The Great Garden Challenge
To anyone looking at Landscape Design, redoing their garden, establishing a new garden or anything in between, please please PLEASE take my Great Garden Challenge.
1. Google image "Perth Landscaping"
2. Google image "Mediterranean alfresco"
3. Notice the difference!
Its time for us to realise that we live in a harsh mediterranean climate and respond to it appropriately, in a way that is both environmentally sensible, and that provides the look and feel of a real garden. We have been content with the 'norm' of Perth landscapes for too long: paving, Colorbond fences, limestone walls, a bit of lawn (sometimes artificial) and a few token plants. We can do so much better if we just look beyond and learn from those who have been dealing with the Mediterranean climate for far longer than our (white) ancestors.
So, what to do? There are so many alternatives, and just because we are being sensible, doesn't mean all our gardens have to look the same. Good design is the key to getting a garden that suits you, while at the same time being sensible. However, in a climate like ours, surely one of the keys is trees. Reducing the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect is critical if we are to cope with the heat which is likely to get worse. And our garden will actually look better too!
But don't take it from me, listen to the experts:
"Trees have been shown to provide the greatest benefits to people and the environment, and international and national support for the retention and replacement of urban trees is strong" (Cool Communities: Urban Trees, Climate and Health, Curtin University).