Let’s face it. We are not a nation of gardeners. We would much rather have a ‘front garden’ (sic!) that is paved or tiled with, as a magnanimous concession, a few pots with plants which need the barest minimum of maintenance. But what if, just what if, some of the concern on the climate crisis currently sweeping many countries were to actually interest us? What if we actually listened to Greta Thunberg? And, a revolutionary idea, this, what if we actually did something about It? Here are some ideas.
1. Plant a window box
You may not have any outside space of your own, but you’ll likely have a window or two. So, rig up a window box and scatter some wild flower seeds. Bees are fond of colourful, tubular flowers like foxgloves and love lavender, borage, catmint and buttercups. What could be nicer than the scent of lavender wafting into the room?
2. Install some house plants
As well as creating a haven for wildlife, plants have the added benefit of reducing carbon dioxide levels (through photosynthesis). They also help to diminish airborne dust and levels of certain pollutants like benzene and nitrogen dioxide. Fill your home with plants and know that you’re doing your bit for the environment!
3. Cut the pesticides
It’s time to go organic. The first step to encouraging insects and birds into your garden is to ditch all pesticides, weed-killers, fertilisers and slug pellets. To stop slugs ravaging your veggies simply crush up egg shells and sprinkle them around the base of your plants instead.
4. Make your own mini pond
All life needs water, so the best thing you can do with a small or urban space is to create a pond. It doesn’t have to be large – even a washing-up bowl will do. Add plant life and, before you know it, you’ll have frogspawn, pond snails and dragonfly larvae aplenty.
5. Pull up paving
Think about hauling out those paving stones and putting down some turf. If your plot does not permit this, then another option is to opt for gravel, and scatter some insect-friendly plants like lavender amongst the stones. And there’s always the option of planting some wildflower pots if you can’t bring yourself to say farewell to the flagstones.
6. Attach a bird box
A nest box is an excellent substitute for a tree hole, and much needed in areas which are lacking in the latter. Why wait? Get one rigged up! For tits, sparrows and starlings the box needs to be between two and four metres high up on a tree, wall or fence. It’s also important to make sure it’s facing between north and east to avoid strong sunlight and wet winds.