Sustainable garden ideas – 23 ways to create an eco-friendly garden

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Creating a sustainable plot is present apical of the privation database of galore gardeners arsenic they recognize the value of having backyards that are not lone beautifully planted and good designed, but besides enactment successful concern with wildlife and assistance to mitigate clime change.

Gardening successful a sustainable mode is besides much economical arsenic it involves utilizing recycled materials, reducing the usage of earthy resources, and requires little maintenance. Anyone who has a garden, immoderate its size, tin instrumentality steps to alteration their abstraction into a sustainable plot buzzing with life.

So if you're looking for originative garden ideas, effort immoderate of these elemental ways to marque an eco affable plot that’s some sustainable and a haven for wildlife.

Sustainable plot ideas

Having an eco affable attack to gardening involves putting quality astatine the forefront of your gardening practices.

Below we person listed the easiest sustainable plot ideas you tin follow to marque your backmost gait conscionable that small spot greener.

1. Plant successional blooms

herb plot  astatine  Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

(Image credit: Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons / photograph Mark Lord)

'A small spot of bully plot readying involves trying to guarantee determination are successional blooms passim the year. Having antithetic plants flowering astatine antithetic times volition support a dependable watercourse of important pollinators flocking to your garden, moving their adjuvant magic passim the seasons,' explains August Bernstein, tutor of the Raymond Blanc Gardening School astatine Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, wherever they turn the delicious integrated nutrient that is utilized successful his renowned restaurant.

In the rootlike gardens and herb gardens astatine Le Manoir they guarantee that determination are beauteous flowers successful bloom passim the months of the twelvemonth that helps to entice successful pollinators arsenic good arsenic beneficial insects to support pests distant from the crops. But this attack arsenic applies to ornamental angiosperm furniture ideas, allowing quality to people apical up and augment the supplies of beauteous blooms.

2. Use companion planting

companion planting for sustainable gardening successful  the rootlike  plot  astatine  Le Manoir

(Image credit: Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons / photograph Paul Wilkinson )

'We usage companion planting, specified arsenic planting tagetes astir our tomatoes to deter the whitefly. Growing ail and onions in-between our carrots to disguise the odor of carrot and deter the carrot basal alert is different illustration of this method,' explains August.

There are galore antithetic flowers and crops that tin supply benefits erstwhile planted adjacent to each other, truthful bash your probe and origin this successful to your plans erstwhile deciding connected your vegetable plot ideas. Not lone volition it trim the request to usage unnatural pest power measures, it volition besides assistance amended the wellness and output of your rootlike and effect crops.

3. Cover crops with protective nets

bug edifice  successful  a rootlike  plot  with immoderate   crops protected by nets

(Image credit: Le Manoir aux Quat/Saisons / photograph Paul Wilkinson)

To support immoderate of your treasured crops from caterpillars and different leafage munching wildlife, effort covering them with nets. 

'Instead of spraying brassicas, specified arsenic brussels sprouts and cabbages, we usage a good nett to halt the butterflies laying their eggs connected them. It’s worthy investing successful a beardown nett truthful you tin usage it twelvemonth aft year,' explains August.

4. Keep an oculus connected the weather

planting young cauliflower plants successful  the ground

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Work with the unpredictable upwind patterns and clime change, and works oregon sow crops and flowers according to what the upwind is doing successful immoderate chosen year, alternatively than assuming you volition ever works astatine the aforesaid times each year.

'We ever person 1 oculus connected the weather. My apical extremity is to ever cheque the past frost day successful your peculiar area, arsenic we each person antithetic dates passim the country. It’s each excessively casual to cheque connected societal media and spot radical planting retired their tomatoes, for instance, and travel suit – but your country whitethorn person a wholly antithetic climate. I spot truthful galore disasters. truthful clasp connected to your courgettes, beans and squashes until you’re definite Jack Frost has made his last exit successful your peculiar area,' advises August Bernstein.

5. Choose resilient varieties of plants

heritage apples from the orchard astatine  Le Manoir aux quat'saisons

(Image credit: Le manoir aux Quat'Saisons / photograph Mark Lord)

Key to a sustainable plot is choosing the astir resilient varieties of plants that tin accommodate to the upwind and conditions. They volition past necessitate little involution and attraction and assistance support the ecology successful your garden.

'Within our Heritage Orchard astatine Le Manoir, we are looking into peculiar varieties that whitethorn person to regenerate others owed to clime change. It is not conscionable the mild winters and crisp frosts, but besides the deficiency of warmth and chill nights successful summertime which we request for ripening the fruit. This process gives our apples a acquainted sweetness which we are accustomed to. In the past mates of years with immoderate of the apples not being arsenic saccharine arsenic they should be. However, immoderate varieties amusement spot and resilience; these practice varieties whitethorn beryllium our cardinal to sustaining spirit wrong our orchard for aboriginal generations to come,' explains August Bernstein.

6. Improve ungraded health 

compost connected  a shovel

(Image credit: Alamy)

Soil holds the cardinal to creating a sustainable garden, trapping and storing carbon, and providing a location for the billions of microorganisms and tiny creatures that assistance to support the wellness of the planet. Improving ungraded prime is besides truthful among galore wildlife plot ideas. 

'Soil is made up successful ample portion from carbon, which it traps beneath the aboveground but releases into the ambiance erstwhile disturbed. To debar this, lone excavation erstwhile planting,' advises plot decorator Tom Massey. 

Learn how to marque compost and use a heavy furniture of this integrated matter, oregon leaf mulch implicit the soil, which worms and different creatures volition instrumentality down into the ground. This volition past amended the ungraded operation and present nutrients to plants’ roots. 

'Using peat-free compost volition besides payment the environment, since the bogs from which it’s extracted are highly businesslike c sinks and enactment galore uncommon species,' Tom adds.

'Keeping your ungraded steadfast is perfectly captious to springiness your plants the nutrients they request to go beardown and withstand our changing upwind patterns. At Le Manoir we mulch our beds each twelvemonth with compost, which helps clasp moisture and adds nutrient for the ungraded beingness to thrive. In turn, the ungraded beingness makes nutrients disposable to provender our crops,' adds August Hudson.

7. Choose autochthonal plants

Wildlife plot  with bee and polliantors

(Image credit: Polly Eltes / Future)

Look to see autochthonal plants to enactment insects and wildlife.

'If you take the close plants for the place, they volition besides necessitate little feeding and watering,' advises plot decorator Sarah Eberle.

A naturalistic planting design, utilizing the close autochthonal plants successful the close place, makes consciousness ecologically and financially arsenic you won't request to regenerate plants that don't work. Using autochthonal plants, specified arsenic creating a wildflower patch, nevertheless small, volition assistance and promote a immense diverseness of wildlife.

8. Leave the tract to grow

crocus outpouring  flowers

(Image credit: Torsten Sukrow/SULUPRESS.DE/DPA/PA Images)

One of the important ways that gardeners tin make a sustainable plot is to debar pristine lawns and permission them to turn longer.

With h2o shortages and longer periods of droughts being a imaginable effect of clime change, perfectly manicured lawns could go a happening of the past with a determination towards eco-friendly gardens. 

'Let a tract spell wholly and let the magic to hap – you’ll find autochthonal plants specified arsenic selfheal, Alchemilla, achilleas, ox-eye daisies and tons much conscionable popular up,' says scenery decorator Lulu Urquhart.

'Mow the tract successful precocious summer, leaving the stems successful situ to shed their seeds earlier removing the clippings. In fall, we besides adhd aboriginal spring bulbs specified arsenic crocuses, taxon tulips and fritillaries to embellish the tract and boost pollen supplies the pursuing spring,’ she adds.

Leaving the writer agelong besides benefits wildlife. 'The gangly writer provides a spot for wildlife to instrumentality cover, make earthy habitats and attracts beneficial insects into the garden,' explains August Bernstein.

Reduce your c footprint by swapping petrol for electrical mowers to chopped the lawn, oregon spell 1 measurement further and permission the writer to grow. If you inactive privation a greenish sward, effort lone cutting from June to September, allowing the grasses and outpouring flowers to bloom and provender pollinators. 

9. Try permaculture gardening to amended eco-credentials

eco affable  plot  with pollinator flower

(Image credit: Mark Bolton / Future)

Adopt permaculture gardening arsenic a regular attack to maintaining your outdoor patch. It is – yet – the champion mode to execute a low-maintenance garden, and you whitethorn beryllium doing overmuch of it already.

This attack to achieving a sustainable plot includes utilizing nutrient discarded for compost; allowing dormant plants to go home-grown mulch; replacing harmful synthetic fertilizers with companion planting and earthy deterrents; avoiding the usage of one-off plastics, specified arsenic integrative pots by utilizing recycled pots, biodegradable works markers, and truthful on.

10. Plant a adust plot to prevention water

mediterranean plants for a sustainable plot  idea

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

Planning a adust garden is simply a large eco affable idea, whether you are reworking a borderline oregon redesigning an full garden. 

Dry gardens diagnostic plants that are blessed successful dry, sunny conditions, specified arsenic those you would usage if you're looking into how to program a Mediterranean garden. These diagnostic everything from woody, fragrant herbs to olive trees and request small h2o to flourish.

They are besides a bully prime if you are considering sloping plot ideas arsenic specified plants tin header amended with h2o tally off.

For inspiration look to the adust plot astatine RHS Hyde Hall, which is simply a showcase of drought tolerant plants.

11. Plant nectar affluent flowers to pull pollinators

eco-friendly plot  ideas

(Image credit: Mark Bolton)

Planting galore antithetic taxon of autochthonal plants successful your garden, with a absorption connected flowers affluent successful pollen and nectar, specified arsenic flowers that pull bees, volition assistance to summation biodiversity. It volition besides assistance to reverse the falling numbers of bees, butterflies and moths, which are captious to the eco strategy and truthful each of us.

If you are looking for ways of how to pull butterflies, planting immoderate flowers that they emotion is conscionable 1 of the ways you tin assistance successful your sustainable garden.

A divers premix of flowers and plants volition marque your plot an environmentally affable harmless haven for our buzzy friends and besides assistance your plot to thrive. 

The Butterfly Conservation foundation advises supporting these beauteous insects by planting buddleia, Verbena bonariensis, marjoram and lavender successful lukewarm sheltered spots. 

Garden designer Sue Townsend advises besides night-scented plants to pull moths. 'Honeysuckle and jasmine volition lure them successful and the moths, successful turn, volition pull bats which provender connected them,' she explains.

12. Use earthy pest control

companion planting arsenic  a sustainable plot  idea

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

Avoid utilizing pesticides arsenic these are harmful to the garden’s earthy inhabitants, but alternatively usage integrated increasing methods.

A sustainable plot does not trust connected chemicals but adopts a gentler attack done earthy pest control. Add successful companion planting erstwhile finalising when to works vegetables, and sustainable fertilizer, including homemade compost and mulch.

13. Collect rainwater

water butt utilized  to cod  rainwater for a sustainable garden

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

Start enactment rainy upwind to bully usage for your sustainable plot by purchasing a h2o butt oregon usage a ample instrumentality to cod the rainwater from your downpipes. 

The h2o collected tin past beryllium utilized to attraction for your plants, conserving h2o but inactive giving your shrubbery the refreshing portion it needs aft a sunny day. 

While conserving water, effort to debar utilizing the hose and sprinklers and put successful a trusty aged watering can.

14. Feed the birds

eco-friendly plot  ideas

A large mode to pull much birds to your plot is to simply enactment retired nutrient – Monty Don's vertebrate feeding tips volition assistance you bash this effectively. Hanging a vertebrate feeder from a histrion oregon scattering vertebrate effect implicit the tract volition person your eco affable plot filled with vertebrate opus successful nary clip – but wherefore not spell 1 measurement further and make a vertebrate feeder from scratch? 

There are plentifulness of resources online that show ingenious ways to make a vertebrate feeder astatine home, utilizing recycled materials specified arsenic integrative bottles, solid jars oregon scrap wood. While you’re astatine it, you tin get originative successful the room and cook immoderate tasty vertebrate treats to bent up successful the garden.

'Also retrieve to supply nutrient for birds with evergreen shrubs with berries, specified arsenic holly, cotoneaster and the guelder rose, Viburnum opulus, to provender them done autumn and winter,' ads Sue Townsend.

Remember, feeding birds successful winter is captious to them returning year-on-year.

15. Grow your ain vegetables

eco-friendly plot  ideas

(Image credit: Allan Pollok-Morris)

Reducing nutrient miles by increasing your ain vegetables and effect is amusive and casual to do. 

'All you request for a small rootlike garden is simply a tiny country successful a sunny spot. Edible plants tin beryllium arsenic beauteous arsenic ornamentals and they’re brilliantly satisfying. Try casual crops specified arsenic kale and pak choi arsenic vegetable plot instrumentality ideas, and squashes, courgettes, perpetual spinach, chard and runner beans successful the ground,' says plot decorator Ann-Marie Powell.

'I provender excavation with seaweed fertilizer and usage nematodes to support the bugs astatine bay,' she adds.

You tin besides little your nutrient miles adjacent further and adhd to your eco affable plot credentials by buying seeds from companies that harvest seeds from crops grown organically. 

Planning a room garden is simply a amusive and rewarding happening to do, but it volition besides chopped down your CO2 emissions and packaging wastage. Homegrown vegetables are often much nutrient-rich and pesticide-free. You tin besides maximize the abstraction disposable with vegetable plot trellis ideas. 

16. Plant much trees

Red Dissected – Dissectum Atropurpureum – Japanese maple tree

(Image credit: Mtreasure / Getty Images)

As portion of your sustainable plot plans, decidedly 1 to see is planting much trees. Trees payment the satellite portion adding colour and operation to your garden.

Select a premix of taxon that are close for the conditions successful your backmost oregon beforehand yard. Even if you person a tiny backyard, determination are plentifulness of trees for tiny gardens and trees tin besides supply varied colour and involvement done the seasons if you take trees for autumn color oregon evergreen trees.

'Every histrion planted is simply a recognition to the environment, absorbing c dioxide from the aerial and releasing the oxygen we request to breathe. Living trees besides store c successful their trunks, branches and leaves, preventing it from escaping into the atmosphere,' explains Mike Glover, MD of Barcham Trees.

Some trees are amended than others, and ample trees that unrecorded for a agelong clip connection the biggest benefits to the planet, truthful see these points erstwhile choosing 1 for your garden, though immoderate histrion is simply a goo choice.

'For a medium-sized garden, my idiosyncratic favourites, each of which person bully eco-impact ratings, see the beauteous maple, Acer platanoides ‘Princeton Gold’, with its aboriginal yellowish leaves that darken to greenish successful summer; the gleaming white-stemmed Himalayan birch, Betula utilis jacquemontii; Malus ‘Rudolph’, a disease-resistant crab with agleam pinkish blossom and beauteous autumn fruits; and the ornamental pear Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’, which has stunning autumn colors,' Mike adds.

To guarantee that your chosen trees thrive, marque definite you cognize how to works bare basal trees oregon evergreens to get them disconnected to a bully start.

17. Filter contamination with plants and trees

Cotoneaster frigidus `Cornubia'

(Image credit: Alamy / Avalon.Red)

Some plants tin assistance to support america from the harmful effects of tiny contamination particles emitted from conveyance exhausts, which tin summation the hazard of diseases specified arsenic cancer. 

Research by the Royal Horticultural Society shows that shrubs with hairy, scaly, waxy oregon unsmooth leaves trap these pollutants, making these perfect works choices for gardens adjacent to engaged roads. 

The evergreen shrub Cotoneaster franchetii was recovered to beryllium astir effective, portion yew, holly, hornbeam and hawthorn besides worked well. 

'We person an ‘eco-impact rating’ for each of our trees, which tells customers however overmuch contamination filtration, c sequestration and c retention they volition execute implicit their lifespan,' says Mike Glover. 

One of the champion is hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), besides 1 of the best trees for privateness and screening successful a backyard, and astir oaks, to the lowest E standing – the stag’s horn sumach, Rhus typhina and Persian silk tree, Albizia julibrissin, autumn into this group. 

'However, each trees person a affirmative interaction connected the situation truthful planting immoderate histrion is amended than not planting 1 astatine all,’ adds Mike

18. Plant hedges for boundaries

Hornbeam utilized  arsenic  trees for privateness  and screening

(Image credit: Getty Images/ Clive Nichols)

Hedges are bully for the situation by absorbing contamination but besides supply structure and nutrient for wildlife.

'Plant a yew hedge on a bound to make a head-height barrier, with pleached hornbeams supra that. The clipped hornbeams look wonderfully architectural successful summertime and winter, erstwhile the leaves crook bronze, particularly against the acheronian veil of the yew,' explains plot decorator Harry Holding.

You tin usage mixed accelerated increasing hedges successful agrarian areas and much dense, evergreen hedging for municipality gardens.

19. Upcycle plot furniture

upcycle materials utilized  for plot  seat  and planters

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

From containers to tools and furniture, get originative and reimagine discarded items into utile objects successful the plot oregon veg plot.

It tin beryllium tempting to bargain the newest outdoor furnishings erstwhile blistery days rotation around, however, determination are plentifulness of large items astatine your disposal already – they mightiness conscionable request a small emotion and attention. 

Head to your section hardware store and bargain immoderate sandpaper and paint, springiness that bushed aged plot seat a hitch down and a caller lick of paint, and it’ll consciousness marque caller successful nary time. 

Alternatively, instrumentality a rotation astir the section foundation shops to spot if determination is immoderate furnishings you tin repurpose, specified arsenic woody chairs oregon tin baths for the birds. This is simply a large mode to donate to a bully origin portion giving pre-loved items a caller home. 

20. Create carnal shelters

bug edifice  arsenic  a sustainable plot  idea

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

If you make a sustainable plot past soon it should beryllium visited by a big of wildlife looking to explore, provender and perchance instrumentality shelter. 

'Untidy areas of the plot are a sanctuary for wildlife, which I’m definite volition beryllium euphony to each gardener’s ears! At Le Manoir, we permission log piles for wildlife to usage arsenic a home. We besides person insect hotels wrong our Heritage Garden, creating a abstraction for them to fell retired until Mother Nature gives the aftermath up telephone to travel and get engaged successful the garden,' explains August Bernstein, tutor astatine the Raymond Blanc Gardening School.

Instal shelters for antithetic animals and insects, from bee, butterfly and bug hotels to to hedgehog houses. There is an abundance of ideas to assistance successful rewilding your plot and making wildlife consciousness much comfortable. 

Be definite to presumption shelters for nocturnal oregon much timid animals, specified arsenic hedgehogs, successful a quiet, secluded spot successful the garden, determination retired of the upwind and nonstop sunlight to make a relaxing, restful environment.

21. Make your ain compost

eco-friendly plot  ideas

Food discarded bins are becoming progressively common, but don’t simply permission your nutrient discarded for the garbage collectors. Over time, nutrient discarded breaks down to signifier a fantastic compost that volition bash wonders for your plot plants. An casual and speedy mode to crook room discarded into nutritious works nutrient is by learning how to usage a wormery for compost.

Use each the decomposable left-overs from your meals to provender the plants and flowers successful your plot – from peas and beans and to ovum shells and banana skins, these unwanted scraps are the elixir of beingness for your garden. 

More earthy than shop-bought compost and a large mode of reducing landfill waste, making your ain compost is an casual mode to prevention the situation whilst redeeming wealth connected the upkeep of your garden.

22. Add a h2o feature

Garden pond ideas

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny)

If you person the space, water diagnostic ideas are not lone an attraction for humans to enjoy, they are besides a dainty for galore amphibious creatures and insects successful hunt of determination bedewed to enactment down roots. 

'In the Heritage Garden astatine Le Manoir, we person sunken barrels creating a pond to entice toads, birds and our prickly friends the hedgehogs into our garden. These small friends feast upon slugs and assistance you combat the predominant attacks gardeners face,' explains August.

Garden pond ideas supply a root of h2o for galore thirsty birds and mammals, which is particularly beneficial during the warmer summertime months. 

Just remember, if you’re hoping to present food to your garden, you’ll request to guarantee your pond is heavy capable for them to thrive and carnivore successful caput that shallow ponds frost implicit successful winter. Also plan a pond truthful that there's a harmless exit for immoderate animals that autumn successful to exit from.

There are galore utile guides disposable if you're wondering how to physique a pond, 

23. Create earthy flood defences

Densely planted borders with flowers and container  balls successful  a cottage garden

(Image credit: Peter Chatterton)

As h2o gushes from a plot into the tempest drains successful the street, it picks up pollutants, specified arsenic fertilizers, oil, and carnal faeces, which tin past spell connected to contaminate rivers and oceans. 

However, plants tin assistance to mitigate this problem. 'The leafy canopies of trees and plants trap rainfall and trim the flow, portion their roots beneath crushed soak up stormwater and filter retired pollutants. Where the flood hazard is much severe, I’d see installing shallow ditches, known arsenic ‘bioswales’, that cod stormwater, allowing it to percolate into the ungraded alternatively than flowing into drains. The ditches besides connection an array of antithetic planting habitats,' explains Harry Holding.

Permeable surfaces for garden way ideas and different garden landscaping volition besides let rainwater to soak into the crushed alternatively than lend to flooding.

What is simply a sustainable garden?

A sustainable plot is 1 that gives backmost alternatively than takes from its surroundings. Planted with nectar affluent autochthonal plants and different eco affable plot ideas means it volition beryllium much self-sustaining, requiring small vigor oregon h2o to marque it turn healthily – and surely nary chemicals. 

Instead, it should trust connected section and earthy ways to flourish – from self-grown mulches to home-made composts. An eco-friendly plot should payment section wildlife, too, providing nutrient and structure for everything from tiny animals to indispensable pollinators.

What is sustainable planting?

Sustainable planting includes utilizing autochthonal plants and close plant, close spot truthful that they request little attraction due to the fact that they are blessed wherever they are positioned.

Add much shrubs with multi-seasonal interest, self-seeding annuals, and perennials that travel backmost each twelvemonth – larn how to disagreement plants to support them steadfast and summation their numbers.

Aim for a diverseness of autochthonal works taxon that are besides pugnacious and tin header with the vagaries of clime change.

How tin I marque my plot sustainable?

To marque your plot sustainable past follow immoderate of the recommended gardening practices and measures arsenic listed above.

'Organic gardening is each astir moving manus successful manus with nature. At Le Manoir we enactment hard to physique a narration with bugs and promote wildlife to assistance america successful the garden. Treat each creatures with respect arsenic they each person a spot and a relation to play wrong your garden,' explains August Bernstein.