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Just think. If every single home garden in Ireland made simple changes towards a more environmentally friendly space, the collective impact would be significant, especially when transforming our impact on urban spaces.
If you’re seriously thinking of making your home a more sustainable dwelling in 2024, you could use a cluster of simple interventions to improve the impact of your gardening.
Whether you are aiming for a more circular economy, more biodiversity, more flood prevention or just love saving money, many simple improvements are waiting to be discovered.
We can guard against drought and flooding with more eco-friendly planting and ‘Rain Garden’ cultivation. This gardening style aims to slow down the rainwater run-off, retaining every last drop of water instead of decanting it into the drains.
Flooding is a growing threat to more and more neighbourhoods in Ireland, so it pays for us all to do our bit with the spaces we have.
If you’ve inherited a property with a front garden covered in paving or tarmac, it may be time to add some landscaping and bring nature back.
In response to the recent spate of flooding in Ireland, Dublin City Council has also appealed to households to “stop paving their front gardens with concrete or tarmac due to increasing flooding and sewage overflows.”
More than a decorative feature of your facade, this basic intervention will affect the whole city and its microclimate.
You won’t have to give up on all the paved surfaces if you have a car. You can use the shaded area on the side of your driveway.
This could prove challenging if you are an avid gardener with a highly manicured lawn, well-laid-out bedding, and sculpted topiary.
But it’s worth it. You will be restoring more balance and resilience to our natural environment. This pursuit is not just worthwhile for its own sake, but encouraging wildlife also affects your soil’s fertility and helps you manage pests more naturally.
Try this year for a more diverse plant selection of native species well-suited to the Irish climate. Include a mix of trees, shrubs, flowers, grasses, and groundcovers to bring life and colour to different seasons.
Reports of invasive alien plant species have led to greater consciousness and a call for more responsibility when planting in Irish gardens. This is a worthwhile resolution to make in 2024.
It chimes with the new global trend for more naturalistic planting and rewilding that pays homage to naturally occurring plants and the drive for more biodiversity.
What will you get in return? A prairie-like meadow that will grow more and more diverse over time. Allowing more naturally occurring plants will also provide habitats for many native species and can be a wildlife sanctuary.
Keeping close to Nature also means paying homage to the benefits of natural decay and decomposition.
Many of us have already been converted to the benefits of composting for its more natural recycling benefits.
In addition to composting, there are even more benefits to the slow decay process. Stumpery Gardens and using naturally decaying dead logs can support more moisture retention, biodiversity, and fern cultivation. Deadwood or logs create a perfect haven for bug hotels. This would be an easy win for a larger property.
As the duration and moisture levels change over time, be prepared this year to adapt your standard gardening practices and even planting schedule to adjust to the different times of the seasons.
Regardless of the immediate benefits to your home and your garden’s aesthetic, the benefits of sticking to these Eco-conscious gardening resolutions are boundless. You will be developing a living space that is more resilient and adaptive to the current climatic changes in Ireland in the long term.