close up of a bee on a clover flower

Designing naturalistic, biodiverse Yorkshire gardens, part 1

Wildlife friendly gardens, part 1

Biodiversity in the garden is often simply a buzzword, like sustainability, that is bandied around but never fully explained. However I passionately believe that it is something we can, and should, understand and actively encourage.

Biodiversity as a high level concept may be defined in three ways. Diversity within each species (for these purposes that means encouraging them to take up home within your garden), diversity of different species (having a variety of organisms sharing your garden), and the diversity of eco-systems (having different habitats to encourage a wider range of species).

The question that may be asked is why is this something to be encouraged? The answer is that in a world of climate change, pesticide overuse, and habitat loss what we do in our gardens truly matters. Not just for the creatures and organisms which cohabit within our space, but also it sets a precedent that will seep into the national consciousness – becoming part of national policy.

The good news is that at its most fundamental level encouraging biodiverse Yorkshire gardens is simple. You just need a garden and a variety of plants.

In the 30 year study of her sub-urban garden in Leicestershire, ecologist Jennifer Owen identified at least 2,673 different species either living in her garden or just passing through (as beetles are so diverse there were 442 beetle species definitely identified). She didn’t specifically garden for wildlife – her garden was just relatively densely planted and consisted of paved spaces, a lawn, planting beds and borders, trees and shrubs, a vegetable patch, and a small pond. What was special about it was that she simply recorded all the wildlife that she could record – moths, flies, worms, birds, mammals and anything else that crawled, walked, flew, or wriggled through her garden. Gardens are therefore a repository for biodiversity and all we really need to do is to make sure that the beds are full of a range of different plants.

The secret is therefore to design and plant our biodiverse Yorkshire gardens for people and for nature. To select the right plants for your garden (its orientation, its soil, and its location) whether we use a naturalistic planting style or not. This should then keep maintenance to a minimum, ensure their survival, and ultimately ensure your garden is somewhere in which you want to spend time.

biodiverse yorkshire garden

The secret is therefore to design and plant our biodiverse Yorkshire gardens for people and for nature. To select the right plants for your garden (its orientation, its soil, and its location) whether we use a naturalistic planting style or not. This should then keep maintenance to a minimum, ensure their survival, and ultimately ensure your garden is somewhere in which you want to spend time.

Just by owning a garden and avoiding paving it all, or laying artificial turf, or using chemical poisons, then you are helping to support the natural world. Please get in touch if you think Matt Haddon Gardens can help you to design your garden and create a contemporary space, drawing upon the surrounding landscape for inspiration, and using a naturalistic planting scheme to create a uniquely beautiful and enduing wildlife friendly garden within which people and nature can coexist.

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