Adapting gardens for climate change

2 August 2017

Volunteers at the Myrtleford Community Garden

Alpine Shire residents can now visit four demonstration gardens and access a number of fact sheets to assist with planting their own water-wise gardens that will be adaptable to climate change.

The resources have been developed as part of the RecLess: Less Water, Less Often, More Resilient Open Spaces Project – a partnership between Alpine Shire Council and Benalla Rural City Council to improve resilience to climate change impacts in the management of Council’s open spaces.

The project was supported by an $80,000 grant from the Victorian Government and allowed Alpine Shire Council to assess the impacts of climate change on our open spaces, identify hardy plants to be used in our parks and gardens, and improve irrigation efficiency.

“It’s critical that Alpine Shire Council be forward-thinking in how we plan and manage our parks and gardens, and we’re pleased to be able to share the information we have with the community to assist keen gardeners adapt their own patch of green,” said Ron Janas, Mayor, Alpine Shire Council.

A part of the funding was set aside to showcase to the community garden improvements or methods that demonstrate resilience to climate change impacts. In the Alpine Shire, four demonstration gardens received funding: Bright Community Garden, Myrtleford Community Garden, Lakeview Children’s Centre, and the Bright Waterwise Garden. Each received funding for a range of innovative projects that showcased features that improve resilience to climate change. These included:

> Myrtleford Community Garden: This garden purchased materials and constructed raised wicking boxes and garden beds that improve water efficiency. They also installed compost bays to recycle green garden waste and improve soil nutrients.
> Bright Community Garden: The funding helped to establish a food forest of fruit trees on ‘swales’. Swales are a technique similar to terracing where water runoff on a slope is slowed and directed toward tree roots to maximise the benefits of rainfall.
> Lakeview Children’s Centre: New vegetable boxes were built and a number of sensory plants planted to encourage children to enjoy and learn about gardening.
> Bright Waterwise Garden: Alpine Shire Council has made improvements to the Waterwise Garden behind the Community Centre in Bright. The garden showcases plants common to local Ecological Vegetation Communities present in this area.

A series of fact sheets detailing recommended plants as well as information about methods to improve your garden’s capacity to cope with climate change are available on the Alpine Shire Council website.

The plant lists detail some plants – both native and non-native – across a range of plant types from grasses to large trees that are typically accessible in garden centres around the North East.

Find out more about water-wise gardening at: www.alpineshire.vic.gov.au/gardening.


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