How Your Garden Can Protect You From Air Pollution

home grown apples

If you’re living in a city or built-up urban area, air pollution has probably preyed on your mind as a concern. It’s an understandable worry — after all, the Guardian reported at the start of the year how London hit its legal yearly limit of air pollution in less than a month.

So, what can you do to protect yourself from this rising toxicity? Well, look no further than your own garden. Grab some grow bags and some compost, and we’ll show you how to grow a natural shield against air pollution!

English ivy: a classic feature

This climbing plant might already be weaving its way up your wall. Though it has a bad reputation 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.

Wallflower: a pop of colour

The beautiful wallflower is a great way to sprinkle a little colour into your garden. 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: a hedge-based blockade

Homes & Property noted the use of hedges for combatting pollutants in the air, particularly conifers. Specifically, the western red cedar hedge is named as an idea 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: bloomin’ hues

A study by NASA backs up these colourful flowers! 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 states that these wonderful flowers are great for dealing with multiple air toxins, such as benzene.

Cleaner practices

Greener air goes beyond just planting though. 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.

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!

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.