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Landscape gardening vs. rewilding

To be properly green, one should rewild a garden, not plant it out for human appreciation.

Rewilding is a broad term covering 'intentional activity that initiates or accelerates the recovery of an ecosystem with respect to its health, integrity and sustainability' (Society for Ecological Restoration 2004). It is also used by green anarchists and anarcho-militants for going wild or feral as a human, which is eminently possible in a rewilded environment (or in the wild).

Larger scale rewilding would see huge nature parks with original flora and fauna across Europe and the United States. This is to return to the original eco system, prior to total control by humans over the last 2000 years.

These 'rewilds' would have original fauna such as wolves, bears, bison, eagles, owls, bats etc. And even genetically recreated creatures such as sabre-toothed tigers and woolly mammoths.

Rewilding - Building DIY Book cover Some rewilding is beneficial to a large garden, as it creates a sense of calm and a back-to-nature atmosphere. Perhaps rewild the bottom of a suburban garden. Research the correct plants and conditions and the animals will come. Maybe the smaller ones!

The process

Larger landscape gardening companies are members of the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI). Many landscape gardeners aren't though. You will be happy with a smaller (cheaper) consultant if you know what you want and keep an eye on costs and quality. Consultation process - what is it your garden for?

Existing garden survey

This is for complex gardens with unusual layouts, different levels, and/or large gardens.

Soil and land surveying is a professional job. Many things have to be considered such as position of buildings, manholes etc, trees, any damp proofing, water run-offs, other existing features such as ponds, boundaries, walls etc. Land surveying and soil reports are professional jobs, and not be be done lightly as the risks are high.

Conceptual design

Shows all the planned features in detail and to scale. This might be FSC timber decking, recycled stone or brick terraces, brick detail, water features, trees, shrubs and plants etc.

Plants Plant types depend on soil pH, soil structure and type (e.g. high clay or loam etc.)

Types of plants are up to taste but some are better for insects and small animals. Consult Google or a trained gardener and ecologist (not usually talking the same language as traditional gardeners like to clear away, and ecologists like it naturally wild).


Tree care is very skilled and it is important to always use a qualified Arborist.

Don't just hack away as you might kill the tree! Some trees have preservation orders (TPOs) and then you can't touch them without Council permission.