With the predicted hot, long summer ahead of us, many homeowners are thinking about the future of their gardens and lawns. Will they survive a restricted watering regime in these harsh conditions? A growing number of South West gardeners are turning to waterwise, low-nutrient native gardens as a solution.
GeoCatch has been working with suburban homeowners to convert their lawn verges to native gardens. The Bay OK Gardens’ native verge project provides advice and guidance on removing turf, soil improvement, selecting appropriate species that will survive and thrive, and can help in designing layouts for verge garden renovations.
This spring, GeoCatch and Busselton Water are looking for six neighbours in Busselton to team up to reduce their water bills by turning their lawn verges into waterwise, low nutrient, Bay OK native verge gardens. The Bay OK team will mentor these neighbours in Bay OK gardening, assisting with their plans and ensuring their native verges look wonderful and thrive.
“Bay OK encourages gardeners to choose WA native plants and wildflowers, which are beautiful and will do well in our conditions. Choosing the right plants for your garden is just one of the keys to success,” explains Lisa Massey, GeoCatch’s Bay OK officer.
“The wildflowers, shrubs and trees of this region are suited to our soils and climate conditions. They also support the biodiversity within our area by providing shelter and food for wildlife and acting as corridors for movement between areas of bushland”.
Homeowners who have installed native verge gardens have discovered that native plants are much easier to care for than lawn and introduced plants. West Busselton residents Anne and David Cosgrove turned a corner verge from a thirsty lawn into a beautiful native garden requiring less fertiliser, water and maintenance. “There is still some maintenance required with weeds coming through the mulch, but we have saved much more time on watering and mowing,” said David.
If you and your neighbours would like to sign up for Bay OK’s new native verge garden initiative, click here or phone GeoCatch on 0491 069 078.
This project is supported by funding from Busselton Water’s community partnerships program, in partnership with South West NRM and state government-funded Healthy Estuaries WA and Revitalising Geographe Waterways programs. These State Government initiatives aim to support the long-term health of our south-west waterways.
Photo: Bay OK Officer Lisa Massey and GeoCatch board member Steve Purcell promote installing native verge gardens for this approaching summer