Release from 20.04.2022
Every keen gardener has the power to encourage biodiversity in their garden, on their balcony or on their patio. Adopting a natural approach to gardening involves nurturing native flora and fauna as well as favouring sustainable garden tools like the GARDENA EcoLine range.
Private gardens, green balconies and public green spaces offer no end of benefits. They provide relaxing havens where the focus is on fun and enjoyment, which has been even more important during the pandemic. Gardens stop soil sealing, store CO2 and filter particulates from the air. They also provide homes for all kinds of insects, birds, and mammals. The diversity of fauna and flora can be specifically supported in the garden.
Considering the climate and wildlife in garden planning
Plant selection in the garden has a direct impact on the microclimate. Woody plants have an important role to play here. Trees provide cooling shade and bring structure to the garden. Native shrubs such as cornelian cherry, yew, or bee-friendly privet replace the fence and provide shelter and food for birds and small mammals. With manual shears like the GARDENA 2in1 EnergyCut, hedges can be pruned without any problem. This keeps them in shape and stops them growing too tall, but it also makes sure the leaves stay dense enough to provide a haven for animals. Use existing border dividers as supports for climbing plants like honeysuckle and ivy, which provide even more menu choices and accommodation options for the local wildlife.
Don’t forget that plants don’t just grow at ground level. The roofs of garages, pergolas and gazebos can be covered with different types of sedums, carnations, and thyme. These plants provide bees and butterflies with a varied diet and can absorb up to 90 percent of rainwater to be gradually released into the atmosphere.
Right place, right time
Before choosing a particular garden plant, the basic requirements should be clear: The soil, light and climate conditions all need to be considered if gardeners pick the right plants for the right spot. Not all plants need the same type of soil. Does the plant need loam, sand or lots of clay? The answer to that question will also determine the water requirements. Are the climate conditions mild, dry, or cool and wet? A fig tree, for example, can stand outdoors in the middle of the garden when the weather is mostly mild. In colder conditions, however, it would need to be sheltered against a wall in the sun or put in a pot and overwintered in a cool, light room inside.
Light is another key to success. Roses thrive in direct sunlight, whilst hostas and ferns need cooler shade to grow. Remember that the lighting conditions change over the course of the day and the years. As trees and shrubs grow, they create shade in areas of the garden that used to be light and bright. This must be kept in mind and, if necessary, the plant composition at the base of the woody plants must be adjusted. If a tree outgrows the space available, it can be a good idea to thin it out. With a Battery Telescopic Pruner, gardeners can reach even the highest branches. And the pruning loppers in the EasyCut range can be used to cut back green branches and hard, dry wood from the ground up. The EcoLine Garden Secateurs are ideal for keeping on top of young hop shoots and wild vines.
A bountiful feast
The soil and weather conditions are spot on for native plants and even the water requirements are just right. Their berries, seeds and pollen provide a rich and varied diet for the local wildlife, which has evolved in symbiosis with these plants. And yet many ornamental plants that started off as exotic species have a lot to offer insects too, having been part of local garden culture for years already. Just be sure to watch out for invasive non-native species like cherry laurel and goldenrod because they can be damaging to the local ecosystem if they out-compete native plants. They also tend to be less useful as sources of food for animals.
Gardens that are home to a variety of plants providing flowers and fruit all year-round bring joy to garden owners and keep the wildlife fed as the seasons change. Snowdrops, crocuses, winter aconites and grass start off the year, followed by flowering shrubs like echinacea, sage and crane’s-bill that are known for attracting bees. Ivy thrives through to autumn, providing welcome shelter and sustenance. Wild roses offer up their rose hips and flowering plants like greater mullein and milk thistle continue to act as sources of food throughout the winter. Colour and variety are hallmarks of natural gardening.
Find more information on sustainable gardening in the GARDENA eBook Sustainable gardening. Tips and inspirations for a colourful garden ecosystem.
For over 50 years Gardena has provided everything passionate gardeners need. The broad assortment of products offers innovative solutions and systems for watering, lawn care, tree and shrub care and soil cultivation. Today, Gardena is a leading European supplier of high-quality gardening tools and distributed in more than 100 countries worldwide. Gardena is a brand of Husqvarna Group. Further information on gardena.com.