We at offMetro love anything related to Green and Sustainable, be it traveling or maintaining a green and sustainable garden. As time goes by, I find it easier to get through a long day when I start my morning routine by getting connected with nature. There’s no better way to spend a nice morning than sipping a warm cup of coffee amid lush greenery. The smell of freshly cut grass and the feeling of damp soil refresh me in extraordinary ways and this cannot be compared to any air-conditioned and carpeted coffee shop.
The bliss I get every time I look at my flower bed is also incomparable, maybe because I see life when I see those vibrant colors, maybe because I see what my own hands have created, or maybe it’s both.
As my garden becomes more than just a quick escape when I get tired of staring at my screen, I realized that the more I get closer to nature, the more it becomes a part of who I am. That’s how sustainable gardening became so close to my heart. I want it to be more than just a garden, but something that will reflect me.
Sustainable Garden: Going Beyond the Basic Colors
That being said, gardening with a purpose may at first sound complicated and intimidating. Now, you may find it difficult to imagine how you’re going to squeeze tending plants in your busy life. But as suggested by Eco Peanut, there’s no need to make drastic changes. Start small. And as you get started, expect to be engaged in a long-term commitment that doesn’t bring heartaches, just simple joys.
Shrubs and trees are good starters. One way to maintain the colors in your garden is to start with shrubs. One of the most popular shrubs among gardeners is witch hazel, not only for the colorful and fragrant flowers it brings during winter but also for the other benefits it comes along with. It is known for its herbal uses as its leaves and bark extracts can also be used for insect bites, swelling, and inflammation.
Maintaining the colors in your garden all year round can be challenging. As late spring is oftentimes the most awaited season for flowers to showcase their beauty, don’t let the dull winter steal the life of your plants. Another reason to fall in love with witch hazel is that it is resistant to pests and definitely low-maintenance.
Lavender evergreen shrub is also a fantastic choice. You won’t just be pleased with the shades of purple or pink blooms in the summer, but it will also serve as a natural insect repellent because of its scent. Lavender essential oils are in demand for their therapeutic benefits and growing them right in your yard can be rewarding.
Even more amazing is that as we aim to go beyond the basic colors of flowers, starting with shrubs is a perfect way to attract butterflies, bees, and birds. Seeing these vibrant flyers is also one way of reminding us that since we are attracting these beautiful creatures, chances are we have created something wonderful.
Of course, there’s nothing more rewarding than letting your garden bring food to your table. Growing radishes, potatoes, garlic and onions is not rocket science and doesn’t require special care. Little by little, you will see fewer purchases at the market and more harvests from the garden. Remember that every plant you wish to put in your garden, whether it be herbs, shrubs, or vegetables, must come with a purpose.
When Gardening is Not All About Plants
Of course, having a garden that is beautiful to behold is not all there is. As appearances should not be our only goal, sustainable gardening helps us pay attention to things that are working behind all these beauties. But isn’t maintaining a sustainable garden a lot of work? At first, yes. I’m not gonna lie. But once you see how it gives back a lot of wonderful things, you’ll realize that it’s all worth the toil. Well, it is indeed what you sow is what you reap.
Since water plays a major role in your garden, conserving water is a must. Not only to avoid hurting your pockets when the water bill arrives but also to preserve the environment as water is not unlimited. Setting up a rain barrel can help you collect rainwater for later use in watering your plants. Installing sprinklers is a big no-no as apart from it being costly, it robs you of the intimacy of hand watering your garden.
In keeping with hand watering, pulling weeds by hand instead of using harmful chemical sprays in dealing with unwanted weeds is an effective way in creating a healthy environment in your garden. Hand digging and pulling also provide you a nice physical activity in which all the benefits can be left unsaid.
Moreover, in sustainable gardening, keep in mind to reuse resources such as no plant waste shall be ever put to waste. Especially when you have a tree or two in your garden, fallen leaves will make great compost. Apart from leaves, dead flowers, barks, kitchen scraps and almost everything that’s produced by your garden can be composted and shall go back to where it came from. So actually, it goes without saying that there’s no such thing as plant waste as these composts are the best fertilizers you can get.
Happy Plants, Happy Life
As all the physical activities involved in gardening are apparent, most people are unaware of how it also impacts our mental, emotional and social well-being. Just being around nature enlightens your mood and boosts your concentration. Walking away from your screens and gadgets to be in the presence of nature is never a waste of time. Make use of all the green space you can savor and go back to your tasks re-energized and more productive.
Aside from that, you will be surprised how seeing a sapling fighting its way out gives you an indescribable sense of responsibility and attachment. The love and care you give them, watching them grow, protecting them from weeds and pests will definitely give you a feeling of purpose. And of course, the reward you get when you start harvesting your home-grown produce is just wonderful.
Tending a garden also fosters community. The more you harvest, the more you find yourself sharing tasty vegetables with your neighbors. Sharing tips and experiences, keeping the conversation going, and making friends have never been easier especially when you are in the presence of fellow garden enthusiasts.
When our minds are cluttered with artificiality, there’s only one way to declutter and that’s by going back to the basics. Nature reminds us of the simplicity of life. Flowers and trees remind us of hope. And all these we can find right in our garden. But keep in mind that gardening is not all about aesthetics and the likes. Opt for a garden where you can contribute to the environment and the community. As gardening is not just a simple hobby to keep you active, aim for sustainability, for a colorful and sustainable garden is a happy life.
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