Eco Gardening Ideas for a More Sustainable Garden
May 21, 2024

If you’re a keen gardener who’s concerned about the environment, there’s plenty you can do to help the planet. With our eco gardening ideas you can transform the way you tend your garden and create an environmentally friendly oasis, filled with buzzing bees, birds and wildlife. 

Whether you’ve been inspired by our Plant & Pause campaign or simply want to help the planet, you’ll find something you’d love to do in your garden in this guide.

Sustainable Gardening Ideas 

Our experts know a thing or two about environmentally friendly gardening so we’ve listed their top tips to help you achieve the perfect eco space, be it large garden, small patio or balcony. Watch our videos below and read on for more in-depth advice. 

Plant Native Species

Wherever you can, opt for native plants to encourage native wildlife, which fares better in British habitats. Lavender, cornflowers, forget-me-nots, betony and English bluebells are great British plants to add to your garden and will require little maintenance and less watering than more exotic plants.

Attract Birds

Encourage birds to your space with feeders, food, and other bird care items like boxes for them to nest in. Seeing or hearing birds improves mental well-being, so you can enjoy a lift in spirits while you do good for your local bird population. Find more tips on how to attract wildlife to your garden in our guide and video below.

Attract Pollinators

With numbers of important pollinators like bees and butterflies declining, pollinator-friendly planting is a must when it comes to eco gardening. Plants like buddleia (aka butterfly bush), lavender, betony, nepeta and other strongly scented flowering plants will attract these beneficial insects. Even some weeds are pollinator magnets, such as green alkanet, flowering nettles and dandelions, so leave a patch of them to grow and save yourself some weeding! 

Choose Natural Insect Repellents

Instead of reaching for the chemicals when bugs and slugs are ruining your plants, choose eco-friendly ones like these Defenders Slugs Away Wool Pellets, which are ideal for organic growing and biodegrade in a season. Try out companion planting too: a natural way of keeping pests away from your plants without the need for pesticides.

Start Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is a garden practice that’s all about water conservation and requires little to no irrigation. So the next time we have a hosepipe ban – which may become increasingly common due to climate change – your garden will be able to fend for itself. 

Native perennials are top choices for a xeriscaped garden as they’re naturally drought-tolerant: Euphorbia, lavender, nepeta and black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia Hirta) are some great examples.  Rosemary is fairly drought tolerant too (as long as it’s watered regularly for the first summer) as it only requires watering in very long spells of hot, dry weather. This  versatile plant will also provide herbs for your cooking and can even be grown relatively tall for eco-friendly hedging.

Go Peat-free

A lot of gardeners are seeking out peat-free compost these days in a bid to save the planet. Peat stores a massive amount of carbon, so when it’s extracted from peatlands and dried, the carbon stored in it is released into the atmosphere, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. By opting for peat-free compost, gardeners can help to reduce the demand for peat and support more sustainable land use practices. You can even find peat-free houseplant compost, as well as outdoor varieties, to extend your eco gardening into the home. 

Install a Water Butt

In your eco-friendly garden, make sure you have a water butt to collect rainwater. Not only is this more environmentally friendly, given that you don’t require any energy to transport water down your pipes, but the plants prefer rainwater to purified tap water. Plus, it will save you money on your bills! What’s not to love?

Grow Your Own Fruit and Veg

Instead of buying plastic packets of apples grown in Holland, flown to South America for waxing and flown back to the UK, reduce your carbon and plastic footprint by growing your own. Fruit trees and bushes are an asset to any garden or allotment as they’ll reward you with yields every year, while sowing veg seeds annually will give you inexpensive and tasty pesticide-free crops. 

Find tips on growing your own in our Garden Ideas & Advice hub, such as how to grow courgettes.

Choose Sustainable Outdoor Furniture

When choosing outdoor furniture, think of the materials. This stunning Tipi Outdoor Dining Table and 4-Chair Set is 100% certified as sustainably sourced. You can even get furniture that’s entirely recycled, like this garden bench which is made from plastic bottles. That’s 2,520 milk bottles saved from landfill.

Make BBQs Sustainable

Instead of using regular charcoal to burn on your barbecue, use eco-friendly briquettes. This Coco & Coir BBQ charcoal is made from sustainably sourced coconut shells, which are an abundant and renewable resource that don’t contribute to deforestation.

Ready to start with your eco gardening? Check out our full garden range for everything you need – from tools to compost to live plants – and enjoy your journey to a more sustainable space.