How Green is Your Garden?
Perhaps this is in part due to climate change with people “doing their bit” to reduce their carbon footprint. It might be because the householder is looking to reduce their overheads by investing in products and materials that will reduce their monthly expenditure, or perhaps it’s a quest to become self sufficient.
Whatever the reason, Eco Homes fit into two categories – those that are purpose built and those that are modernised/improved/renovated to increase a property’s green credentials. A true green home is a property that is designed and built with the environment in mind. They focus on the efficient use of energy, water and building materials. This may result in what looks like a traditional two up, two down abode built with a raft of energy saving features such as extra levels of insulation. There are examples of using straw bales, wool or vehicle tyres to insulate new constructions alongside large amounts of triple glazing on the south facing side of the property and photovoltaic panels on the roof, through to a property that is constructed on a rugged hillside, is well insulated, uses the ground for heat, that rainwater harvests, reuses grey water, has a wind turbine and a composting toilet. The property settles into the landscape by being covered in soil with a grass roof so that just the windows and doors are visible from a distance.
These are both shades of green as far as eco homes are concerned, but the real question, from a gardeners perspective, is – does a green house equal a green garden? More often than not, it does. A lifestyle is being chosen by “going green”. Reusing grey water and rainwater harvesting implies that it is understood that water is a valuable resource and it needs to be looked after and used to maximize its impact on the garden. This may be by cultivating specific plants and crops that are not very thirsty, or by creating an efficient irrigation system because they are. Good quality solar patio and garden lights operating independently of the mains provide enough light for our summer evenings and complements the use of a wood burning chimenea rather than a gas fired BBQ.
There are many natural ways to make your garden greener, so if you are unsure where to start, speak to one of our Garden Designers who will be happy to offer you the benefit of their experience. Please phone either 01329 840940 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.