Simple ways to make your garden more sustainable

What’s your top tip for Ipswich roommates looking to build and maintain their own sustainable garden?

The most important thing in the garden is to improve the health of your soil with plenty of organic matter and compost. This will break up the clay and improve drainage while retaining moisture, making more nutrients available to the plants.

I have chickens that do a lot for me too, and I am very committed to chopping up all of my green waste and spreading it over the garden beds as mulch. A good layer of coarse mulch up to 100mm deep will definitely help reduce the need for watering and control weeds.

After all, why was it so important to work with a landscape architect on this garden project?

I had come to a point where I had run out of ideas and knowledge. I wanted to bring fresh ideas on “sustainable” and suitable plants, with some suggestions for redesigning the landscape at the rear of the property. While attending a council meeting in Queens Park, I was impressed by guest speaker Jonathan Gregory, who discussed what he was doing with his Quarry Street property.

It became clear to me: “I need this to move forward with my property”. Working with Jonathan has been a very rewarding process as his design background and passion for local plants helped me see the garden layout and details from a different perspective.

We were able to enhance the landscape experience by grouping similar plants together to increase their visual impact, elevating tree tops to create views and reducing traffic jams, defining entry points with special plantings, and providing informal seating while giving us a sense of the Preserve individuality and personal responsibility.

It’s not a traditional “show garden”, but I wanted to create one – a sustainable, easy-care garden with a select selection of locals and exotic species that has created a refuge for wild animals. In fact, we have many species of birds that we simply didn’t see when we moved in 10 years ago.

Sustainable Open Garden Tour – Suburban Garden in Silkstone
Saturday November 27th

This event is sold out. However, to register for Sustainable Ipswich Month events, visit

Sustainable Ipswich Month is provided through the support of the following partners:
Ipswich Libraries, Council Habitat Gardens Program, Ipswich Waste Services, Ipswich Nurseries, Council’s Active Kids Program and Flea Market Trail.

Also read:

>>> First interactive council program for Sustainable Ipswich Month published

About Rachael Garcia

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