Brenda loved the topic. And so off I went. Little did I know at the time how complicated the topic would be. And that everybody and his dog uses this very hot buzzword indiscriminately. But here are some of the basics so that you can easily follow along on #gardenchat this Monday, June 25 at 9 pm ET.
Before we plunge into nitty gritty of sustainable garden design, we need to know what “sustainable garden design” means.
A good definition for our use comes from the Norman Booth and James Hiss’ Fifth Edition Residential Landscape Architecture. To paraphrase:
A “sustainable garden design” is a process of creating a durable self-perpetuating garden with minimal expense of energy and maintenance.
And it is also a garden that not only suits the climate and terrain (with minimal impact on the land) but it also supports the health of all living creatures within the site.
What makes a garden sustainable is a complex issue. It takes time, thought and analysis. But it’s not impossible. Whether it is a new garden or a garden renovation, the best way to create a sustainable garden is through the design process.
How do we accomplish this?
The garden site should follow 6 principles:
- Fit the regional context
- Have minimal site impact
- Restore damaged sites
- Coordinate with natural events and cycles (sun, wind, rain, earthquakes, fire etc)
- Reuse and recycle
- Create a healthy environment
And after all is said and done, how will we know that the gardens were have created are sustainable or not?
For gardeners sustainability in the garden is measured by:
- How efficiently we use earth’s resources (i.e. hardscape materials & plant choices, repurposing, recycling)
- Whether our use is part of resources’ natural cycle and allows them to be replenished (think compost)
- How much waste is created (grass clippings, pruned material, plastic pots, use of fossil fuels & pesticides etc)
Now, if your current garden doesn’t meet these criteria, take heart. We are going to cover step by step the different factors involved in creating a sustainable garden.
Hopefully I will be able to cover all the material in an hour. Regardless of what happens, at least we are having a dialogue in creating better gardens for our planet.
To follow the conversation on Monday, June 25 at 9 pm ET, log onto Tweetchat with your Twitter
account and put in gardenchat in the box.