Environment Matters Spring/Summer 2019

‘Into the trees’ by L Jarvis, 2016 p’comp

Resilience of our native flora to drought

Ipswich was recently drought declared, bringing the total area of drought- declared Queensland to more than 65 percent. Areas considered to be in drought are suffering from serious or severe rainfall deficiency, below the lowest ten percent of recorded rainfall across a given period.

natives are well-adapted to hot and dry conditions, there are a number of things that you can do; check out the article on the following page for tips to support and nourish native plants in your garden.

species have long, thin leaves with a lower surface area which reduces water loss. Many natives also have a waxy cuticle to prevent water loss. Some native species have leaves that face away from the sun to minimise sun exposure. Although many of our

Many plants endemic to Ipswich are adapted to low-rainfall conditions. The Queensland Blue Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) excretes saponins through its bark, which act as a natural wetting agent that assists the water in penetrating the soil. Many eucalyptus

Xeriscaping for a drought-tolerant garden We all want to know how to have a beautiful garden that doesn’t need constant watering.

As much as we love our gardens, most people are time poor and need their garden to be low maintenance. That is why James Hilyard is a big fan of xeriscape gardening. James Hilyard is Ipswich City Council’s Infrastructure and Environment Department Principal Officer (Parks and Sport). James is a horticulturalist, arborist and holds a masters degree in sustainability. Xeriscape gardening is a style of gardening that requires little or no additional water to be added to the landscape. Most importantly, in xeriscaping, is the selection of native, drought tolerant plants.

Placing plants in your garden in areas that suit their requirements is critical for success. In hot areas that get full sun you need to select hardy plants that can survive the hot, dry conditions. Choosing plants that require little to no additional watering will also save on your water bill. The Ipswich City Council free plant program has a great selection of drought tolerant, native plants that will thrive in your garden with limited watering. Check the plant tags and consult the nursery staff to help you select the right plants for your situation.

James Hilyard from Ipswich First article


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