I found it unbelievable that recently the Chairman of the WA Turf Growers Association criticised Environment Minister David Templeton for his sensible proposal to rebate home owners that replace their water guzzling lawns with water wise native plants. How could he possibly think that grass is better for the environment than native shrubs which have adapted perfectly to this harsh country over thousands of years?
Grass requires gallons of water every week, huge amounts of toxic fertilisers which leach into the ground water & pollute our rivers and it also requires mowing which sends more pollution into the atmosphere. I have a native garden which I planted 15 years ago which I have not watered for ten years! It’s spectacular flowers & trees attract many native birds including honeyeaters, parrots & kookaburras.
I’ve noticed that people just don’t plant trees anymore in the newer suburbs. They plant palms & petunias, diosmas & pencil pines, or just about anything that doesnt drop leaves. In years gone by in the old established suburbs, people did plant trees, native & exotic, which has created beautiful leafy suburbs like Nedlands, Claremont, Churchlands & even not so old leafy suburbs like Duncraig & Carine.
In twenty or thirty years the new suburbs wont have any trees, just tired dilapidated houses with dying palms, pencil pines & diosmas!
The time has come for suburbia’s obsession with perfect green lawns & exotic water guzzling plants to end and plant our magnificent native shrubs & trees, that are perfectly suited to our harsh dry environment. This creates a habitat for the native wildlife that is increasingly losing more and more bush land to development. It’s up to the Government, local councils, landscapers, nurseries & the general public to start planting less lawn & more native trees for our future.