April is an exciting month – it’s a time to sow and plant, to refresh and renew. So with a spring in my step, I've taken on yet another mini garden transformation. There are a few areas on my plot that I’ve decided need greening up a bit so they're more natural. The back patio is one such space, which was covered in council concrete slabs. These old relics used to clean up nicely and look okay, but that's about it – it's wasted space, really, where I can be growing more greenery. Frankly, I decided we all see enough concrete around us every day, and that my garden’s not the place for it.
Up came most of the slabs, and at first I got carried away and was tempted to cram in more vegetables and flowers – once spring comes I can’t be stopped! But then I decided a small area of lawn is more useable in the tight space and is, crucially, a surprisingly important feature for wildlife.
We know how vital flower-packed borders are for our garden chums, and don’t get me wrong, a garden that’s fully laid to lawn is not living up to its full potential, but instead of paving, bricks, astroturf, gravel even, it’s so much better. It’s alive and natural, for starters, and produces oxygen like other plants. Also it prevents flooding and runoff, and absorbs rainwater for our plants to use. Worms can come and go freely, birds will use it as a feeding spot and insects will shelter.
I’m not planning on keeping it neat and tightly clipped, either. Daisies, dandelions, buttercups and clover will be welcome here, and I’ll add some violets too. However, one of the best ways I’ll keep an environmentally-friendly lawn is not to water it when it’s mature or use weedkillers. I’m going to enjoy sitting on it on sunny days, but otherwise I’ll leave it to its own devices.
Four small ways to make a big difference
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