The environmental touch sweeping across our landscapes
This week saw the announcement that a Beaver-themed rewilding garden was the winner for the Chelsea Flower Show top prize, ‘Best in show.’
This is a garden which features barely any blooms! Quite different to the eye-catching flowers often presented at the show, but none the less aesthetically pleasing. It was inspired by the reintroduction of beavers to the UK, and includes a beaver dam, shabby shed, reclaimed timber, and UK native plants. Interestingly, beavers are a keystone species, which means their presence is good for nature in the areas where they live. They adapt their environment to suit their needs, and in doing so, they create complex wetland habitats for many other species.
This natural beauty with its environmental and ecological focus is a quiet trend we have been seeing in many projects over the last couple of years, and is a design request on the rise.
Tools for biodiversity
Planters on roof terraces and podiums, as well as at ground level, with native plant species and wildflowers, are creating outdoor urban gardens which provide a biodiverse and natural habitat for urban wildlife and pollinators, whilst also creating stunning gardens for occupants to enjoy.
Bird boxes, beehives and bug hotels incorporated into our landscaping schemes, either discretely or as a design focus, are also regularly seen as habitat features become part of the environmental trend.
The popularity of Green roofs continues to grow, particularly in London which is now recognised as one of the greenest cities in the world. Green roofs use the natural functions of plants and vegetation to create sustainable drainage systems, reduce air pollutants and create cooler climates in urban areas, but their ecological benefits and the increase in biodiversity are also well proven. When certain plant species and wildflowers are used, green roofs will attract a wide variety of insects, bees, and butterflies as well as helping to provide safe nesting places for native or migratory birds, resulting in a simple but vastly effective and beneficial landscape.