Sustainability in Gardening – How to Adopt Environmentally-Conscious Techniques


It will be well understood by many gardeners that certain corners of horticulture are eminently unsustainable – whether the artificial propagation of exotic plants in energy-hungry incubation pods or the import of certain species via high-emission transport routes.

sustainable gardening
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

There is little the individual gardening business can do to stem systemic, industrial practices such as these – but there are some ways in which horticulturalists, landscapers, and freelance gardeners alike can influence their practice for the benefit of the local environment and the carbon footprint of their project.

Avoiding Peat

Many professional gardeners will already know to avoid peat or peat-containing products when taking on a project, but newer gardeners, casual gardeners, and clients frequently misunderstand the reasoning. Peat is not dangerous to the environment in and of itself; indeed, peat is something of a miracle resource for Earth, being a natural carbon sink that can remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

Rather than the use of peat, it is the harvesting of peat that represents a significant danger to the environment. Peat bogs are also a habitat, a diverse ecosystem with many local natural benefits. The destruction of peat bogs for garden compost can have catastrophic effects in the short and long term, both for local environments and the global climate crisis.

Sourcing Sustainable Tools

Equipping yourself or your organisation with sustainable tools is another vital way in which you can transition your outfit to a more eco-friendly model. This is especially true for landscapers, who are more likely to use polluting, gas-powered tools to carry out their work.

For one, battery-powered electric tools like cordless hedge trimmers should be the new industry standard. These kinds of tools are also available from businesses that have sustainability as a core brand message; patronising these businesses can help you align your messaging while minimising the direct impact through fuel usage.

Choosing Eco-Friendly Decorations

When it comes to decorating a garden, whether through installations or material decisions for planters and furniture, sustainability can form a core visual theme as well as a philosophy. Reclaimed and recycled materials can be used to great aesthetic effect, while efforts can be made behind the scenes to source raw materials from ethical, sustainable suppliers.

Alpine Plants

When it comes to the plant content of garden projects themselves, there are several routes you can take that can benefit both the local and global environment. One underestimated direction you can try is the use of alpine plants to fill out flowerbeds and installations.

Alpine plants are mountainous varieties, used to harsher conditions, and less resource-hungry than other kinds of plants. They require less watering than other plants, minimising the water usage of any garden into which they are placed. The downside is that alpine plants can be particularly susceptible to pests such as slugs, snails, and aphids; as such, especial measures should be taken to protect them for longevity.

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