by Guest Contributor Bianca Bodley
A healthy garden is loved not just by people but by birds and bees alike. My garden aesthetic is to create a space that feels inviting to the lucky humans that enjoy it and equally so to the birds and bees and insects. Plants full of movement and colour, layered by structural evergreens that provide safe windbreaks and sanctuary for nests, create a peaceful and engaging palette.
Over the past 15 years I’ve seen a strong movement towards food security and the importance of understanding where our food comes from. Designing food gardens alongside gardens that are rich with pollinators is the perfect combination.
Pollinators can take the form of herb gardens which have flowers all year round, and smell amazing. I love to surround patios with herbs for the luxury of picking fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano etc for your meal – just the scent of these easy to grow and flowering herbs puts you in the mood for relaxing and dining.
Pollinators can also take the form of flowers and groundcover between the cracks of your pathway stones and patios. But be aware of bare feet and bees! I also love using clover as replacement for lawns, as the soft scent and pale pink flowers are a magnet for gentle, helpful honeybees.
Productive gardens can take many forms; sometimes I integrate them directly into the borders of ornamental garden beds especially in a smaller garden layout; other times I create zones that are focal points with raised beds made of wood or stone or metal. I find productive garden beds a perfect spot to locate a quiet reading bench with a water feature. Raised beds can also create opportunities for artistic or design features. I also like to incorporate cut flowers into raised beds to add to the beauty and pollination.
Embrace colour and art, grow food and create sanctuary for birds and bees! Whether it’s in a structured layout, or layered throughout a space, integrating elements of productive gardens, edible plants, and pollinator plants, is a beautiful and healthy way to support a garden life cycle.
Bianca Bodley is Principal of BIOPHILIA Design Collective.