Every garden should try this Chelsea Flower Show trend – even Stacey Soloman is a fan

This lazy gardening approach can be the best thing you ever do for your garden

House with wild flowers
(Image credit: Future PLC / James French)

Stacey Solomon shows off her garden in a recent Instagram story where she's adopted the rewilding garden trend, letting the grass grow 'wild' since the beginning of the year – we think it's definitely a nod to the Chelsea Flower Show garden trends we've been spotting recently, and we're big fans.

You may have heard of the term rewilding in passing but it's one of great importance. Rewilding is essentially the process of restoring and resetting natural habitats and landscapes so that wildlife can thrive and nature can essentially take care of itself.

The word originally mostly applied to large areas of land but organisations such as the RHS, and even Buckingham Palace are encouraging us to use our gardens and green spaces to help out the cause. In some ways, it is the ultimate lazy gardening trend as you just sit back and let nature take over. But you don’t necessarily need to let your entire garden grow wild, instead, you can devote just a small part of your garden to rewilding and accommodating wildlife – and that's exactly what the Loose Women star has done.

House with wild flowers

(Image credit: Future PLC)

In Stacey's Instagram story (that's now unfortunately passed), the Loose Women star greets her followers: 'Good afternoon from the wild, wild woods. Just up there is where we got married and I haven't cut the grass in here at all this year.'

'I just wanted to let it grow wild and it's out of control. I love it so much,' added Stacey. 'These little flower-weedy things are nearly as tall as me. It's the most incredible thing I've ever seen. I don't know why I'm so excited by this but I am.'

And if Stacey Solomon can do her part, then surely we ought to do the same.

A garden border filled with wildflowers

(Image credit: Studio/Future Owns)

According to official research from Rewilding Britain, four in every five UK adults support rewilding but it can be tricky to know how to achieve it or even get started in our own outdoor spaces.

And given that only 1% of the country is currently in an official stage of rewilding, we can all do our bit to help. Even the smallest garden ideas or outdoor spaces can become more biodiverse. Buckingham Palace is surprisingly the perfect example of how rewilding a garden can help nature. 

buckingham palace garden mown path with trees

Long grass policy at Buckingham Palace gardens

(Image credit: Future)

Behind the manicured flowerbeds, the Buckingham Palace gardeners employ a long grass policy, that ensures 10 per cent of the 39-acre garden is left to grow. The grass around the lake is allowed to grow: 'An 800-metre stretch of ground around the edge of the lake is cut on a rotational basis every four years, again, allowing flora and fauna to prosper,' says the website. 

Despite its city-centre location, there are 325 wild plant species, including creeping buttercup and herb robert, and 30 species of breeding birds, now thriving in Buckingham Palace garden due to the policy.

How to rewild a garden

However, while not all of us have 39-acres to play with, there are some easier ways to rewild your garden or green space – if you want to get creative and try out a few more innovative ways to rewild your garden here are 8 of our favourite ways.

1. Let the grass grow

Blue shed with neat lawn and tall plants

(Image credit: Future PLC / James French)

'Allowing the grass to grow makes it a perfect choice of shelter for wildlife. This is especially important during summer periods, including a heatwave. This is because grass and plants may already struggle to create nutrients during this weather, due to a lack of water and moisture,' explains William Mitchell at Sutton Manor Nursery.

'Therefore, allowing your grass to grow long instead of pruning it will ensure it is not deprived of nutrients. It will also provide great benefits to birds and animals shielding from the sun and looking for shade.'

2. Add a living roof

Wooden bin storage with living roof

(Image credit: cuckooland.com)

‘Adding a living roof to a garden building is a great way to begin your rewilding journey and is a particularly smart idea for those with less garden space,’ says Sam Jenkinson, Head of Marketing at Tiger.

‘Not only do they provide a habitat for birds and insects, but they will also help with water-run off and rain management from a practical point of view too.’

So, if you have a garden shed, you can partially or completely cover the roof with plants and vegetation to add more green space. This is also a great solution when looking for wheelie bin storage ideas, as they turn something unsightly into a verdant display.

If the roof that you’re applying the greenery to isn’t already waterproof, make sure you install a waterproof membrane and draining system, and reinforce the roof with timbers to keep it strong. 

3. Start a log pile

Fire wood in alcove

(Image credit: Future PLC / Colin Poole)

‘Dead branches, piles of leaves, logs and rocks can provide a habitat for insects and hedgehogs, or food for beetle larvae,’ says Richard Bunting of Rewilding Britain, who also runs environmental project Little Green Space.

And you can replicate this kind of environment in your own garden simply by making a pile of logs. You can also add in any other bits that you would normally tidy away, such as twigs, moss and pinecones.

Because it creates a dark and confined space, particularly if you put it in a shaded spot in your garden, insects and bugs will descend on it to hide, feed, hibernate and live. 

4. Plant your own mini meadow

Long grass planting around wooden bridge

(Image credit: Future PLC / James French)

For those with lots of green space or garden to spare, creating your own mini meadow can be a great way to rewild.

We’ve already mentioned letting your grass grow longer but if you enjoy sitting outside in the summer months, it’s often not too practical to let your entire garden grow wild. 

‘Pick a small sunny section and sow wildflower seeds in that one area to attract and contain the pollinating insects,’ suggests Sam Jenkinson, Head of Marketing at Tiger.

‘You’ll need to remove any existing turf and the first layer of soil but these can be added to the green roof to reduce waste. Raised beds can be helpful too when sectioning off wild areas of a garden.’ 

Alternatively, you could hop on the tapestry lawn trend which uses a variety of ground cover plants to mimic the look of traditional lawns with more benefits for wildlife.

5. Incorporate a variety of bird feeders

heart shaped bird seed feeder

(Image credit: Future PLC / Simon Scarboro)

You may already have a bird feeder in your garden or on your balcony but, ‘using a variety of bird feeders is important to attract as many species as possible,’ says Sam.

Combining a range of feeders in a few different spots in your garden, from hanging feeders that can be hung from trees or even fences to platform feeders, ‘having birds in the garden will also help to maintain insect populations and therefore reduce damage to plants,’ he confirms. 

6. Create a wildlife highway with your neighbours

Green hedgehog sign on fence

(Image credit: Hedgehog Street / Joanne Davenport)

Creating a path in which mammals such as hedgehogs, mice and squirrels can easily move from garden to garden. 

You will want to consult your neighbours first before making any changes but something as simple as creating a small hole or pathway through fences. Grace Johnson, Hedgehog Officer for Hedgehog Street says: 'One of the main reasons hedgehogs have experienced such a dramatic decline is due to lack of accessible habitat. The UK is home to countless gardens which have the potential to be hedgehog havens, but more and more are now closed off due to fences and walls.'

'One of the best ways to really make a difference is by creating a Hedgehog Highway and allowing hedgehogs to roam between your garden, your neighbour’s and other green spaces nearby. Either remove a brick from the bottom of your garden wall, cut a 13x13cm square hole in your fence if there aren’t already any gaps, or simply dig a channel underneath your wall, fence or gate (and encourage neighbours to the same!)'

You can even make a statement of your highway as a playful feature in a family garden idea.

7. Still take care to maintain your garden

Back garden with lawn, trees and flower beds

(Image credit: Future PLC/Carl Hodgson)

William Mitchell at Sutton Manor Nursery says: 'When rewilding, it is important not to neglect your garden. You should still take care to maintain the garden, watering plants and ensuring it is generally neat and tidy.'

'This doesn’t mean over-pruning it, it simply means preventing plants from growing over each other and causing potential harm. Some people even choose to have a dedicated rewilding section of the garden as opposed to the whole garden, which is a great idea.'

8. Ditch the chemical pesticides

garden with shrubs, plants, grassland and grassland in front of a brick house

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

As a final reminder, Sutton Manor Nursery's William Mitchell says, 'Rewilding a garden essentially involves inviting wildlife to the space. Therefore, you should refrain from using chemicals including chemical pesticides in the rewilding area, as they can be harmful to insects and animals. Instead, opt for natural options to ensure wildlife can safely rest and shelter in the area.'

How many acres do you need to rewild?

You can rewild no matter how small your garden is. According to Rewilding Britain, you need upwards of 1,000 acres to reintroduce a species, but they stress that every little helps. 

'Species reintroductions for the restoration of natural processes need upwards of 1,000 acres at least. But creating a pond in your garden, or letting some of your lawn transform into a wildflower meadow, will bring new species into your world. They'll just be a little smaller,' they say on their website

So there's no reason you can't rewild your small corner of the world.

Ellis Cochrane

Ellis Cochrane has been a Freelance Contributor for Ideal Home since 2023. She graduated with a Joint Honours degree in Politics and English from the University of Strathclyde and between her exams and graduation, started a lifestyle blog where she would share what she was buying, reading and doing. In doing so, she created opportunities to work with some of her dream brands and discovered the possibility of freelance writing, after always dreaming of writing for magazines when she was growing up.

Since then, she has contributed to a variety of online and print publications, covering everything from celebrity news and beauty reviews to her real passion; homes and interiors. She started writing about all things homes, gardens and interiors after joining Decor & Design Scotland as a Freelance Journalist and Social Media Account Manager in 2021. She then started freelancing at House Beautiful, Country Living and in Stylist’s Home team. Ellis is currently saving to buy her first home in Glasgow with far too many Pinterest boards dedicated to her many design ideas and inspirations.

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