UK cities have notably poor air quality, with the capital standing out as a particularly terrible example of air quality. London had breached its air quality value limit in just a few months at the start of 2019. Each year, thousands of deaths are connected, at least in part, to the poor air quality of the country. But while there are government initiatives in place to try and tackle the problem, there are things people can do at home to lend a helping hand and also protect themselves from the harmful air of the city.
Along with garden bark chips supplier and garden experts Compost Direct, we’re heading out into the garden to see which plants and foliage can help filter out toxins in the air around you.
Wallflowers offer a spectrum of colour
Also known as the erysimum, wallflowers are a gorgeous way to add a vast array of colourful blooms to your garden while keeping the air that little bit cleaner. 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.
Conifers with guard your garden
Time to swap out your old fences for something a little greener? Hedges are great for combatting air pollution, and Homes & Property recommends conifers for the job. 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 make it feel like spring in all weathers!
Looking for more than just green in your garden? A recent study by NASA has provided a few colourful blooms for gardeners keen to clean the air. 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.
These bold blossoms are multitaskers too. NASA states that these wonderful flowers are great for dealing with multiple air toxins, such as benzene.
English ivy can do more than look iconic
There’s something very picturesque about the emerald leaves climbing up the side of a British home. A classic climbing plant, you might already have the hedera helix climbing up the walls of your house. 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.
Filtering better garden processes
There’s more to an air-cleaning garden than just the plants. 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!