Naturescaping creates natural landscape designs that work with the shape and contours of your outdoor space rather than working against them. This brings many benefits to gardening and the environment, and the rising popularity of naturescaping is to be celebrated and encouraged.

The Benefits of Naturescaping

By using native grasses, wildflowers, trees and shrubs, naturescaping promotes local biodiversity and habitats for birds, mammals, insects and other wildlife. These in turn create sustainable natural environments that require fewer pesticides and see the return of declining species such as songbirds.

By restricting soft landscaping to native species, you are also using plants that are naturally acclimated to the climate and even the local soil (native plant species vary throughout the UK based on climate and soil type, so it’s worth bearing in mind the soil type in your garden unless you want to completely remove and replace it!).

If plants are growing in the most favourable conditions, they are likely to need less attention to keep them in good health. If you live in a naturally dry region, the more drought-resistant your choice of plants is, the less watering they will require. Plants that thrive in poor soil will need less fertiliser while choosing plants that are suited to the natural acidity of your soil won’t need soil treatments for them to survive. This will significantly reduce the cost of maintaining your landscape in terms of labour, materials and natural resources.


4 Key Naturescaping Tips

1. Improve soil quality

Particularly in urban areas and modern housing developments, the quality of the soil is likely to be poorer than the original earth lying below it. You can restore goodness by digging composted, disease-free organic matter into the soil as this will improve the soil’s ability to absorb and retain water, accumulate beneficial soil microbes and provide plants with needed nutrients.

This organic matter can include waste such as prunings and uncooked kitchen scraps that would otherwise go to landfill.

Mulching doesn’t always require special products such as bark chippings. Leaving fallen leaves on the soil under trees and shrubs will also act as a good mulch that restricts weed growth, retains moisture and breaks down over time to provide further nutrients.

2. Plant wisely

Soil quality and humidity, sunshine and shade will all vary at different points of the garden, so your choice of plants must suit the exact conditions where they are planted.

Plants that may suit a small courtyard or large garden may look disproportionate in different surroundings.

Trees and shrubs with a large or wide mature growth should be planted to allow for this, as doing so will reduce the need for pruning and promote the vigour and health essential for the best display of foliage and flowers.

Planting too closely can lead to congestion and plant ailments, but insufficient planting without some form of ground cover can encourage weeds.

Look for plants that complement each other, not only in size and appearance but also in attracting pollinating insects, adding co-beneficial nutrients to the soil and acting as deterrents to harmful insects or slugs.

Avoid using plants that need to be replaced annually

3. Add structure and interest

A good blend of woody and herbaceous plants will add natural structure and year-round interest to a landscape.

While trees and shrubs create a visual framework of accent points for the rest of the garden and provide both privacy and shade, the variations of colour, shape and texture provided by the foliage and flowers of herbaceous species can be choreographed to provide new interest with each passing season.

Landscaping a smaller may present a challenge. One way to overcome this is to add height to the landscape design and this can be achieved by incorporating planter edging. Less expensive and easier to install than fabricated planter boxes, this product gives you the versatility to create layers of interest within a relatively small space. Small plants that might be easily overlooked can be raised to within a natural line of sight and multiple planter terraces can create a delightful stepped effect.

4. Create rhythm and line

While individual plants can be used as statement pieces, setting smaller plants – particularly flowering species – in drifts can be equally, if not more, dramatic. Planting several identical small plants in a mass helps to underline their distinctive colours, forms and textures and can be used to draw the eye towards other features of the design.

Amassing plants in groups according to their grown height can also be a very effective way of accentuating a landscape’s natural topography or adding additional structure to an otherwise flat plot.

Metal landscape edging can also be used to accentuate the lines of paths, lawns and borders, and with such a wide selection of products and finishes to choose from, there is certain to be a landscape edging product to suit any project.

While the clean, bright lines of milled aluminium are effective at directing the eye through a landscape, the natural patina of Corten weathering steel provides a protective surface finish that blends effortlessly with the natural colours and textures of a garden and complements rustic, traditional, urban and contemporary landscape design.

metal landscape edging

Kinley is a leading UK designer, innovator and manufacturer of steel and aluminium landscape edging products. For more information on our full range of products, inspiration for the future and technical resources to help you specify and install metal edging, visit, email us at or call 01580 830688 and speak to one of our advisors.