Both Sharron and Greg are passionate about igniting a passion for sustainable gardening in the community.
“Gardening is something that most people can do,” says Sharron.
“Gardening has personal benefits, such as improving general wellbeing and creating healthy food, as well as environmental benefits. These include helping to protect and enhance the natural environment, by minimising chemical use, which avoids the pollution of waterways or damage to beneficial organisms; using indigenous plants; increasing tree cover, which helps ameliorate the effects of global warming by sheltering houses and taking up carbon; and providing a habitat for wildlife,” says Sharron.
Greg and Sharron also see the larger environmental imperative of green spaces, both public and private.
“Front and back yards are vital to the future sustainability of Australian cities,” says Greg.
“We need their vegetated space to deal with a warming climate as tree canopy cover reduces the urban heat island effect (UHI) and a cover of about 30 per cent is required. This level of cover cannot be achieved using public open space alone, so sustainable home gardens are vital,” says Greg.
“With a reduction in rainfall comes the need for us to be water-efficient, but we must also recognise that some irrigation of green space may be required to achieve the many benefits and services that the green space provides. These benefits include improving human health and well-being and improving both the quality and longevity of peoples' lives,” adds Greg.
Greg is very pleased with the “In the Garden” stamps, product range and educational materials, having been interested in philately since he was a child.
“I think it is great to have a series on sustainable gardening, as it draws attention to sustainability at home as an important issue. I really like the supporting materials for schools. Any opportunity to promote sustainability in our society must be taken, as it affects the legacy that we leave for future generations. This is an important issue now, but will increase in importance as time goes by,” says Greg.
Here are Greg and Sharron’s top tips for adopting sustainable gardening practices in an existing garden:
- Make compost and add it to garden soil
- Don’t destroy the structure of the soil by standing on it
- Reduce the use of garden chemicals
- Plant local, native plants
- Use drip irrigation instead of hosing, and keep some areas as non-irrigation zones
- Avoid or replace hard surfaces with those that let water through, such as gravel
- Use your own plants for compost and mulch. It’s easy, cost-effective and sustainable
- Grow plants in large well-mulched beds (with mulch 75 to 100 millimetres deep)
- Large mulched beds are much more sustainable over time than small, narrow ones
- Choose the right plants and trees, such as nitrogen fixers, to improve both the organic and nutrient content of soils
- Don't remove trees prematurely - the longer their life spans the greater their contributions to sustainability
- A lawn that is 35 to 50 millimetres high will save water, reduce weed invasion and save on mower fuel
- A tree in the north or west of your home can save energy and money by cooling the house in summer
The In the Garden stamp issue is available from 1 August 2019, online, at participating Post Offices and via mail order on 1800 331 794, while stocks last.
View the gallery and technical details from this issue
Visit the Stamp Collecting Month 2019 website
View the Stamp Collecting Month 2019 video
To learn more about the work of Sustainable Gardening Australia, and to access gardening resources, visit their website.
This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release date and will not be updated.