I have noticed that there have been a lot of hits on Joel Pett’s brilliant cartoon, asking what if climate change is a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing. In the same vein is this light hearted look at the evidence for global warming…

climate change proof

vegetables and herbs in raised planter

Over the past 50 years, human beings have altered ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period of time in human history. This is due to growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fibre and fuel.

These changes have contributed to gains in human well-being and economic development but at the cost of diversity and resulting in the exacerbation of poverty for some groups of people (for more information see the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment ).

Sustainable Gardening offers an approach to food production that seeks to reduce the impact of humans on the natural environment while still sustaining people and is an approach outlined comprehensively in Sustainable Gardens (CSIRO Publishing Gardening Guides Series)

Sustainable gardening, is defined as gardening that maximises environmental benefit and human well-being. The book covers off on how to design low impact gardens, the origins of sustainable horticulture, and looks in extensive detail at energy use, water use, materials, biodiversity and ecology in relation to gardening.

Sustainable Gardens looks much more broadly than the backyard and also delves into food production at a commercial level, suburban developments and the basic science behind sustainable gardening approaches. Given its broad coverage it wraps up nicely with the example of an Australian garden Karkalla  in the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria which provides a working example of sustainable gardening.

Sustainable Gardens (CSIRO Publishing Gardening Guides Series)

Chicken egg in egg cup

Finally something to write about! After five months of watching our chickens grow, from new hatchlings through to adolescent chooks and after weeks of expectant waiting, my son discovered the first egg today.

Although a little on the small side we were nonetheless ecstatic and hope it will be start of a long and productive output of home laid eggs.

Now hopefully I will also recover from my “chicken envy” as friends who had adopted chickens from the same batch were already getting eggs weeks ago!

Please let me know if you have any tips for keeping chooks on the lay, because we will be sadly disappointed if there are not more eggs to follow.

steel tank planter tubs with rosemary and lavender

The Canberra Discovery Garden at the National Arboretum Canberra opened last Sunday and provides planting ideas for those dealing with dry climate gardens, such as found in Canberra (although this year has been unusually wet!)

tractor outline with sky in background

Artistic touches give the garden interest and colour, despite not having masses of green leaves or vibrant flowers.

National Arboretum Canberra arid garden

Even better, the garden is perched atop a hill overlooking Canberra, so there are great views over Lake Burley Griffin and the rest of Canberra.

For more information see Discovery Garden or National Arboretum Canberra. Both will be open permanently in 2013 to celebrate Canberra’s centenary, in the meantime we will have to just enjoy the occasional open day!

Canberra Discovery Garden Logo

Sunflower

Sunflowers!

Don’t they make you smile, my memories of the French countryside are of endless fields of sunflowers. Our small tribute, has been four sunflowers that my son planted along our side fence, what a great success.

For a start they grew and screened our ugly fence. Then when some promising blooms started to erupt we were all excited.

Australian crimson rosella parrots feeding on sunflowers

In the past two weeks we have enjoyed their huge yellow faces and now the local Crimson Rosellas are having a great feast, slowly picking out the sunflower seeds one by one.

rosella bird eating sunflower seeds

Greedy birds!

parrot on flower

If I don’t get in soon, I think we are going to miss out on those sunflower seeds!