- Plant native trees and shrubs - they support more wildlife.
- Have a variety of heights - much more bird friendly.
- Chose 'open' flowers that are easily accessible to bees .
- Think before you use a petrol machine - does the grass really need cutting? Do I need a chain saw for that branch? Consider alternatives: push mower, scythe, saw, loppers.
- Do not rush to tidy up in autumn. Dead flower heads often provide homes for overwintering friends.
- Use green manures. They improve the soil as well as providing colour and interest eg. Phacelia, Clovers, Buckwheat.
- Grow some vegetables. This would reduce you lawn area. They can be quite decorative too. Red Lettuce, Runner beans and Beetroot for example. You will also be cutting down on food miles. Source food from organic/local producers. We all pay a high price for ‘cheap’ food. Grow Organically and use environmentally friendly methods to tackle a problem. For example a sharp hoe or flame weeder is better than weed killer.
- Make compost. Good for the soil, good for insects and reduces landfill.
- If slugs are a problem consider chickens or ducks. Attract frogs and hedgehogs.
- Source your garden supplies locally - do you really need furniture from China? Choose tools that will last and have replaceable parts. If you tend to lose them paint the handles red for easy spotting in the grass.
- For hard landscaping consider local stone/gravel before concrete.
- Use natural paints and oils (eg Livos) for sheds, raised beds fences and garden furniture.
- Save and conserve water. Have water butts to collect rain.
- Attract wildlife. Build shelters and homes for birds, bats, hedgehogs and insects.
Feed winter birds. This will enrich your garden experience. If you have a cat put a bell on its collar. See if you can create a pond or water feature
- Share your knowledge and experience. You know more than you think!
- Don't look always to the garden centre for new plants - swap cuttings with friends. Be careful not to grow alien invasive plants ie. Gunnera.
- Always use open pollinated seeds.
- Try saving your own seeds.
- Grow comfrey and have a nettle patch. Both can be used for liquid feed or as a mulch. They also attract bees and butterflies. Young nettles make a delicious soup!
- If you have a large garden that is too much for you consider ’sharing’ it with others that wish to grow their own food.
- Be part of the solution not the problem. Join organisations such as
The Organic Centre Rossinver, Co.Leitrim
The Irish Seed Savers, Scariff, Co. Clare 061/921866