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The price difference between installing a verge garden compared to a lawn is almost identical. However most offer landscapers will just level over the ground and roll out the green carpet (the lawn) and water, the start of a very unsustainable landscape. Our comparisons both included amending the soil by rotary hoeing a good quality compost and bentonite clay in before planting. This is the most important part of any landscape because everything grows from the soil up, if you don’t have a good foundation, you’ll be constantly throwing buckets of water onto that landscape to get it to grow, and if you don’t it will look like the lawn below.
The big advantages of planting a native verge garden instead of lawn are reduced maintenance, reduced water consumption, reduced fertiliser use, introduces biodiversity birds and lizards etc and it just looks better. Your verge actually becomes a green vibrant extension of your house, rather than a dead patch of lawn in summer.
Most common suburban lawns
The native verge garden alternative
Thanks for your inquiry.
Very good question, to be honest with you I’ve not been asked that before, but there is a very easy answer.
We can actually design a garden that doesn’t require any water after established. How’s that? We’ll WA native plants have evolved to live in one of the harshest environments in the world, in fact he UN world food organisation actually declared Western Australia to have the worlds worst agricultural soils, yet somehow native plants thrive on little nutrients and not too much water. Think of the coastal sand dunes, plants living in an environment that is constantly desiccated by the sun (and also think of your feet on that HOT sand dunes), little to no fresh water and little nutrients, yet somehow they survive. Similarly the grey sands of Perth are the same, the plants have developed mechanisms to survive.
Sustainable Outdoors is also involved in natural revegetation in bushlands and wetlands around Perth. We plant at the start of Winter on grey sands and middle to end on gravel soils, the Winter rains is the only water these plant will get until the next season. We work on a 80-90% survival rate, thats not bad considering there is no subsequent care. In a garden setting however, if you give a deep water as least as once a week through the first Summer your success rate will be through the roof but the plant needs to be weened off the water once growing.
To help the no water native landscape, grass and exotic gardens alike, we make a very important point that the soil needs to be improved. By which we mix in bentonite clays (moisture holding), zeolite (nutrient holding), compost, soil wetting agent and most importantly a thick layer of mulch. These soil amenities added (bentonite and zeolite) are natural minerals mined locally and when mixed into the soil will remain there for a long time, these are basically changing the soil structure to become more like loam. Mixing and breaking the compaction in the soil is also equally important.
It’s important to consider that not every native plant from WA will suit your back yard, some live in deserts and while others live in wetlands. Selecting the right plant in the right location for the right reasons.