Nature-friendly Garden

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Garden
The natural garden often doesn't look like a showpiece, but it hides a rare ecosystem.

Today’s gardens have different forms. Some of them are just ornamental others combine beauty with benefits. There are also more and more gardens that are created with the regard to the environment – they are more nature-friendly.
 

The natural garden is absolutely magic, radiant, pure and full of harmony, although it might look a little bit messy.

These types of gardens are becoming more and more common nowadays and can be found both at modern and old or rural houses. They are often formed by young families, who care for the nature’s fate and support friendlier gardening or good old practices. Most of the time they are ecology enthusiasts who want to do things in other way and differ from the others.

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In the natural garden classical lawn is replaced by the flower meadow.

Natural gardens represent a valuable living space. When taken care of them responsibly, they represent a diverse and well-functioning ecosystem. The owner of such a garden enjoys not only the beauty but also benefits and at the same time they can find many opportunities to relax, discover and have nice experiences. Common natural gardens are some kind of imitation of nature, often with a variety of typical animals that feel good there and at the same time bring benefits.

DOs and DONT’s

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An interesting and very practical addition is a house for useful insects.

Today’s gardens, especially at new homes, always make impression of being flawless, full of blooming flowers, bushes in perfect forms, without weeds and unmaintained corners… Such image is too perfect.  Many times the garden is attractive only thanks to the excessive use of chemical fertilizers and other plant protection products. Such a burden isn’t optimal for people – the inhabitants of the garden or the environment. Many times, along with the harmful insects, the useful ones are destroyed too, which in some circumstances could be of great benefit to the garden. However, if the insects had suitable conditions in the garden, a balance would be created and the plants would be more protected, the useful plants would be healthier, more fertile and free of chemical poisons. Therefore in natural garden, chemical substances such as sprays and various stimulants should be avoided.

Nowadays it’s no longer a problem to get bio products, on the contrary there are many on the market. These products may not be effective after first use but with recommended repetitions they definitely work. Various plant extracts and starters, which can be produced very easily and quickly at home and from commonly available ingredients, are a suitable solution.

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The balance is ensured by mixed flowerbeds where the ornamental and useful plants grow together.

Another option for your useful garden may be to select plant species that are more resistant to the most common diseases and pests. Usually it’s also mentioned on the seed sachets. Also domestic plant species suitable for the environment should be grown in such a garden and thus reducing the number of unexpected problems (plant diseases and the like).

Fertilizer Substitutes

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Various types of walls can be a shelter for other useful animals.

The compost, which is a natural and very valuable choice is a great option when replacing fertilizers. All natural gardens generating compost should include a composter. There is a wide range of composters available; many modern ones are even an interesting design element. They don’t have to stand in a less visible place. Compost is used for fertilizing ornamental and useful plants. Green fertilization is also used in the natural garden. It’s an excellent and effective option to fertilize the soil where the useful plants are grown. The seed mixture for green fertilization is available in many places; you only need to sew it, where you need it.

Many people also discuss the use of peat. Peat mining, which is commonly used in the cultivation of garden plants, destroys natural peat bogs that are mostly non-renewable. Ecological gardening increasingly eliminates not only pure peat, but also commonly sold peat substrates.

Water 

Even plants in the natural garden need plenty of water. You can reduce the high water consumption by focusing on growing more drought tolerant plants in locations where rainfall is less common. Another option is to set the plant beds and places around them with different organic materials, so the water will stay longer in the soil, prevents it from weed growth and helps to develop useful microorganisms in the soil. Watering the garden – you can also use rainwater that can be retained and is beneficial for the plants. Even rainwater collection containers can have interesting design; they don’t have to look disturbing. Rainwater is also acceptable for most plants grown in pots.

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Thanks to rainwater the plants can nicely grow.

Natural Materials

When creating an ecological garden, remember to make the most use of natural materials. You can use them to build fencing, pergolas, walkways and the like.  The stones should always come from the closest area, wood too, but it should be weather resistant so it lasts as long as possible. You can also choose recycled materials (metal, bricks, concrete) but these can’t contain traces of harmful substances and should be incorporated in a very sophisticated way and not to draw to much attention.

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Twig fences and surrounding or dividing enclosures are perfect for natural gardens.

What’s Inseparable?

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The natural garden can also have a more modern look.

The garden, which mission is to get as close as possible to nature, should be, above all, diverse and divided into sections. Compared to the classic garden, the use of some elements may be much more interesting even in every season. You can include e.g. a colorful flower meadow, which will mesmerize you and attract many useful animals, or flower walls, freely growing (untrimmed) hedges of woody plants, natural plant corners (you can find even the medicinal plants among the weeds) or flower beds where the most beautiful blooming plants or herbs appear every year thanks to self seeding. The practical part can be an elevated flowerbed – it’s good for cultivation of both useful and ornamental plants. In every ecological garden there should definitely be a tree, which is a source of shade on hot summer days. At the same time it can be a home for different animals. Blooming plants, perennials or annuals, especially non-blooming types that are rich in nectar should have a large space. A small pile of twigs should be placed in a less visible spot, natural water element, useful insect houses, and bird’s houses, all these and others also belong to the garden that is nature-friendly.

Text and photo: Daniel Košťál