The benefits of ‘greening’ your home

5 things to do to improve your home naturally

We often look at our gardens merely as an outdoor space but looking after them properly will increase the quality of our whole home environment – from air quality to water management and aesthetics.

  • Permeable paving – It is worth doing some research before you pave over your garden. What may seem like an easy low-maintenance option is not always the most beneficial in the long term. Going for non-permeable paving not only often requires planning permission (we all know how tedious and long this process can be) but can also increase the risk of flooding, as the sewers and water channels become overloaded with excess rainwater. Permeable paving not only allows water to soak back into the soil quickly and easily, but avoids planning permission altogether.
  • Increase garden habitats – Bees and other insects such as moths, butterflies and ants are vital for our urban environment. They pollinate the flowers, and provide food for wildlife such as the hedgehogs and birds that we see as a fundamental part of our gardens. Although unpopular to gardeners, even slugs have their rightful place in the food chain! Setting aside areas in your garden, whether flower beds or old trees, as natural habitats for these insects and animals will discourage them from nesting in the comparative warmth and safety of your home instead. Regular checks of your roof, walls and downpipes will help prevent some unpleasant surprises!
  • Insulate inside & out – There are many simple and efficient ways to insulate your home, and so prevent heat loss, lower your bills and save energy. Since heat rises, a lot of your energy will disappear through the roof. Try to check your roof twice a year: once in the spring to check for cold weather and frost damage and once in the autumn to identify any draughts and repairs before the winter sets in. You should also check the seals around the windows, doors and pipework to minimize cold air movement since this is the primary cause of discomfort, rather than low room temperature. And of course, don’t forget that climbing plants (if carefully controlled) and hedges can also provide ‘green’ insulation to the exterior walls, keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
  • Maintain your gutters and pipes – Come autumn, piles of leaves can block gutters, drains and gullies, while in the longer term growing roots can disrupt the underground pipework. Keeping an eye on your drainage system will help to regulate water flow and reduce the risk of flooding in both the house and garden. Where you can, avoid putting aggressive chemicals down sinks and drains. It is often just a case of emptying the contents of the trap or gulley every now and then.
  • Install a living wall (or plant trees and shrubs) – London gardens are notoriously small but you can still introduce plants even when the floor area is tiny … by building vertically. A ‘green wall’ provides all the goodness of improved air quality, insulation and homes for wildlife, and can be a really beautiful addition to your home. Scotscape Living Walls provide fantastic designs to fit any space.For more information on our residence management services please contact Marie.