SUSTAINABLE AND AFFORDABLE GARDENING IN EAST LONDON
I started gardening in Walthamstow in east London, following a course in Horticulture at Organic Lea Community Farm. It was after I developed an interest to learn how to become more sustainable and, if I had to, use the free elements around me to live and survive. On the course, I learned the value of growing your own food and I took it a step further to pursue a garden design course.
My studies at this time tied in well with my degree in International Development, and my Master's degree in Natural Resources Development. It all gave me the background and footing for gardening with a sustainable and affordable framework.
I aim to reduce the cost of gardening and to make it easy to maintain, and this is how I do it:
I find and work with recycled materials that are cheaper when not for free. In this way, the cost of services can drop making it more affordable.
Growing plants from seeds, cuttings, divisions
An important element of gardening is the cost of plants, I encourage growing plants from seeds, cuttings, divisions, and the use of perennials rather than annuals.
If you want changes in your garden to happen immediately, it can cost lots of money, on the other hand, if you have time, the costs can become much less. If you have the time, it can allow you to grow your plants from seeds or buy plants when they are reduced. Another tip is to wait for the council compost giveaway, which is free. You can also get materials from recycled sources when it becomes available. If you want to reduce the cost of having a nice garden, I can help you with the process.
Make Your Own
Part of sustainable gardening is the ability to create what you need in your own garden. I can help you to create a compost heap to stop you buying compost ever again. I can teach you how to create natural fertilizers (using nettles for instance) and how to use pruned trees to create mulch.
I can give you advice about how to do a particular gardening task that is needed in your garden. You can do the part that you like and I can take over the part that you don’t like. You then pay only for the part of the task that I do for you. You can also join one of my workshop if you like!
Why Sustainable Gardening?
For people living in the city, the garden is the first place to start to think about nature, sustainability and what role to take in all of this.
As soon as you start a garden, many creatures will start to make it their home. Bees, butterflies, ladybirds, lacewings, birds and much more. Part of your responsibility as an organic gardener is to take care of them, they are your allies, and they will contribute to creating a system that allows your garden to thrive without the need for chemicals (to control pests and diseases) or fertiliser.
From the choices that you make in your garden, you start to take care of nature. But also you are becoming part of something bigger. If more gardens become organic gardens, and concrete spaces become gardens, then it contributes to transforming the whole city.
When you choose what material to use in your garden you are responsible for what happens in other parts of the world. We should be concerned with whether the wood for decking comes from a sustainable source or whether our paving stones is the result of the deterioration of a mountain.
I want to give people the option to be more sustainable in their gardens. To do so I 1)encourage the use of recycled material such as pallets, old scaffolding boards, recycled bricks, etc. 2)Use materials from sustainable sources.3) Use a selection of plants adapted to their conditions and that are low maintenance. 4) Aim to create gardens that work with nature rather than trying to control it.