Living Green

Easy Tips for an Eco-Friendly Garden

Kristian Laws

Renowned landscaping expert Kristian Laws, credited with designing some of the most renowned gardens around the globe and a longtime advocate of “green” landscaping, has put together the following tips for even the most novice of gardeners:

Plants are hungry too. Whether you are in a high rainfall area or rely on irrigation, spring is the time to “kick start the plants” with a good-quality organic feed. Over time, soil can be depleted of nutrients due to winter rain and constant overuse of irrigation. Being the caretakers of our plants, we need to provide even more feeding as the plants come into their spring growth and expend energy.

Organic, organic, organic. The golden rule of soil feeding is only put into the soil what nature intended -- use only organic rather than synthetic wherever possible. You can't beat well-rotted manure or compost, but make sure it's well rotted otherwise it can burn new planting.

Mulch. Mulching is simple to apply and the benefits are huge. As mulch breaks down it will help improve sandy soil and clay soil alike while reducing weeds and decreasing water loss greatly. Just remember to buy the right material and stay away from the cheaper imitations that are simply chopped up lumber and often color dyed, as they add little long-term benefits to the soil. Today, most home improvement and garden centers carry excellent organic mulches.

Upgrade your sprinkler system. Change out irrigation, at least in the flower borders. If this seems like a major project, then consider working on one area to start, perhaps a smaller border. Reducing the amount of wasteful overhead sprinklers to bubblers or drippers is relatively inexpensive and simple to install yourself. The plants prefer the water getting to their roots and the amount of water you save with less overspray and runoff will be significant.

"Greening our gardens is much easier than we think," says Laws. "Once we realize how just a few changes in watering habits and the use of composting and organic materials can vastly improve and 'green' our gardens, I think it will become customary for all. Did we ever think there would be a vegetable garden at the White House? The time is now to change how we tend to our gardens and what we plant, for today and the future of our planet."


About Kristian Laws:
Kristian Laws is the founder of Botanical Fine Outdoor Living. With more than 20 years of experience, Laws has designed and installed gardens in Asia, Europe, Australia, and America. He has won more than 33 medals at renowned garden shows.

Print Date: 8/13/2022
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