18 Jan GLOBAL GARDENS: 4 GARDEN TIPS FROM DOWN UNDER (AUSTRALIA GARDENING)
Wherever you live in the world, gardeners have many things in common — their generosity, their connection to the earth, and their ability to learn from other gardeners. In this article, we’re going to learn from our garden friends Down Under. These intrepid Aussie gardeners can teach us a thing or two (and in this case, four) about being smart and bold, because in Australia if you aren’t willing to have a go, you’re just a goose, mate.
GLOBAL GARDENS: 3 GARDEN TIPS FROM DOWN UNDER
Tip #1: Know your zone. There are two climate zones in Australia. The Tropical Zone, in the north above the Tropic of Capricorn, comprises 40% of Australia and has two seasons — summer (wet season) and winter (dry season). The Temperate Zone has all four seasons. Australian gardeners who don’t know their zone are doomed — well, they might not be doomed, but their gardens will not be successful. Know your USDA Hardiness Zone, or the climate zone wherever you live, and you’ll have half the battle won.
Tip #2: Take a trip to the local Botanical Garden. The largest botanic garden in Australia, the Australian Botanic Garden is located just outside Sydney and specializes in over 4000 species of native plants. It also includes the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living, which provides education on organic gardening for the community. New gardeners, or gardeners new to Australia, can garden in the large community garden, learn about water and energy efficiency, and how to garden sustainably. And the display gardens? Truly note-worthy for understanding the country’s flora and fauna. Just like Australia, many cities in the United States have beautiful, informational, and garden inspiring displays. A trip, even a road trip to your nearest botanical gardens will not only be educational but may inspire you to make some changes.
Tip #3: Be waterwise. While there are pockets of rainforest and fertile soil, a large part of Australia is arid or semi-arid, so residents in general and gardeners specifically are used to the regular water restrictions that go along with that kind of terrain. As a result, Australian gardeners understand water conservation, and use native plants that are adapted to their harsher conditions. Go and do likewise, gardening friends — even if you live in an area of regular rainfall, water is a precious resource to be protected and conserved.
A few tips on water-wise gardens:
- Rain Barrels – collect and reuse water
- Incorporate Native Plants – Native plants have adapted to your region and know how to thrive.
- Watering System – A drip irrigation system or smart watering plan can save you time, money, and water.
Tip #4: Be adventurous! Living in a relatively harsh environment requires adaptability and boldness, traits that Aussies seem to embody. And let’s not forget that the country is the largest island mass in the world, so for an Australian to visit elsewhere, they must travel a fair distance and be willing to go out of their way to get what they want. This adventurous spirit serves Australian gardeners well — they use what they have to create something amazing… and have fun doing it. You can do that, too.