Sponsored content by Compost Direct
Air quality in cities and built-up areas is notoriously poor. This is particularly evident in London; the city reached its entire yearly limit of legal air pollution levels for 2018 in just under a month. Unfortunately, it isn’t without a price either, with 40,000 deaths per year linked to the air pollution problem in certain parts of the nation.
But what can you do if you live in an urban area? Luckily, there are measures you can take to protect yourself from high levels of air pollution. Head out to the garden with our handy guide to which plants can help you!
Gerbera daisies for your garden
As you make your way to greener air, bring a little colour to the occasion! 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. NASA states that these wonderful flowers are great for dealing with multiple air toxins, such as benzene.
A little English ivy
You may already have ivy snaking up the walls outside your house; if so, smile! 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 trap particulates, which makes it a great choice for purifying the air.
Wallflowers to wall-off pollution
Another great way to bring colour into your garden while filtering out pollution is with the wallflower. 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 to keep particles at bay
Hedges, in general, are brilliant at safeguarding you from air pollution. 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.
Keeping gardening green
Naturally, it’s best if these plants are tended to in a green manner too. SmilingGardener offers five great ways to reduce pollution in ways beyond planting shrubs and flowers:
- Consider composting. You can turn many waste products into compost to stop it going to the landfill. For a head start, buying a compost bag and mixing that into your waste scraps can help.
- Ditch the corn gluten meal. SmilingGardener notes this meal is made up from genetically modified corn, so best to stay away from using it, if possible.
- A little less noise. This one’s more for noise pollution, but it’s certainly an added bonus for the pollution-conscious gardener to take note of!
- Skip the pesticides. This one is probably a given, but if you can avoid using chemicals on your garden, please do.
- Take a look indoors. As well as planting outdoor plants to combat air toxicity, consider bringing in some houseplants to cleanse the air in your home.
This article was produced and paid for by Compost Direct.