Gardens offer us a wealth of beauty, color, texture and fragrance. But gardens can have much greater meaning and value if we accept a more natural approach. By welcoming more nature into our gardens, we can build a stronger connection with the environment.
When we linger to look, listen and smell what our gardens have to offer, we discover new delights. We notice all sorts of life bustling among the flowers, foliage and soil. We are also more likely to develop a greater appreciation for the diversity of insects, of which the majority are performing valuable tasks that benefit the web of life. We become more tolerant to things being nibbled or disturbed by other living creatures when we appreciate the role our gardens play in a bigger picture.
Some simple ways to increase the ecological quality our or gardens include:
Plant a diverse mix of native plants
Avoid and replace invasive, exotic plants that outcompete with more valuable native ones
Plant in vertical layers with trees, shrubs and ground-covering plants
Fill vacant spaces with plants that reduce the need for mulch
Choose organic gardening and landscaping methods
Reduce mowed lawn areas, and let some areas grow longer, or into a meadow
Provide large, flat stones for butterflies to rest in the warm sun
Include native evergreens to provide winter protection for birds
Create a brush pile
Leave some areas of the yard a little more wild
Allow fallen leaves to remain in place under shrubs and wooded areas
Leave some dead wood, either on the tree (if it will not fall and cause harm) or as undisturbed fallen branches
Allowing for more nature in my own garden has increased my respect for the wider web of life and has expanded my level of interest and purpose beyond simply gardening for flowers.
Rue Sherwood Landscape Design creates custom gardens and landscapes throughout the North Shore, from design through installation.
Contact us to help you welcome more nature and create comfortable outdoor spaces for you to enjoy with friends, family and wildlife.