A sustainable garden is a long-lived garden characterized by maximum stability for minimal intervention and inputs. It is environmentally friendly and combats depletion of the earth's resources. It is not necessarily organic.
Sustainable gardening demands (a) analysis of the environmental conditions (soil, climate, topography) and of the needs (physical, cultural and social) of the garden's prospective users; (b) tailoring of the garden and its plants to these conditions and needs, allowing for the owner's maintenance capabilities.
Gardening at "Green Point" abides by the "Ten Commandments for a Water-wise Ecogarden", which may be summarized as follows:
1. Quality management
The first step when designing a garden is to plan trees with tall crowns that promote aeration and allow passage of heavy equipment, avoiding damage due to eventual construction.
Economic management dictates that the plants selected for planting should mainly consist of hardy water-wise species appropriate to the local climate and soil.
2. "Precision gardening"
Make sure irrigation abides by the principle: "supply precise amounts of water to each specific site as required".
Any problem should be dealt with as soon as it is identified and before it spreads. "Undesirable plants" (weeds and invasive garden plants) must be dealt with as soon as they appear and before seeds form.
3. Water and materials should not be removed and then replaced artificially at some later date
Clippings should be left on the lawn. Most pruned branches and clipped foliage can serve as mulch between plants (thereby ensuring that minerals remain in the garden, preventing development of grasses and minimizing evaporation), and also spread over paths to prevent dust and mud from forming and obviate the need to lay concrete or asphalt.
Most of the runoff must be retained within the garden; this runoff will supply about 30% of the additional water required by the garden.
By adopting the management policy described above, we achieved the following:
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