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Your guide to a sustainable garden: water wise plants, energy efficiency and more

Making smart choices outside your home can be just as important and it enhances the outdoor lifestyle that so many Aussie families love.

Building a sustainable home is rewarding in so many ways. It helps you reduce your impact on the environment, as well as save energy and money too. helps your hip pocket. But a sustainable home doesn’t stop at your front door. Making smart choices outside your home can be just as important and it enhances the outdoor lifestyle that so many Aussie families love. From water wise plants to added shade, let’s look at some key ways you can make your garden sustainable.

Plant to shade

In the warm Aussie sun, good shade for your garden is a must. But it’s not just about giving you a cool spot to shelter with your family to enjoy a Sunday brunch (although it’s good for that too). Shade helps keep your home cooler and makes your home more energy efficient. It’s all about getting the planting right.

  • Plants are low-cost shade providers that can block wind, improve air quality, and look aesthetically pleasing too. 
  • Shrubs are helpful to shade windows, while larger trees with high canopies can help shade your home’s roof and garden. 
  • You can also design the right shading for your home based on its orientation. For example, a house facing east and west might benefit from a pergola or verandah with vines covering it. 
  • If you have an air conditioner, use plants to shade the outdoor unit and extend its lifespan.

Be water wise

Water is a precious resource. When it comes to your garden, it’s important to make every drop count. Smart planting and irrigation can make it easy to establish a low-fuss garden that looks great and thrives in even the harshest weather.

  • Capture rainwater on your roof or in barrels to water your garden. You can also reuse your home’s wastewater to keep your garden hydrated. 
  • Try to choose indigenous plants for your garden as they generally require less watering (as a bonus, this gives you more time to enjoy what you love).
  • When watering, give your plants a longer soak. You could also consider an irrigation system for more efficient watering. 

Consider regional and native plants

When choosing what to plant, let nature give you the answer. Although an English cottage garden might be lovely, it’s designed for, well, England. The British climate is markedly different to Australia’s, so if you’re after low-fuss and longevity in Australia, think native.

  • Choose regional plants that favour your specific climate. Indigenous and native plants tolerate the harsh Aussie elements and won’t need as much watering as non-native species. 
  • Native plants also attract beneficial bugs (like ladybugs) to help pollinate your garden and detract pests. 

Minimise your impact

Even low-maintenance gardens need a little attention sometimes. When you’re looking after your garden, think green and make choices that minimise your environmental impact.

  • Consider compost to reduce the amount of organic waste going to landfill. It’s a great way to create natural fertiliser that will help your garden grow.
  • If you can’t compost, choose organic fertilisers to enrich your garden without any nasties. 
  • Try manual garden tools over motorised ones to reduce your environmental impact.

Enjoy the great outdoors

A sustainable garden is perfect for outdoor living. Enjoy time outside with those that you love while doing your bit for the planet.

  • Save energy by using LED lights over halogen lights. LED lights use about 75% less energy than halogen lights, so they can reduce your electricity bill too.
  • Switch off the air con, fire up the barbecue and enjoy a meal and time outdoors with your family. 

Sit back and save your pennies

One of the greatest benefits of introducing more sustainability measures to your garden? The savings your family will make. From home shading to reduce reliance on the air con, to easing your water waste, and switching to eco-friendly lighting – these tips will help boost your family’s cost savings when it comes to energy and water bills. All the more reason to enjoy your garden’s sustainability journey. 

The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs and, where appropriate, seek professional advice.