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LCGD developing sustainable Garden Designers

The latest Australia State of the Environment report says the health of Australia’s environment has deteriorated over the past five years due to pressures of climate change, habitat loss, invasive species, pollution and mining, and warns the natural world holds the key to human wellbeing and survival. What part can Garden Designers play in improving the environment and ecology that we are an essentiall part of?

A key part of the work of the modern Garden Designer is to understand how the world we live in can benefit from the skills we have. Nothing as important as understanding sustainable landscape design, skills that we teach on our two-year Garden Design Program.

Andrew Fisher Tomlin, LCGD Director said ‘We aim to equip our students with the best knowledge for their professional lives but also with the confidence to take their work forward in a sustainable way.” He added “Of the 4 mainstays of sustainable design – economic well-being, social equity, cultural preservation and environmental protection, it is the last of these that Garden Designers can have the greatest impact in.”

In landscape design terms this often translates into factors such as

  • Soil fertility
  • Sustainable use of materials especially raw materials but also recycled
  • Drinkable water
  • Breathable air
  • Food security
  • Embodied carbon and embodied energy
  • Availability of green space

So wherever you might be, urban, suburban or rural, you can see that landscape design has a role to play. It is important that we approach sustainable design consciously around some key principles that include minimising energy inputs through informed selection of materials, and especially plant selection that reduces the need for maintenance inputs and maximises on-site treatment of green waste.

Soil and water are treated as valuable resources. Planting is designed to maximise both biodiversity and vegetative biomass. All this and paying heed to how we minimise pollution, interference in other systems and support wildlife are crucial to the work that Garden Designers will do in the future.

Our Garden Design Program continues to take account of these challenges and will develop as we improve our knowledge of what we can do for the planet in the future.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Fisher Tomlin, July 2022