Together with key gardening experts and local councils, City West Water hosts a series of workshops, providing gardeners with information on all matters to do with sustainable gardening.
Workshops have been put together to make for a fun and informative session and we have a number of upcoming workshops planned. To give you an idea of the topics covered, read about them below.
For more information on upcoming workshops click here to locate a workshop near you or read on for the inside scoop on what happened at recent gardening workshops.
Habitat Gardening, City of Hume, Tullamarine Neighbourhood House – Saturday 24 March 2012
Who would have thought that inviting insects to share your space would see many other creatures drop by for a visit too? We heard how to step towards making a better environment for wildlife after housing developments have created pockets of space where species are unable to safely move from one area to another.
Attracting honey eaters, frogs, lizards and the like to your garden is achievable with the right information. We were able to learn about the amazing survival skills of the Golden Sun Moth and how the slightest human intervention can jeopardise their ongoing existence.
Although sometimes considered pests certain caterpillars and wasps have a place in the garden and removing them can be harmful to your garden’s existence.
Learn about creating your own habitat garden by attending a workshop on the topic and you will find you are sharing your yard with birds, frogs, lizards, skinks and other wildlife in no time.
Sustainable Garden Design workshop held at Caroline Springs Library – Saturday 17 March 2012
Helen Tuton of Sustainable Gardening Australia assisted City West Water and Melton Shire Council in delivering an engaging workshop on Sustainable Garden Design tailored for the Caroline Springs and surrounding areas.
Participants learnt that sustainable gardening should be more than just choosing to have native plants in your garden. We should be “starting small but planning big” by recognising how the garden will grow into the future. Is it really wise to plant a tree in the middle of your vegetable patch when it will ultimately grow to shade your vegies from much needed sun?
We should also be including long living plant varieties that store large amounts of carbon. This can easily be achieved by growing some native grass species which can store more carbon than large trees.
Invite insects into the garden by planting species which attract these essential creatures. Blue flowers will see increased numbers of butterflies, white flowers attract bees and lady birds and prickly natives such as bottlebrush invite birds to your space.
We received advice on potential environmental weeds we unknowingly include in our gardens and how to identify soil types, test ph levels and improve soil structure.
Wellbeing Gardens, City of Brimbank, Westvale Community Centre – Saturday 25 February 2012
Jane McKee represented Sustainable Gardening Australia in delivering a presentation on wellbeing gardens and how they can stimulate your mind, be an example of self expression and be filled with meaning and sentiment.
A wellbeing garden can be anything you want it to be whether it makes you feel like you are making a difference or simply restoring a previously bland area into one which can be enjoyed.
Gardens featuring a variety of plants used in tea making, potpourri, international foods, natural medicines or edible foods are just a few examples of how you can create wellbeing in your life through the types of things you grow. Perhaps you would prefer to feature a particular colour, a dainty fairy garden or yin and yang features. The concepts are endless once your imagination begins.
Can wellbeing be achieved quickly and effortlessly through gardening? It is possible that the feeling of happiness and satisfaction you experience when seeing a new fruit appear or a flower bloom is caused by the flow of dopamine through your body and Serotonin, a natural anti depressant, is often released when working with soil in your garden. Start gardening and find out the benefits for yourself.
Helen Tuton, on behalf of Sustainable Gardening Australia, presented a detailed session on composting and worm farming to an interested group of gardeners. With approximately 40% of total waste sent to landfill being garden and household organic waste we were eager to learn how to reduce this habit.
Tips on what to include and what not to add to your compost and worm farms were shared with those eager to attempt the practice or improve existing set ups. Kitty litter and potting mix were surprising additions to the “do not” list while hints were provided on how to remove unwanted pests from your organic recycling creations.
Easy tips on aerating your compost bin provided cheap alternatives to advertised commercial products and systems. The brown/green (Carbon/Nitrogen) ratio was explained in detail leaving no excuses for our compost bins turning into a rotting mess or becoming too cool to assist in the breakdown process.
Look out for a workshop on composting and worm farming soon to keep you up to date on the secrets of success in this area.