Sustainable Hotel Garden: Optimise Your Green Space

Wildlife pond for sustainable hotel gardens

Make the Most of Your Sustainable Hotel Garden

What is a sustainable hotel garden? We’ve long understood we need a mutually beneficial relationship with nature for humans to thrive – after all we are a part of nature, not apart from it. Whether your garden or piece of land is attached to your hotel, pub or other building, there’s lots you can do to make it more welcoming to both nature and visitors. Let’s explore the many ways you can give back to nature while reaping the benefits yourself; both in Public Relations and on your Bottom Line.

Encouraging wildlife in your sustainable hotel garden

Outdoor Spaces Your Visitors Will Love

When your outdoor space is part of your business, it’s natural to want to prioritise your visitors’ needs above everything else. Thankfully there are lots of ways to make your sustainable hotel garden(s) attractive and full of activities that will lure visitors to your venue and that are great for the wider natural world and the planet. That means saying no to pesticides and herbicides, and taking a wilder approach to your garden. Because if nature is not ok, we humans can’t be ok, since we are part of the natural world. 

Art in the Garden

Welcoming artists, or putting on art classes, is a great way to use the beauty of nature to your advantage. Perhaps you could host retreats for creatives where they can set up in your sustainable hotel garden and spend blissful hours painting, writing, crafting, and making music. Or maybe you invite skilled locals to run workshops and training courses that help people access their creativity and learn a new skill. Hanging out and getting creative in nature is powerful and provides many mental health benefits too.

Woman painting on Forest Bathing retreat

You can, of course, showcase their finished products at your venue; dotted around on your walls or shared on your social media. This would clearly show the beauty of your location and potentially bring in even more people. If you provide refreshments and maybe afternoon teas for the guests as part of their experience you can be sure of raving reviews!

Team Building & Wellness Days in Your Sustainable Hotel Garden

While we’re on the topic of mental health, running wellbeing events which incorporate your outdoor space is a wonderful way to spread the benefits around. Meditation, mindfulness, outdoor massage as well as regular team building exercises like treasure hunts are supercharged by doing them surrounded by trees, plants and wildlife. The benefits of being in green spaces are numerous and well documented, so creating packages alongside skilled professionals that make the most of that is a great way to work with the natural world in reciprocity.

Team Building Forest Bathing Nature Immersion

With more and more businesses realising the importance of organisational health and employee wellbeing, there is an increasing focus on team building days which allow for real connection to each other, themselves and nature. Forest Bathing or Nature Immersion has become a popular choice but whether you have a whole forest on your property or a more traditional garden space, there’s lots that a workplace wellbeing specialist can do to give incredible value to any team using your space.

Kitchen Garden and Foraging

Using homegrown food in your restaurant or café is a huge draw for many people, so a kitchen garden is often a really great way to team up with nature. Remember to include lots of flowering plants to bring in the bees and other essential pollinators and wildlife and you’ll soon be saving money on buying ingredients and looking for ways to expand your capacity!

Kitchen garden for food from the sustainable hotel garden

A nice additional touch can be to offer a guided tour of your kitchen garden, allowing guests to learn about what you’re growing and how, and see their food before they eat it. There is an increased interest in wild edibles, so give a corner of your plot to nature and plant some self heal, camomile, pineapple weed, chickweed, sorrel, mallow, elderflower, brambles and nettles (plus so many more) – all of these plants make tasty snacks or teas. Maybe you even allow them to pick what they want to eat and your chef turns it into something delicious for lunch. That makes for quite the experience!

Nature Talks & Education

Spreading the word about the importance of Mama Earth is an amazing way to use your space. Guests would undoubtedly enjoy a garden tour and you could team up with local schools to allow children to explore the wonders of your green space with supervision. Or get in touch with a university near you and offer your space for students to research biodiversity, ecosystems, or anything else they need for their nature focused classes. Universities may also be able to connect you to Citizen Science schemes, ensuring your place at the heart of the local community.

Gardening class

You may also find success in putting together some public workshops around sustainability where you can share what you are doing and how the garden plays a part in that, and help others to find ways they can live more sustainably too.

Sustainable Hotel Gardens for Wildlife

There are some key things to remember when you’re creating your sustainable hotel garden with nature in mind:

  • Plant native
    Focus on plants which would naturally be found in your area – there is huge variety in this so don’t think that it will lead to a boring garden. A little creativity will soon show you how many options you have and you’ll find they pretty much look after themselves so need little intervention.
  • Ditch herbicides and pesticides
    When you use chemicals to kill anything you also kill a lot of beneficial wildlife and plants. Find natural ways to get rid of things you don’t want in your garden like simply weeding by hand, installing a wildlife pond to encourage natural predators, and using a natural mulch. Make peace with some loss – I call these my ‘sacrificial plants’.
  • Provide shelter
    Bug hotels and hedgehog houses help with pests as they provide a cosy home for the predators that keep them at bay.
  • Feed garden friends
    Leave out food for birds and hedgehogs so they swing by your garden and do their helpful job boosting biodiversity, saving your plants from predators and providing some lovely sights and sounds. It’s critical to clean and sterilise feeders once a week.
  • Leave the leaves
    Allow fallen leaves to rot into the ground which improves soil health and offers shelter to invertebrates who help keep your garden alive and well. Collect them up and add to a compost heap or as a natural mulch if they can’t be left where they fall.

Wildlife pond for your sustainable garden

Keen to Learn More?

The single most impactful thing you can do is a wildlife pond, it doesn’t need to be deep and you don’t need fish or a pump. So super cheap and easy!

I have a free downloadable guide that outlines the 10 simple steps to a sustainable garden which you can grab here and hang in the staff room, dot around the garden or share with your guests. Feel free to help me spread the nature nerd word 🙂 I’d also be delighted to guide you through some simple steps to boost your level of biodiversity in your sustainable hotel garden, don’t hesitate to contact me for a biodiversity consultation. 

Get your free sustainable garden guide here:

Book a free discovery call here:

About Sonya Dibbin

Sonya Dibbin Forest Bathing Training and Guide

She now runs Forest Bathing events and training in the Hampshire area. Her Nature Immersion experiences have been well received by big birthdays, hen dos, team days for organisations and community groups. Her acclaimed Forest Bathing training programme is accredited and comprehensive.

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