Gardening with Nature

Gardens are special places where, as gardeners, we’re privileged to get up close to the natural world. But gardening with nature also makes you realize how precious it is. Our impact on the planet is well documented and it’s up to us to adopt more environmentally conscious ways of living. Growing your own food’s a great start, but how you grow it makes a big difference.

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Artificial fertilizers and pesticides are energy intensive to manufacture and carry many undesirable side effects, from polluting rivers to harming beneficial insects and soil life.

A natural approach – adding organic materials to the soil to build long-term soil fertility, and planting flowers to attract pest predators – avoids these negative impacts while creating a livelier, healthier garden.

Much of our waste can be composted. Composting is a natural process and a far more environmentally friendly alternative to burying it in landfill. Garden-made compost is often richer in valuable nutrients than bought-in sources of compost.

Make your own and enjoy a free source of natural fertilizer to feed your soil and the plants growing in it. Setting up a simple compost bin or heap doesn’t take long. It’s easy to add to and, don’t worry, it won’t smell!

There is nothing nicer than when you take a deep breath of fresh spring air, that you inhale the perfume of scented plants. Fragrant plants can enhance the enjoyment you get out of your garden. Creeping thyme or pennyroyal can be used between pavers and as your feet bruise the plants, they release their scent. Fragrant climbers can be trained over an arbor and anybody resting on a bench close by will be able to smell the flowers. If scented geraniums or lavenders are planted along the edges of a path, the scents will be released as you brush against the plants. Alyssum, pansies, petunias and Nemesia aromatica (indigenous) also add a subtle hue while stocks have that dramatic, heady aroma.  

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