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Sustainable Landscape Design – How we Can Save Water in our Own Gardens
February 21, 2012
Sustainable Landscape design needn’t be a cold and ‘practical’ process that should be used as a last resort. Designing in a natural way and using what we’re given naturally could very well be the answer to how we can save water in our own gardens.
This time around I felt it was time to approach a post a little bit differently. Usually I talk about how we do things on a day to day basis and generally write about garden design from my point of view. I just felt it was time to be a little but more open and talk about some things that i think are really important for the future when it comes to landscape design but also some things that interest me outside of my day job.
I started off in life on the beaches of Jersey where I was born, and from the first few years of my life knew that being outside and feeling the natural elements was when i felt most alive.
Like most people, I took some twists and turns to really find out what my calling was! In 2005 I qualified as a set designer from Central St Martins School of Art and Design, then went on to sell my natural textile artwork from a gallery i rented in WC1. In 2010, while running my previous landscape maintenance business I worked through the nights to qualify as a designer from the Garden Design School, Painshill Park in 2010 and haven’t look back since.
I love my job and working for myself still gives me the freedom to be creative both in design and with growing the business. To get here wasn’t so much a calling but more a process of elimination! Plants, nature and design are all subjects that interest me and garden design helps me to fulfill most of them.
Enough off my background, I just wanted to give you an insight into who i am and why sustainable landscaping, when possible is so important to me.
Everywhere we look there are statistics on climate change and I think it’s time to say that the stats aren’t looking in our favour climatically!! I’ve linked to a few below if you’re into the information like I am but either way we need to make some changes to our own immediate surroundings so we don’t have to rely so much on public systems.
To rely on the mains water to be there everytime is not covering all of your bases, so why not design a beautiful garden that will do all of the work for you and thrive while doing it.
There a so many ways to improve you gardens’ sustainability and below are just a few:
Install a Water Butt or Tank
An easy and very effective way of collecting and storing water. You can get them as barrels or be a bit flashier with The Hog– A wall mounted modular system that will save space and allow you to connect as many as you like together.
Install drainage systems that will take your water run off from your drive, patio or roof and lead them back to an underwater storage tank. This amount of free water stored in your tank can then be pumped out when you need it for watering your plants during hosepipe bans and water shortages. Some will hold as much as 10000 litres so you will always have enough.
Shape the land
The main aim to getting the most from your water is to either slow its run off or to catch it completely. Through the spring and summer, watering can really get monotonous so one of the best ways to let the rain do the watering for you is to shape the land with slight ditches, terracing or even creating your own sculpted garden feature. These will slow the water down and catch it wherever it’s at its lowest, which is often where your plants will be!
Of course irrigation systems will water your plants and vegetables on a drip system but this doesn’t hide the fact that they’re most likely coming from a tap.
I’ve included a photo of a herb sprial- A spiral made from natural materials(e.g straw, soil) that is planted with herbs to enable passive gardening by slowing the water run off. These things are amazing and really are the answer to ‘hands free’ gardening. This is part of a larger movement called permaculture. I won’t go in depth for fear of losing you but here’s a link to a previous post where i wrote all about it!
Only today we’re hearing in the main news about possible water shortages in the UK and there’s no better time to start allowing for some changes should we need to. If you’re interested in exploring some sustainable landscaping ideas for your garden, just contact us to see how we can help you to stop wasting time on watering and start designing a sustainable garden for the future!
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