Lifestyle

How to design a sustainable garden

How to design a sustainable garden

The garden is a great place to begin your journey towards a sustainable lifestyle and you will be surprised at the effects it can have on your bills. Put these simple steps into action and you will be saving money in no time!

Plant to save energy

Summer can see your energy bills rocket , but well-placed plants and trees can help reduce your home’s indoor temperatures by as much as 6 to 12° Celsius . If you live in a temperate climate, use plants that lose their leaves seasonally, so you can shade your home during summer but still take full advantage of the warming winter sun. In hot climates, it’s best to plant evergreen trees, as their foliage will shade the house throughout the year.

Shrubs and ground cover will cool the air around your home, as hot air has to pass through them before it reaches the walls. Vines, hedges and vertical gardens can be planted to shade patios, walkways and driveways. These plants will also help insulate your home when placed close to walls, however be sure to check the root systems as you don't want to damage your home's foundations.

The location of your plants is also important. On the north side of your home, trees and ground-covering shrubs will shade the house and reduce glare from the hot midday sun. On the east and west side, plant smaller trees and tall shrubs to help block low-angle morning and afternoon sun.

Plant to save water

Native plants are ideal if you’re looking to save water, as they require little maintenance and water to grow and survive. To take full advantage of this, group plants with similar water needs together – it’ll help avoid any unnecessary watering.

When you do need to water your garden, do it in the morning. You’ll lose less water to evaporation, as temperatures will be lower and the plants’ roots will have enough time to absorb the water before sunshine hits the soil.

Plant to feed your family

A veggie garden will provide your family with fresh, organic food. Even better, the waste from the veggies will provide you with the perfect fertiliser for the garden.

Growing your own vegetables also reduces the distance it travels between the ground and your plate, almost eliminating the water and fossil fuels used during manufacturing. 

While a sustainable garden is a great place to start, it isn't the only way you can save on your energy bill. Make sure you’re on the right energy plan for your needs.