A beginners guide to rewilding your garden

June 21, 2021

This article takes a look at how to introduce rewilding to your garden. If you’re new to the concept, or have heard about it but don’t quite know how it would work for your garden, this beginners guide will give you some ideas to get started.  

Lockdown, cancelled foreign holidays and the soaring cost of UK holidays has certainly been good for the garden. Now, more than ever, people are embracing the possibilities their gardens have to offer - from a space to relax away from work to somewhere to entertain. 

You only have to scroll Instagram, browse through Facebook or flick through home inspiration magazines to see how gardening has to come to the fore for so many reasons and to so many new gardeners.

With that in mind, let's take a look at one of the biggest trends for 2021 - rewilding.

What is rewilding?

According to Rewilding Britain, rewilding is about restoring ecosystems to become self-supporting and “restoring our relationship with the natural world”.

In fact, rewilding is a hot topic with many projects taking place around the world, all aimed at making a positive contribution to the climate crisis. From large corporates, small business to individuals, we can all do our bit to have an impact. 

Rewilding in your garden

So, when it comes to your garden, how can you get involved in rewilding if you’re not quite ready to let it all grow wild and free?

The good news is there are lots of things you can do. Here are six ideas to get you started.

Start small

Rewilding can take a bit of a mindset shift, especially if you’ve always been a fan of carefully manicured lawns and neatly tended borders. However, if you don’t want to turn your whole garden over to rewilding, fear not. 

You can dedicate a small area of your garden for rewilding that you feel comfortable allowing to become ‘messy’. (For messy - read a wildlife haven!)

There is a saying that weeds are simply plants growing in the wrong place so allow yourself to embrace a few weeds in the beds and borders. Perhaps think of it as your very own mini-meadow.

Encourage the birds and bees

Planting open flowers to attract pollinators, using bee or bug hotels, hanging bird feeders and putting up nesting boxes are all great ways to encourage more wildlife to visit your garden. 

Fruiting trees and plants will also encourage visitors - including squirrels who are always great entertainment too!

Adding mulch to your borders will help keep the worms busy and if you have space for a water feature or pond, you can add a whole new dimension to the ecosystems in your garden. 

Plant native trees

If you have space, adding a native tree or two can be a great addition to your garden. It’s important to choose native species as non-native trees can disrupt the delicate balance of biodiversity in your garden. (Non-native plants may also be very invasive or fail to thrive in our climate).

Ditch chemicals - go natural

An important step in rewilding to create a natural wildlife haven in your garden is ditching the use of chemicals.

Of course green fly, aphids, slugs and snails can be annoying, but many of the products used rid your garden of these so-called ‘pests’ can also be harmful to other wildlife, as well as your pets or children. 

Even the frequently recommended use of soapy water to protect your flowers can be harmful to bees and other pollinators. 

Rewilding on a smaller scale

You don’t have to have a large garden to get involved with rewilding. Even courtyards, balconies and window boxes offer the opportunity for rewilding. Pots and hanging baskets full of wildflowers will still have a positive impact on the ecosystem outside your home. 

Think sustainably

In my experience many gardeners are already pretty good at finding ways to recycle. Collecting rainwater, using peat-free compost, propagating your own plants from seeds or cuttings are all ways to improve the sustainability of your garden. 

Do you need a helping hand?

Designing gardens is one of Claire’s favourite activities so if you’d like a helping hand incorporating some rewilding into your garden, or would find it useful to have some planting advice, get in touch with Claire today, simply call 023 8063 2600 or email claire@cjgs.uk