Make your Natural garden!
If we want our garden to be self-sufficient, beautiful, healthy and productive, we need to respect each living creature and make efforts to establish a so called biological balance (the soil, microorganisms, plants and animals are reciprocally at a balanced ratio). Such a garden is a little miracle – a functioning ecosystem.
1/ CHARACTERISTICS OF ENVIRONMENT
Find out what conditions there are in your garden. What the average annual temperature is, annual precipitation, groundwater level, soil characteristics, or what the garden’s position is in terms of cardinal points. You will create a natural environment so you need to know its characteristics.
2/ SELECTION OF PLANTS
Use plants that are characteristic for the particular habitat, drought-tolerant plants for dry sandy soil, and for heavy clay soil use plants that are tolerate such conditions. Be as close to nature as possible, it will reward you with a great effect while being relatively easy to maintain.
3/ SOURCE OF FOOD
Use plants that are a source of food - fruits for birds, nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects.
4/ LIFE CYCLE
Consider the entire plant life cycle; plants are decorative from their sprouting to extinction. Avoid removing the dead parts of plants, and dry flowers or tufts of grass. Nature will reveal itself in its full form. Seed heads of plants also serve as food for birds and small mammals in the winter.
5/ MEADOW COMMUNITIES
Reduce the area of intensely maintained lawn and instead generate meadow communities that are home for beneficial insects and birds. They then eliminate pest in other parts of the garden.
6/ NO CHEMICALS
Do not use pesticides or other chemicals. It is better to produce suitable conditions for natural predators and to use natural products and methods to protect plants. Start composting and recycle as many plant residues as possible including organic waste from your kitchen.
7/ HOME FOR BIRDS AND INSECTS
Install bird feeders, drinking troughs for birds, nest boxes, insect hotels, or a shelter for a hedgehog. Your garden will be full of life.
8/ MATERIAL RESOURCES
Consider material resources. Use your local types of wood, stone from the nearest stone quarry, and leave as many existing (healthy) trees as possible. Avoid buying plants from supermarket chains, but find a local tree nursery.
9/ WATER ELEMENT
If you cannot afford a pond, design another water element (bird drinking fountain, a larger bucket for water grass, etc.)
10/ OVERALL CONCEPT
Keep in mind that a natural garden has its own rules, style and character. In order to reach such carefree yet balanced effect you ought to conceptually organise the space and balance all the elements. The garden should not look like a waste land, but even a bit elegant while still wild.
Other practical and interesting information on Natural gardens can be found at Wikipedia HERE
A functioning natural garden is a treasure indeed.