The air quality of UK cities is a pressing problem for us all. The oft-cited example is, of course, London — in 2019, the city breached its air quality limit values for the whole year in just a couple of months. Thousands of deaths are linked to the poor air quality of our cities every year. Naturally, if you live in a busy city, protecting yourself from air pollution is key. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to filter the air around your garden, as garden bark supplier Compost Direct shows:
Plant some wallflower for a pop of colour
Wallflowers are a great choice for air-filtering, colourful blooms Goldsmiths also names this plant as being akin to the common ivy for its particulate-cleansing power. These flowers have a bright display of petals during the first half of the year. You can grow wallflowers in many colours, with purple and yellow popular choices.
Create a border with conifers
Conifers are great at filtering the air around them, and Home & Property recommends them for the job of fencing of your garden in a natural way. Specifically, the western red cedar hedge is named as an ideal conifer to plant in your garden. But if your garden is a little smaller, the publication also names the yew as a great alternative, citing its evergreen nature and easy trimming.
Gerbera daisies for bright and beautiful blooms
A NASA study in air-filtering plants has brought gardeners a number of brightly-hued options. Gerbera daisies are bonny, beautiful blooms that come in many different colours; white, orange, red, pink — whichever you pick, they’ll give your garden a splash of colour. These flowers love direct sunlight and a bit of space, so make sure not to leave them in a shady corner of your garden. NASA also states that these wonderful flowers are great for dealing with multiple air toxins, such as benzene.
Achieving a classical look with English ivy
If you’re lucky, you might already have this plant on the side of your home. Though it has a bad reputation in the States as being a weed, it can be a lovely addition to your garden if tended to. The plant offers benefits for wildlife and for the air – Goldsmiths, University of London, states that the wide leaves of the common ivy traps particulates, which makes it a great choice for purifying the air.
Greener garden practices
It’s not just the plants that can help your garden clean the air. You have to consider how you are tending to your garden as well. SmilingGardener offers five great ways to reduce pollution in ways beyond planting shrubs and flowers:
- Start composting. You can turn many waste products into compost to stop it going to the landfill.
- Stay away from using pesticides. This one is probably a given, but if you can avoid using chemicals on your garden, please do.
- Consider indoors as well as outdoors. As well as planting outdoor plants to combat air toxicity, consider bringing in some houseplants to cleanse the air in your home.
- Avoid corn gluten meal. SmilingGardener notes this meal is made up from genetically modified corn, so best to stay away from using it, if possible.
- Quiet equipment. This one’s more for noise pollution, but it’s certainly an added bonus for the pollution-conscious gardener to take note of!