“Britain’s 16 million gardens comprise somewhere between one and three million acres of land”. This is more than the total area protected by nature reserves. Gardening is a national obsession, and we do it for all kinds of reasons. To some it is all about creating a visual display, to others it is all about soil. Some people grow food, some create wildlife sanctuaries; many simply see gardening as a chore.

From a green point of view, we can never get away from the fact that, for most of us, gardening is our one direct chance to decide what happens to a part of the Earth’s surface. That said, it’s also a very personal part of our culture – and even people who are passionate about paving, or who find power tools irresistibly macho, can still make important green gardening choices.  The sections dealing with different aspects of gardening (see list in the left-hand column) contain specific advice, while the organisations listed under gardening information can provide more. There are also suppliers specialising in organic gardening and wildlife gardening.