you water will have a big impact on the environment. Collecting greywater or rainwater for reuse in your garden can save up to 60 litres for every 10 minutes compared to using a hose to water your garden. Managing the way you water, ensuring you properly wet the soil so the water reaches the roots and does not just evaporate or encourage roots to the top of the soil where they dry out, also affects water use in your garden.

How green is your home? Explore our interactive house for money saving tips and suggestions.