Judy Edwards

Judy Edwards

Former Minister for the Environment; Science

    Great gardens for green thumbs

    14/09/2005 12:00 AM

    Gardeners are encouraged to take advantage of the highly successful series of free Great Gardens workshops in their local area this spring.

    Environment Minister Judy Edwards said the State Government had committed to a third spring series of the popular workshops through the Swan River Trust’s environmental management Swan-Canning Cleanup Program.

    “The three-hour workshops held throughout Perth feature practical, river-friendly environmental practices that gardeners can implement to create beautiful, cost-efficient and sustainable gardens,” Dr Edwards said.

    “Nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen from fertilisers are a threat to the health of the Swan and Canning rivers.

    “Excess nutrients applied to gardens end up in the rivers through run off into drains and via groundwater.

    “These nutrients change the ecological balance in the rivers and can fuel toxic and nuisance algal blooms, which sometimes lead to fish deaths when combined with other river conditions.

    “Gardeners attending the workshops can find out how to be fertilise and water wise to help keep our rivers healthy.”

    Topics include understanding soils, sustainable garden products, designing a Great Garden, fertilise-wise advice, sub-surface irrigation, native plants, composting and recycling.

    Participants receive give-aways and prizes throughout the interactive workshops.

    More than 7,000 people have taken part in the Great Gardens workshop program since they began in September, 2003.

    The workshops are supported by the Water Corporation and endorsed by the Nursery and Garden Industry Association of WA. Local governments, conservation groups and business sponsors are also involved in the 15 spring workshops.

    Great Gardens presentations will also be a feature of the Landcare Exhibit at the Perth Royal Show between September 24 and October 1.

    People contact the Great Gardens hotline on 1300 369 833 or http://www.greatgardens.info to register or find out information about upcoming workshop locations and times.

    Minister's office: 9220 5050