Stone paving is usually a partial part of any back garden before even moving in. The point of these flat stone blocks is to provide access to garages or sheds, mainly when the weather has made the ground too wet to walk on comfortably. Although this may be convenient from time to time, paving has several down-sides and is more obviously taking up valuable space that could be used for planting. Reducing and removing the amount in your garden allows rainwater to make its way into the earth and not into drainage systems. This prevents flooding and keeps your rooted plants hydrated for longer when the hot sunlight is interrupted by a convenient shower. If more plants aren’t suitable for your garden, simply switching to gravel or bark can alleviate the unwanted rain retention of paving.
Sometimes called inter-planting, this term refers to the method of growing two different species of plant in the same area. This method is fantastic for those tight on space, but also can create an organic method of boosting the preservation of certain plants and vegetables. When chosen correctly the ‘companion’ that accompanies whatever you have chosen to grow will provide a useful perk. High reaching stems with large leaves planted close to a sun-shy plant can effortlessly provide shade, whereas herbs planted in the same spot as pest-prone veg can keep unwanted guests at bay. Many growers are still learning methods and combinations that work for them, but a quick internet search will help you pick tried and tested pairs such as carrots and tomatoes or roses and garlic. Intercropping is a delightfully smart and chemical-free way to manage what you are growing.
Bring in The Birds
Few things are as quickly associated with natural peace as birdsong, so why not invite more of it to your back yard. Not only will more winged neighbours make the sounds of your garden reflect the whimsy of a fairytale, but once invited into the area birds will naturally prey upon pests. The likes of caterpillars or unsightly slugs and snails will diminish considerably once you have a regular flock of birds visiting, it’s easy to attract them too. Bird feeders come in many shapes and sizes and often will not affect the aesthetics of your garden in the process either. Nesting homes and birdhouses are easy to get your hand on too, but also make an interesting and rewarding DIY project for anyone interested. They don’t have to be elaborate either, if they provide a little shelter.
Like us, birds need to stay hydrated too, providing water can be another useful and tireless way to attract friendly wildlife. Whether you have a pond, or water feature (which is also great for helping air quality) these spots will become desirable stops for passing birds. A simple birdbath alone can bring in a handful on a warm day and also doubles up as a focal point for more featureless yards.