Your water saving garden design guide

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” – a common phrase that’s certainly true in most areas of life, especially when it comes to protecting the environment. If you’re trying to save water in the garden, or anywhere in your home for that matter, the more you prepare with gadgets and designs the less you’ll rely on your impulsive actions to make a difference. This week we’re going to look at how you can create a water saving garden design to set yourself up for success for saving water in your green spaces. Take a look at some of our tried, tested and successful ideas no matter what size your outdoor space is.

Be selective of the plants in your garden 

Think about it for a moment. What needs the most water in your garden? It’s more than likely your plants. So, this idea is perfect no matter how small your green space is. Even if you only have a few houseplants, being selective is essential to reduce unnecessary water usage. 

There are so many options at the garden centre, it can be easy to simply ‘pick the prettiest’ but did you know that your garden will thrive better if you choose indigenous plants? It’s going to be difficult to keep a palm looking pretty in a British garden if it’s used to conditions similar to that of Northern Africa. However, a Blackthorn will thrive and is great for hedging – plus it will fruit in late autumn giving you the chance to make sloe gin, sounds tasty to us! 

If you want to do some more research on which plants, bushes and even trees you should incorporate in your water saving garden design head on over to the Royal Horticultural Society website. 

Keep your soil healthy and well-nourished 

If your first instinct to keeping your soil healthy is to water it, think again! Did you know one of the most common causes of houseplant deaths is by overwatering – not underwatering? So, before you decide to water your plant that’s looking a little limp, give it a few days. Especially if you’ve watered it in the last couple of weeks. 

The trick is to keep moisture in the soil, not to keep putting it in there. How do we do that? Mulch, compost, and a little bit of good ol’ mother nature. Mulch is perfect for holding moisture and slowly releasing it into the soil. Compost is incredibly rich and full of nutrients, giving your plants and bushes the extra bit of life they might need. But how does mother nature come into it?  

Planting your plants in the right areas. When drawing up your water saving garden design, take note of where the sun sets and rises. You don’t want to be placing many plants in direct sunlight for the majority of the day, it means they’ll require more water. Place shade-friendly plants in the shade and sun-loving plants in sunlight for a portion of the day. Mulch, compost and mother nature; the perfect trio for healthy soil. 

Consider the lawn in your water saving garden design 

Similarly to your plants, you’ll soon discover that your lawn doesn’t need as much water as you may think. If your lawn starts to turn brown, it doesn’t mean it is dying. It may need a light sprinkle of water and then it’ll be back to life. Perhaps wait a few days and see if some rain falls rather than instantly reaching for the sprinkler. Alternatively, you could be prepared with a water-saving lawn. 

Grass is just grass to most people. But those of you who are green-fingered will know that you can get all sorts of lawns that suit your needs. We’ve seen a big trend for artificial grass in recent years – it’s certainly one way to reduce water consumption! However, we prefer an alternative eco-lawn such as clover as it also helps to offset our carbon footprint.

Design no-water zones  

We would consider you one of the lucky ones if your water saving garden design started with a blank canvas. You have the most power to make a difference to your water consumption in the garden and you should absolutely make the most of it. Design yourself no-water zones. If you’re opting for a pond to encourage wildlife, make sure it’s designed to be filled and taken care of using water butts and rainwater. You could also choose not to add a pond and have a rockery to glance over at instead. 

A few other tips of ours include installing water-saving devices. It’s not all showerheads you know! You can get devices fitted to your garden hose and sprinklers so that when the time does come to use them, you can be sure they’re as water-friendly as possible. If it’s particularly a hot day, make sure you water close to the ground to avoid most of the moisture being evaporated.

There’s no excuse to not have a water-saving garden design, even if you don’t have a garden. A few drought-friendly houseplants are all it takes to reduce your consumption. The good news is that it is all scalable. You can be building a garden from scratch, looking at ways to revitalise your existing one or just trying to find one small action to make a difference. Tell us what changes you make in the comments below – we’re excited to hear about your transformations.

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