By Sarah Naybour
February 12th 2020
The buzzword in Garden Design this year, is the environment! You would assume that by its very nature designing outdoor spaces would automatically have the environment at the forefront. However, we only have to count the number of skips and quantity of concrete, mortar, aggregates, plastic and timber waste generated by each project to realise that the build of a garden can often be far from environmentally friendly.
So what can we designers do?
Here at SN Design Ltd we are taking the following steps:
This not only means educating ourselves, but also having conversations with our clients early on about the importance of biodiversity of the design as well as the ways we aim to reduce the environmental impact of the garden build.
For ourselves it means getting accreditation for Wildflower Meadow establishment, learning more about sustainable planting methods and soil management, researching better ways of rainwater harvesting and how to incorporate that into our designs. In short we are all about low input high impact planting for 2020!
REDUCING THE CARBON FOOTPRINT:
When it comes to materials we are now looking at where these come from and how far they travel. It is inspiring to see that our local stone supplier Stoneworld now have a list of British stone for us to specify. https://www.stoneworld.co.uk/exterior-stone/british-stone/ Not only does this reduce the distance it travels, but it supports our local communities and we can feel safe in the knowledge that it did not involve any child labour or underpaid workers. We can also look at up-cycling pavers and stone from salvage yards for smaller projects.
While we aim to reduce the impact of the build on the environment we also need to consider the ongoing life of the garden and how that can help to boost the environment rather than put pressure on it. Creating habitats for insects and fungi to thrive, for birds to feed, drink and wash are crucial for the balance of nature. And there is space in all types of gardens for these elements.
KEEPING IN TOUCH:
The lives of the gardens we design begin when the last plant is planted and we leave site. However, for SN. Design Ltd the aftercare of the garden is something we like to be involved in whenever we can. We offer this as a regular service to support the maintenance team or as one-off visits just to walk and talk through the garden. We get regular updates from our clients and love receiving news even years on. These visits help us to understand more about the longevity of our designs and to feed our knowledge for future gardens.