Last Sunday I went to the Canberra international electric vehicle festival. I wanted to get a sense of where the electric vehicle industry is at in Australia. In fact we were quite impressed with the speed of the electrical cars and motorbikes that were doing live demonstration. It was a bit bizarre though to see those vehicles driving past you fast almost silently without the noise of a petrol engine. It was like watching remote controlled toys, but on full scale.
It was also an opportunity for me to see what’s out there in terms of sustainable living initiatives. I saw a fascinating presentation on solar thermal power from Beyond Zero Emissions and discovered a couple of interesting programs and rebates I wanted to share with you, the readers of this blog, and one of them is the GardenSmart Service. I will post about the other initiatives soon.
Based on the brochure what this program does is help you design your garden, select plants, consider watering and maintenance strategies in order to make your garden more water-efficient. First you book a visit of a horticulturist who comes to your house to assess your garden and provide practical advice on selecting plants and how to save water. This visit, valued at $150, is free of charge under the GardenSmart program. After the visit there is a rebate on the purchase of selected water-efficient products for your garden you can apply for.
I haven’t tried the free consultation visit from a horticulturist yet as our garden is still in its early stage but I plan to sign up soon. According to the Actsmart website if you sign up in October you can double your rebate to $100 (instead of $50).
I think having a horticulturist come and assess your garden needs is a great thing. Because the type soil on each block may be different I’d be interested to hear their advice and suggestions on which plants are suitable for my area, that will require least maintenance and allow me to save water in the long run.
If you are considering building a house I think it’s wise to incorporate your garden and landscaping early in your new house design so that the two, house and landscape combine harmoniously in the end. Many house design software now allow you to design your garden and landscaping too.
The Gardensmart service is available to ACT residential properties connected to ACTEW Corporation’s water supply network. You can download a brochure in PDF here.
Note: Even if you are not an ACT resident I would also suggest you download the brochure as it also contains tips to save water in your garden.
I guess similar initiatives are available in other states. If you know of any of them in your state please share in the comment section.
Photo: Floriade 2011 in Canberra