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What is a Sustainable Garden?

– Posted in: Sustainable Gardening
Vegetable garden in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

A sustainable garden is simply a garden that will grow easily without excessive maintenance or added resources. This is just a sensible approach of not being wasteful with water and extra fertilisers when plants can be selected that are appropriate for the site and conditions. It also avoids the disheartening plant deaths that occur if they are the wrong plant for the wrong spot with inadequate initial preparation.

Other resources that can be reduced are energy and waste in materials. For example, this might apply to prefering locally obtained stone as opposed to manufactured materials imported from overseas.

A sustainable garden is not just taking but giving. Urban gardens can contribute to local biodiversity by including plants that are food and refuge sources for local native birds and other creatures. Introducing some natural wildlife also helps to bring in a healthy ecosystem in your garden. A good mix of garden predators will mean a reduced need to want to control pests with sprays. If planned well there should be no need for chemical insecticides and herbicides at all.

Speaking of gardens that give, one of the great things about a garden is that you can grow your own food. This shortcuts all the chain of production of commercially grown and processed food that has had to endure all sorts of indignities before it gets to your plate. Fresh food from the garden tastes better and you control what is done to it.

All these sustainability principles don’t mean that your garden has to compromise on how wonderful is looks. If well designed, it can be as stylish, stimulating, relaxing or as functional as you like.  A successful garden is not only sustainable but one that you will enjoy living in.

 

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