Winter is often a difficult time of year for gardeners around the world, but especially in the UK, as the cold weather and lack of sunshine can make it seem almost impossible to have a beautiful living outdoor space.
Thankfully, there are many great garden trends that you can follow that can help bring your garden design to life, even in winter. However, one of the most important aspects of this list of trends is sustainability.
Sustainability is an important factor to consider in this day and age, as climate change is very real, and we all need to do our part to preserve as much of the natural world as we can.
One of the best ways to go about this is by starting at home, and the sustainable garden trends we have listed below can help you start this process.
1. Leave Your Garden Lawn In The Past; Go For A Pool
Popular culture and the media have told us for years that a neat, well-kept garden should have a massive manicured grass lawn as the centrepiece.
Thankfully, we have mostly started to move past this practice, as large grass lawns aren’t only boring to look at, but they are also higher maintenance and do not provide much of a habitat for wildlife.
Small urban gardens will also not have space for a regular grass lawn, and balcony gardens will look much more vibrant by making use of other greenery.
As many of you should know by now, the UK experiences extremely cold and harsh winters, which can also cause your grass to die or become dormant. This defeats the purpose of having a grass lawn, only for it to die or become dormant every winter, and there are also many other great ways to use this space.
Winter happens to be an excellent time of year to install a pool, as pool businesses generally offer lower rates in winter due to a lack of interest in the industry at this time. Building a pool can also take up a lot of time, so building a pool at the end of winter will ensure that you will have ample time to use it when spring and summer roll around.
If you want to stay consistent with the theme of sustainability when it comes to your pool, then particularly natural swimming ponds are the way to go. They do not need chlorine or any other pool chemicals; if you reduce the number of nutrients in the water, algae will take much longer to form.
This makes natural swimming pools very eco-friendly, and the fact that you can have aquatic plants growing around the rim of your pool will also encourage wildlife to go and enjoy the area as well.
This garden trend is, therefore, a great way to use your outdoor space, as you’ll have a nice place to cool off in the warmer months and a place where wildlife like birds, bees, and dragonflies can thrive.
2. Use Indigenous Plants That Wildlife Will Like
Another great sustainable way to enhance your outdoor living space is to create an indigenous garden that welcomes wildlife. While keeping up with the hottest new garden trends can be fun and exciting, wild gardens that use indigenous plants are timeless.
While you may think only using indigenous plants in your garden will limit your options, there are still plenty of great options to choose from.
There are a variety of different ferns, trees, bulbs, herbs, shrubs, bushes, perennials and more available to you, but your choices will depend on the size and look of the garden that you are going for.
A great way to keep your outdoor spaces cool and shady is by planting deciduous trees such as beech, birch, and oak trees. They will eventually grow to be very large and tall and will provide you with some extra privacy and shade.
These trees will also be a great place for birds to nest, which will fill your garden with the sound of birds chirping to one another, and this will add to your wild garden hugely.
Native shrubs are also great for wild organic gardening, as they can supply berries to birds like the house sparrow. Some great native shrubs to plant in your garden include juniper, buckthorn, dogwood, elder, scotch broom, and wild privet.
These shrubs will not only look great in your garden but will also provide berries to a variety of different types of fauna.
You can also plant a lot of indigenous plants in winter, so long as they have some frost protection, as plants that are indigenous to the UK will be able to withstand the cold much better in winter.
3. Repurpose, Reuse, and Recycle Wherever You Can
Many garden designers around the world are moving towards using materials that are recycled or repurposed in order to reduce the carbon footprint that formerly came with having a beautiful outdoor living space.
These designers realised that there are many creative ways to improve your garden design without needing to harm the environment.
If you’re in need of some new garden furniture, a new deck, or a new fence, then this is a great time to take advantage of the variety of new eco-friendly building materials on the market.
Here at Ecoscape, we have a variety of different composite products that are made from recycled plastic and reclaimed wood fibres that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.
Composite decking products can also be made to look just like wood without needing nearly as much maintenance. A composite Ecoscape fence can provide you and your garden with plenty of privacy and some extra shade if you think your garden is in need of it.
If you want to make a more usable outdoor space, then installing a composite deck could be another great idea, as it will provide you with a great place to entertain guests outdoors in comfort.
While timber might look more natural than composite does, it is a far less renewable resource. The timber sourced to make fences and decks often come from manmade forests that destroy the natural environment and these products uses a lot of fossil fuels when they are transported to be treated and sold.
Timber also often needs to be subjected to harsh, chemical treatments in order to prevent it from becoming infested with wood-boring insects or rotting. Creating these products takes its toll on the environment, but thankfully, composite products do not need to be maintained this way.
By buying composite decking products, you are reducing the amount of plastic and wood waste in the world and doing your part for the environment.
Winter is also a great time to build a fence or deck, as you won’t be using your outdoor area as much during this time, and it can be built and ready for you by the time the warmer months come about.
Sustainability isn’t just limited to buying products that have been recycled, though, as you can also use things like old paint tins as pots for flowering plants or get creative and use pallets to make some unique outdoor furniture.
The possibilities when it comes to recycling and up-cycling are seemingly endless, so take a look at what you have around your house and get to creating.
4. Grow Your Own Food
While many people will associate cultivating vegetables with seasons like summer and spring, there are still a good few vegetables and fruits that can be grown during winter.
There are an immense number of benefits to growing your own fruit and vegetables, such as the fact that you will know exactly what processes your food is going through, owing to the fact that you’ll be the one looking after it.
Growing your own fruit and vegetables can also save you money over time, as you won’t need to go off to the shops to buy as many groceries as you normally do. Any extra produce that you have left over can also be sold or given to family and friends if you don’t want to eat it yourself.
This is a great garden trend that won’t ever go out of fashion and is something that you can do year-round.
Some of the best vegetables to harvest during winter are Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbages, kale, leeks, and parsnips. These vegetables are very hardy and should be able to survive the UK winter with ease. Chard, parsley, and rocket can also be grown in winter if they are provided with a little bit of extra protection.
It is best to plant these vegetables in either late spring or summer so that you’ll be able to enjoy them once the colder months have rolled around.
Some of the fruits that you will be able to plant in winter without issue are persimmons, pomegranates, apples, and cherries. All of these fruit trees both come into and stay in season in the winter months, so planting them around this time won’t be a problem at all.
5. Successional Planting
Successional planting or succession planting is a great way to keep your garden looking vibrant and alive throughout the year, as it basically entails creating a garden that will change with the seasons.
With succession planting, you plant plants at different times of the year that will thrive in one particular season. If you love gardening, then this is a great way to go about it, as you will be able to flex your green thumb all year long.
The most important part of succession planting is having a strong, evergreen base, as these plants won’t change throughout the year and will provide your garden with some consistency and some greenery to fall back on if all else fails.
Some great flowers to plant in summer are repeat flowering plants like alstroemeria, cosmos, dahlias, and zinnia. They are extremely easy to grow and are quite durable, so they’ll be able to withstand the summer heat.
Spring is a great time to plant some bulbs like tulips, narcissus, and alliums, as they’ll be able to help you start your year off with some vibrant colours.
Grasses, coloured bark, and seedheads are great for winter, as they are very hardy and will be able to withstand the cold that UK winters bring.
Get Your Composite Products From Ecoscape!
If you are interested in adding a new deck, fence, or some cladding to your home, but want to go the sustainable route, then composite products will be the right choice for you.
At Ecoscape, we offer great warranties on all of our composite products and also guarantee that all of them are made from recycled plastic and reclaimed wood fibre.
Can you plant shrubs in January in the UK?
January is a great time of the year to plant shrubs, as most of them are hardy and will be able to survive the cold.
Can you grow potatoes during winter in the UK?
You will be able to grow potatoes in the UK during winter, but you will, unfortunately, have to make use of a heated greenhouse, or grow them indoors, as they won’t survive the cold.
What flowers grow during UK winters?
There are great plants that flower in winter in the UK, such as pansies, winter honeysuckle, snowdrop, winter aconites, and many more.
There are many great sustainable garden trends to jump on this coming winter, and it will be up to you to decide which ones will be best for you and your home.