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Garden Trends Summer 2023

crab apple tree

This summer ‘eco-friendly’ gardening is on the agenda. In the UK we have suffered the extremes of droughts and floods, milder winters and wetter summers. Nature has struggled to come to terms with the changes, and our gardens have suffered. Here are some ideas that could help your garden thrive.

Resilient Plants – Choose plants that need less water and diversify the range of plants that you grow. If you look at the range of shrubs, flowers, herbs and foliage in the Mediterranean, they’re plants that can withstand extremes in temperature and require much less irrigation. Lavender, rosemary, mint and parsley all do well. Salvias, bougainvillea and passionflower are sturdy and provide beautiful flowers.

Wildlife – Incorporating elements that will attract birds, bees and insects is something that helps nature and the environment. You can buy pre-made wildflower seed balls specifically created to attract pollinators, or you can try throwing your own mix in a pot or corner of the garden. All those insects need a home, making bug ‘hotels’ from bamboo sticks and offcuts of wood is a fun activity for all the family. Bugs attract the birds so adding a birdfeeder, nest boxes or a birdbath will help your avian visitors and provide a lot of entertainment in the garden. Pond need a little more effort to make, but the result will attract wildlife. Just ensure any passing mammals can find their way out safely. Look at some of the ideas online and get creative.

Lawns – We Brits love a lush lawn, but they require hard work and dedication to maintain. If you’re tired of mowing but you want to be eco-friendly, look for an alternative that works with nature. You could plant something with good ground cover that needs very little maintenance. Golden carpet sedum is drought proof and will tolerate a little footfall,  it also works well on a shed roof. Chamomile or thyme are popular choices for low growing ground plant. Both will need up to twelve weeks to establish, but then they need very little care and no mowing. Another option, just let your lawn become a mini meadow for the summer and plant a wide variety of British wildflowers.

Trees – We could all do with more trees! Crab apple trees are very tolerant of all weathers. In the summer, their blossom will feed thousands of insects, and birds will feast on the remaining fruit over the winter months. Gingko Biloba, also known as the maidenhair tree, is one of the most resilient tree species, with an unusual leaf shape and conical crown. Silver Birch trees are very slender and tall, suitable for smaller spaces. Any trees that you plant will undoubtedly help the environment in some way, just make sure you have enough room to accommodate them into maturity.

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