Tips on better landscaping to make your outdoor areas more sustainable.
- If clearing your site to build a new home, retain as much native vegetation as possible.
- Rehabilitate disturbed areas following construction with saved topsoil and salvaged plants.
- Choose plants that are indigenous to the North Sydney area, rather than introduced exotics. Click here to view or download a copy of North Sydney Council's Noxious Weeds Guide which gives advice on plants you shouldn't choose for your garden.
- Used as an element of passive design, landscaping can help provide windbreaks against winter winds or a cooling buffer during summer.
- If possible, shading should be deciduous to take account of the seasons. However, be mindful that most native trees and shrubs are not deciduous.
- As a general rule, use deciduous trees or vines to the north, and deciduous or evergreen trees to the east and west.
- Deep verandahs, balconies or pergolas can be used to shade east and west aspects, but may still allow in low angle summer sun. Use in combination with vines to filter unwanted sun.
- Use drought tolerant ground cover plants instead of paving where possible to keep the temperature of the ground and surrounding surfaces lower in summer.
- Maintain a link between local bushland and your garden. Install a water feature, bird bath or pond to encourage frogs and native birds. Place a large flat rock in a sunny spot to encourage lizards.
- Create a space for a compost bin or worm farm.
- Leave a hollow dead log in your garden to encourage native animals to nest or shelter.
- Set aside space in a sunny well-drained area for a vegetable or herb garden.
www.sustainablebuildings.com.au More advice on sustainable landscaping, including a section devoted to water features and water-wise gardens