A sustainable outdoor space can be achieved by following expert advice from the horticulture and landscaping professionals who have been applying eco-friendly ethods for many years.
According to the Great Australian Backyard Survey 2017, 36% of homeowners said sustainable outdoor home improvement projects were important to them. So I’ve asked celebrity landscaper, Jason Hodges, to provide his best tips for designing a sustainable outdoor space.
You may know Jason from the Channel Seven lifestyle TV show Better Homes and Gardens and as a Brand Ambasador for AdBri, Australia’s leading masonry manufacturer. Jason is also a four time Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show gold medallist. So your new sustainable outdoor space is in very good hands.
Jason Hodges’ Top Tips to Design A Sustainable Outdoor Space and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Eco-friendly, functional, cost-effective and very stylish; 5 key elements will provide you with the perfect outdoor space.
Water is a valuable resource and must be treated as such. Consider installing a rain water tank as a catchment for water that can be used for watering the garden and washing your car.
Selection of plants is an important aspect of designing a sustainable outdoor space. Talk to your local nursery if you are unsure. They can help with climate, topography, positioning, and plant care.
“Natives and drought resistant plants are great because they help to reduce the use of water. Look beyond cactus plants and opt for Agave’s that are drought tolerant, says Jason. “Plants can also act as windbreakers, saving on heating costs in winter, along with being able to shde the home in summer”
Invest in a compost bin for food scraps which can be turned into organic soil fertiliser and mulch. Compost helps to develoeorganic and rich soil which increases filtration, permeability and a positive plant root environment critucal to a sustainable outdoor space.
“Composting is an easy and practical way to recycle your kitchen and garden waste, helping to minimise the amount of waste that enters landfills,” says Jason. “Mix it into the garden soil, sprinkle on the lawn and use it around garden beds as mulch.”
Luckily more people are atuned to the beauty and benefits of recycling and your garden is no different. If you have leftover materials from other projects see if you can incorporate them in your new sustainable outdoor space. For example, bricks, wood, or even old tin buckets for planting flowers.
“Reusing old bricks is a great way to create a new feature without adding to landfill,” suggests Jason. “Adbri Masonry’s concrete besser blocks are made of recycled materials and are not prone to white ants or rotting, which means they won’t need to be replaced and will last a lifetime.”
A cool idea is to use an old wooden ladder as an overhead arbour. Simply use recycled wooden posts to hold up the ladder, fix it to above-head height, and then grow trailing plants up the sides and over the ladder. OR, install the ladder across a ceiling and hang old tea pots and plants from hooks attached to the rungs (which now run vertically not horizontally).
Environmentally friendly eco-permeable paving allows surface water to runoff through the pavement surface to a sub-base below where it can be harvested and controlled back into the natural water table.
“Permeable paving is an essential choice if your driveway runs down to your house. Adbri Masonry’s Ecopave is an ideal solution for creating a sustainable driveway and is low maintenance as the pavers expand and contract within the seasons, so they’re less likely to crack,” says Jason.
Tip: Some councils will credit permeable pavements as a percentage of soft landscape area on your parcel of land.
Plush Design Interiors
If you are building, renovating or selling, why not give me a call at Plush Design Interiors? From floor plan redesign and colour consultation to selections and whole-of-house interior design I can help you through it, saving you time AND money.
About AdBri Masonry
Adbri Masonry is Australia’s leading masonry manufacturer supplying quality concrete bricks, blocks, pavers, retaining walls, erosion control products, architectural masonry solutions and reconstituted stone veneers throughout Australia’s East Coast, South Australia and Tasmania. For more information visit www.adbrimasonry.com.au