Matt James Searches for a Local Eco Eden
New UKTV Series Seeks Environmentally Minded Gardeners
In 2007 climate change is high on everyone’s agenda (or at least it should be) and whether it’s switching to energy saving light bulbs or swapping the SUV for a planet saving Prius, people are really starting to think about how they can improve their eco credentials.
One highly effective way of doing this is by greening up our gardens. In London alone a staggering 12 square miles of front gardens are paved over. That’s the equivalent of 22 Hyde parks, so just think what a difference it would make if the concrete slabs were pulled up and replaced with beautiful carbon absorbing plants.
That’s the subject of a new UKTV gardening series called Matt James’ Eco Eden. Many of you will know Matt from his Channel 4 series The City Gardener and in this new show he’ll once again be visiting the homes of ordinary people living in urban areas. But this time the twist is that he’ll be helping them turn their eco disaster gardens into environmental havens.
So how will he achieve such radical transformations? Well it’s about more than just buying up your local nursery and going plant mad. The perfect green garden should also be full of wildlife, free of poisonous chemicals and highly water efficient. Here are five top tips to consider in your own garden
1. Creative Composting – By composting you’re creating new life from old. Bacteria, worms and other organisms turn garden waste into a rich earthy compost which is then fed back into the soil.
2. Encourage Wildlife – There are many ways of encouraging wildlife to your garden and a great one is to have a pond. This will quickly develop into an ecosystem encouraging Frogs, Dragon Flies, Birds and Butterflies.
3. Save Water – Water conservation is a huge problem particularly in cities so why not harvest and recycle rainwater. Water butts are a cheap and effective way of collecting and storing this precious natural resource.
4. Plant a Tree - Not only do trees absorb Carbon Dioxide, they also absorb fine sooty particles known as PM10s which exacerbate the symptoms of Asthma and Bronchitis.
5. Go Organic – Pesticides can be hugely damaging and are often unnecessary. What ever the problem try and find out if there’s a natural solution. For example, organic veg growers often plant Primulas next to their patch to draw black fly away from the crop.
February 9, 2007