Wilder, Fresher, Greener
At a time when private gardens in the UK cover an area three times greater than wild grasslands, their potential to balance our damaged environment is considerable. From game-changers to no-brainers, the bright benefits of biodiversity have reformed the way we perceive the natural world in recent decades, yet, their impetus, permanence and implementation remain inconsequential. Our well-being profoundly depends on outdoor space and a connection to nature; both aspects intrinsically linked, wherever we live. While modern lifestyle choices aren't necessarily congruous with wildness, so does pivotal greenness vanishes from our lives, and as ecosystems degenerate universally at an alarming rate, more so in the British Isles, we should all strive to create greener and wildlife-friendlier gardens – the hallmarks of a sustainable way of life and a holistic garden design practice.
Design & Words: Amir Schlezinger
naturally wild gardens
Planting forms an intrinsic aspect of landscape design, and to an even greater extent while creating wild gardens. An in-depth insight of site conditions facilitates a well-suited design framework; a one in which indigenous flora conveys simplicity, concord and sustainability within specific habitats. The foresight to retain and extend a unique sense of place establishes a fluid design process, established through horticultural objectivity which merges attuned ecological awareness with desirable aesthetics. By fulfilling the potential of native plants, alongside naturalistic expressions of introduced species, we inspirit not only authentic, unmistakable connections with the surrounding environment, but also endorse resourcefulness and peacefulness.
Native, nectar-rich and berried plants diversify resident wildlife, and when imparted naturalistically through lenient upkeep, entire biotas re-emerge consistently. While for unaware youngsters, the escalating absence of wildlife may not seem out of the ordinary, for the rest of us, the impact of declining flora, habitat loss and pollution yield all too familiar downbeat figures. At worst, the generation gap produces fragmentation, while at best, enables opportunities to crucially revive our environment. Wildflower prairies, forests and rural landscapes evoke childhood memories for many of us, and wild gardens define places where nature is embraced, rather than marginalised, allowing young ones to enjoy, learn and welcome its essence through intuitive grasp, wildlife preservation and multi-sensory experiences.
Edibility & Organicity
Incessant pollution above and below ground, dwindling air and water quality, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, surplus production, over-consumption and a continuous increase in unrecyclable substances all greatly affect the integrity of natural living. Wildly grown fruit and vegetables, seeds, nuts, herbs, legumes, greens and berries, sustained through biological pest control and enjoyed organically, illustrate the pure edibility advantages of wild gardens. Granted, natural crops are inherently shareable with the myriad of creatures which frequent our gardens, where ecological equilibrium enables self-sufficiency rather reciprocally, on both ends of the harvest basket...
Designing wild gardens wholly embraces a bountiful spectrum of natural ingredients which maintain balance and integrality, while endorsing longevity, recyclability and biodegradability. From rustic and rugged to smooth and silky, the stone, wood, brick and rock we utilise to form contoured canvases articulate a compelling affinity with natural forms and their processes. Arranged as truly reciprocal elements within energising plants, surrounding vegetation and local character, the timelessness of natural materials flawlessly articulates an effortless continuum. This innate mindset embeds not only the designer's blueprint within graceful outlines and tactile detail, but also among every enduring nuance of a free-flowing wild garden.