Fresh Idea Award for a beautiful and biodiverse garden

Pascal Meyer has always been engaged in biodiversity and environmental issues. When moving into a new house with his family, they decided to turn the rather simple garden into a biodiverse paradise for humans and animals. This creation of a “natural garden” has now been awarded with the SEKISUI Greenest Person Fresh Idea Award.

“Increasing biodiversity in our garden was not very hard. It is great to see that our garden is a feel-good place for humans and animals,” says Pacal Meyer when looking at the area around his house. Together with his family, the Product Compliance & IP Manager from SEKISUI Alveo AG moved into a 20-year-old house last year. Unfortunately, the house’s garden also looked like having been designed 20 years ago – there were no flowers, no insects or any other animals. The family soon decided to invest in a professional redesign from a “classic garden” to a “nature garden” with recreation places for the family as well as areas for all kinds of animals.

“While a classic garden is usually very clean with nicely cut grass and trees without any weed, a nature garden tries to increase the biodiversity which results in a lot of advantages,” explains Pascal.

With the help of an expert team the family installed poor grassland that only needs to be cut twice a year but enables many different flowers such as wild carrots, poppy seeds and dandelions to grow. Pascal really enjoys watching the diverse flora in his garden – as much as watching the birds nesting in the garden’s hedge.

And the birds are not alone. By now, the redesigned garden has around 55 wild bees, a hedgehog and a fire salamander hiding in the dry walls during the day. On top, there are several useful insects for the garden. “The insects in our garden are very interesting to watch and sometimes you get very nice encounters, especially if a butterfly is landing on the kids’ head or hand.”

Pascal and his family were also keen on growing their own fruits and vegetables in the garden and are now able to harvest apples, berries and all kind of vegetables. The garden’s biodiversity helps to reduce fertilizers, so the family does not need them to get a nice harvest.

In order to also have recreation places for the family, they created a little playground for the kids, including a sand box, a climbing tree (used an old cut tree for this) and some climbing and balancing boards. On top, there is small outdoor kitchen to bake “cakes” made of sand, soil and all kind of grass and flowers. The reconstruction of the garden really was a family project, and everyone is enjoying the new place. While experiencing the second spring and summer in their new garden, the family would like to add more plants and flowers and is thinking about additional bird houses, bat houses and an insect hotel.

Besides their biodiverse garden, Pascal and his family are also aware of other aspects to improve the environment. They try to avoid waste as much as possible, recycle at home, heat very carefully and always think twice before using the car. One next project is replacing their current heating system from oil based to heat pump and photovoltaic. “Environmental aspects are complicated to understand, and we can’t change them immediately. But if everyone is doing small steps as good as he/she can, we can make a difference all together.”

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