You’ve got a shimmering lawn neater than the haircut of a military general, pot plants more colourful than a Flaming Lips album cover and a gazebo that could make the Gardeners’ World team spurt tears of pride – but is your garden eco-friendly?
That’s right – From the lawnmower you use to the patio furniture you sit on, the grass (as well as the air and energy usage) can always be made greener.
So, what can you do? Start with a few of these top ideas.
Get with the glazing
What does every perfect middle-class home have in common? You guessed it – they’ve all invested in a professionally made conservatory.
Giving you the perfect view of your garden as you laze indoors, conservatories also act as an ideal form of insulation for your home. Although the glass won’t actually retain much heat, your extension will essentially act as a shield, keeping the cold at arm’s length and saving you on heating bills.
Let it rot, let it rot, let it rot
Composting is the perfect way to recycle those out-of-date newspapers, old bits of food (though never compost fish and meat items, for reasons of hygiene) and rotting plant life that has little to no other use.
First off, create a compost bin to hold your gunk, then fill it with leaves, water, twigs and anything else that will decompose effectively. Be sure to mix up your compost heap so that different materials come into contact with each other, creating an alchemy that will break them down quicker.
After all this, you’ll have a handy supply of compost to give your soil an extra lease of life.
Praise the sun!
In the recent past, solar panels were viewed as ideal ways to power your home, but ultimately impractical thanks to their cost.
But that’s all changing with the price of solar panels recently dropping by a third (according to national newspaper The Guardian). Place these in your garden and on your roof and, provided there’s sunny weather, you’ll have a wellspring of electricity that doesn’t rely on finite fossil fuels to power your home.
Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
The average UK rainfall in 2012 was 1331mm, although you’d be forgiven for thinking there was far more. But instead of grumbling and moaning about the UK’s stormy fortunes, put that rain to good use by placing a water butt in your garden.
Allow it to fill and you’ll have a repository of rainwater that you can use to water your plants, saving you on water bills and giving you backup if a hosepipe ban comes into play.