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Edible Plants Dominate Backyard Planting Of The Future

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Edible Plants Dominate Backyard Planting Of The Future

18 February 2009 - The Year is 2022, carbon tax has been imposed on most goods, including canned fruit and vegetables, houses and sections are much smaller and backyards, while still being outdoor living spaces, are dominated by vegetables, fruiting plants and trees.

The garden has become an extension of the house; it is a place of beauty, a source of culinary delights and a space for outdoor living as reflected in the Canterbury Horticultural Society's exhibition garden - A Taste of Tomorrow - at the Ellerslie International Flower Show.

Designed by Christchurch landscape architect Rob Watson, working with Society volunteers, the garden looks to the future and what it might hold for home gardeners in the third decade of the 21st Century.

The Society's exhibition garden will use a variety of trees, shrubs, herbs, vegetables and other edible and medicinal plantings to illustrate how small gardens can not only be attractive and enjoyable but also productive, economic and efficient in use of space, says Canterbury Horticultural Society Manager Iain Clark.

The Canterbury Horticultural Society is New Zealand's largest horticultural society, its beginnings dating back to the 1850s when Christchurch was first settled. Through education and horticultural shows, the Society assisted early immigrants to establish their gardens, as well as supporting the City Council on such civic projects as the original development of Hagley Park. It performs a similar role today as an umbrella organisation for various horticultural interest groups.

"The garden will recycle storm water from the house, purifying it by using a variety of methods to grow edible and other plants, this being both a practical and design feature of the garden. Permeable paving will also be used to allow rain water to percolate into the ground."

A sustainable small garden of the future will feed a family but also offer the homeowner beauty and tranquillity, Mr Watson says.

"Everything in the garden will produce something edible or be a supporting plant that either encourages beneficial insects to visit the garden to help control unwanted pests."

Mr Watson says what makes the Society's garden different will be the combination and use of plants. "The feature trees will be olives, boundary areas will be planted with feijoas while other trees in the garden have been selected for their cropping variety as well as their shape, including fig, medlar, quince and almond.

"Cranberries and rosemary will provide hedging; climbers in the garden will include kiwifruit and passion fruit, while many flowers will be edible as are the vegetables and herbs."

He says this is just a small selection of the plant material being used in the Society's 10m x 10m exhibition garden space at Ellerslie.

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