Coastal gardens: our coast’s friends or foes?

Autumn’s cooler, damper weather is an ideal time for keen gardeners to do some planting before winter to give new plants an opportunity to establish themselves in time for spring and the arrival of warmer weather.

In deciding what to plant, coastal gardeners need to be aware of how their choices could impact on the natural coastal environment beyond the garden and to take particular care to ensure they avoid choosing an environmental weed species over a local indigenous plant species.

Our coast’s sensitive natural environment is under threat on a number of fronts with the biggest threat to its precious biodiversity coming from environmental weeds, many of which start off in local gardens along the coast.

Plants like Sweet Pittosporum (above), Mirror Bush, Coast Tea Tree (right), Agapanthus and many other ‘common garden species’ are valued by coastal gardeners for their toughness and vigour. Yet these same traits also mean they are highly invasive in the wild.

Just a few species of environmental weeds can displace native vegetation communities – such as our lovely Coastal Moonah Woodlands (below) – comprising dozens of indigenous species. These communities also provide important habitat for many of our native fauna species, making the need to protect and conserve the coast’s native vegetation even more critical.

GORCC is one of a number of organisations working closely with local coastal volunteer groups, such as ANGAIR and Jan Juc Coast Action, and others to take direct action against environmental weeds while boosting native vegetation along the coast.

Coastal gardeners can help by ridding their gardens of environmental weeds and replacing them with local indigenous species to create more ‘coast-friendly’ gardens.

Is your garden the coast’s friend? Or foe? Visit our Coastal Gardening website page or ANGAIR’s Weed of the Month Archive to find out more. Alternatively post a comment to share your knowledge and views.

Posted by David Clarke, CEO.

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