Air pollution isn’t just a growing problem in the UK; in certain areas, air pollution is already a huge risk to health. At the beginning of 2018, it was revealed that London had reached the limit of its annual air pollution quota in less than a month. This shocking fact leads on to the sad truth that 40,000 deaths every year are linked to the problematic levels of air pollution in cities.
If you’re a city-dweller, air pollution is certainly a concern for you. But there are things you can do to protect yourself. More accurately, there are plants that can help you! Grab your trowel and some mulch and let’s get started.
Gerbera daisies for a colourful show
The road to green air is paved with pinks and reds and all sorts of colours, thanks to these beautiful daisies. 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.
Let ivy rise for pollution to fall
You could be lucky and already have this elegant climbing plant making its way up the side of your home. 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 traps particulates, which makes it a great choice for purifying the air.
Wallflowers take centre stage
Wallflowers, like gerbera daisies, offer a pop of brightness as you filter away that pollution. 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 the air clean
Hedges are a perfect choice to battle against 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.
As you’re planting these little wonders, be sure to keep your gardening techniques green too! SmilingGardener offers five great ways to plant shrubs and grow your own veg in the greenest way possible:
- Create compost. You can turn many waste products into compost to stop it going to the landfill.
- No more corn gluten meal. SmilingGardener notes this meal is made up from genetically modified corn, so best to stay away from using it, if possible.
- Noiseless equipment. This one’s more for noise pollution, but it’s certainly an added bonus for the pollution-conscious gardener to take note of!
- Pass on the pesticides. This one is probably a given, but if you can avoid using chemicals on your garden, please do.
- A greener indoors too. As well as planting outdoor plants to combat air toxicity, consider bringing in some houseplants to cleanse the air in your home.