Rewilding is the Latest Gardening Movement
Rewilding is an alternative, more progressive approach to environmental conservation and ecological restoration. In essence, it’s about enabling nature and its natural processes to repair the damage done
Rewilding is the Latest Gardening Movement
Rewilding is an alternative, more progressive approach to environmental conservation and ecological restoration. In essence, it’s about enabling nature and its natural processes to repair the damage done to the ecosystem and restore destroyed landscapes. Through rewilding, wildlife’s natural rhythms create wilder, more biodiverse habitats.
Nature does the best job for survival and self-governance. When it’s healthy, we are healthier too, because the natural world provides us with water, food, and oxygen. Even though rewilding is a concept that seems beyond our reach, often associated with vast wilderness landscapes and large carnivores, you can also participate in this movement by creating the right conditions in your garden, no matter how small or big it is. To help you, the garden maintenance specialists from Fantastic Gardeners have summarised below everything you need to know about this gardening movement.
Why is rewilding controversial?
Non-urban rewilding is different from garden rewilding. The idea behind it is restoring ecosystems to their natural, uncultivated state to support wildlife while being resilient to changes. This can be in the form of reintroducing wild animals, planting native plants, or helping natural processes happen on their own. Contrary to popular belief, rewilding isn’t necessarily only introducing species of animals to their lost habitats, although it’s done in some instances to boost the ecosystem’s diversity.
The rewilding controversy arises from the fact that no landowner or farmer wants wild predators released in their area, even if it’s done to help the ecosystem.
In comparison to wide-scale rewilding, garden rewilding isn’t as controversial because it isn’t forced upon you. It’s up to you whether you want to do it or not. There isn’t a foundation pressuring you to replace the food production in your farm with wilderness while they release wild predators in the vicinity.
Is garden rewilding a good idea?
Garden rewilding is slightly different and not as grand as forest and national park rewilding. After all, you won’t be introducing wolves and lynxes to your backyard to fight the overabundance of deer in the area.
Although this type of rewilding may seem insignificant compared to a broader scale one, it can still have a lot of positive impact by bringing nature into urban areas. Regardless of how large your plot is, there are benefits for insects, birds, and other wild animals, native plants, the soil, and your well-being.
By allowing nature to play its part, you’re encouraging wild animals, insects, and plants to thrive in the small land you own. A rewilded garden can also fight climate change, however minuscule, by capturing carbon emissions. All in all, garden rewilding is a good idea, as long as you don’t overdo it.
How can I rewild my garden?
Before you start rewilding your garden, you’ll first need to change your view on weeds, aesthetics, and tidiness. What some may call a tidy garden is, in reality, a space that’s desolate and hostile towards certain species of wild plants and animals. Such gardens are stripped of their natural abundance, usually found in nature.
Stop using pesticides fertilizers
Chemicals used while gardening kills both plants and insects that inhabit it. The first step towards rewilding your garden is to stop using pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Besides that, the fertilizers and pesticides that we use damage and deplete the soil in the long run.
Create a pond
Adding a small pond to your garden will support the biodiversity in it. You don’t need to have a lot of space for a pond. Simply buy a wooden or metal washtub, dig a hole big enough for it to fit inside, and place it there. Fill it with water and add some weeds typically found in and around water ponds. Before you know it, your garden will become home to frogs, pond snails, and maybe even newts.
Rewild your lawn
The best way to rewild your lawn is to stop mowing it, and you’ll start noticing beautiful annuals popping up everywhere. Lawns that haven’t been continuously sprayed with chemicals are usually home to different grass species, herbs, and flowering plants. Letting nature take its course lets you realize how diverse your lawn can be.
If you want to introduce a new hedge, flower, or weed to your back garden, go for a native one. In many cases, non-native plants are harmful to the local area and should be avoided. Local plants provide the most nutrition and benefits for local wildlife and thrive better in the local soil and with other plants and species. Naturally, there are some exceptions, such as buddleia and cotoneaster, but these plants aren’t commonly found.
Besides that, try to plant insect-friendly plants to provide food for pollinators, which will attract birds and other predators and create a thriving ecosystem in your backyard. Flowers can also help suppress weeds by taking up space in the soil.
Install Bird Feeders and Nest Boxes
Encourage birds into your garden with feeders, water features, and boxes to nest in. Ensure that the water features are elevated so they can only be accessed by birds and no predators like cats. Consider also planting fruit-bearing trees to attract birds and squirrels. Installing a bug box will provide native insects with a place to lay their eggs. If you’re in an area with hedgehogs, you can also install a hedgehog hut.
Is rewilding the answer to conservation?
Rewilding differs from pure conservation, where the aim is to protect lands from the destructive consequences of human intervention. Rewilding only involves active interventions from scientists and ecologists who seek to restore specific ecosystems by making them healthier and more diverse. It can be said that rewilding addresses the problem that the passive nature of classic conservation isn’t enough to keep up with rapid changes in the current climate environment.
People increasingly realize that connecting with nature will keep them mentally and physically healthier. Rewilding is about reconnecting modern urban and rural society with wilder nature. The most important thing when rewilding is to think sustainable when creating your outdoor space and use what is available there. Collect rainwater, install a compost or worm farm, and use leaves, tree branches, or grass clippings for mulching. Ultimately, each of our actions can also impact the natural world beyond our garden.
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