“Biodiversity” is a current buzzword in gardening circles but what does it mean?
Biodiversity is short for biological diversity and refers to the variety of different life forms – plants, animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain and the ecosystem they form. Biodiversity is usually considered at three different levels of explanation – genetic, species and ecosystem.
Sustainable landscaping can include the ecosystem diversity and can be described as the level that pertains to gardens and green buildings encompassing the diversity of habitats and ecological processes occurring within an ecosystem type.
Sustainable landscaping is part of creating diverse habitats and ecological processes in order to attract wild animals, birds, butterflies and other insects into the landscape. By planting a selection of endemic plant species this will often provide a base from which these habitats can be created and upon which you can then build on introducing other indigenous species that will also be self-sustaining.
In particular good biodiversity practises are concerned with birds, butterflies and beneficial insects which are known as indicator species and their presence indicates the ecological health of the garden.
To ensure that your landscape is a haven for a wonderful variety of bird and insect life and capitalising on the previous blog this provides for a very exciting transformation of a garden over time.
Once the infrastructure is set up you will find that endemic planting particularly utilizing endemic grass species provide the infrastructure for creating a strong biodiversity approach in the design process of a garden.
See our next blog which will be a follow on to the concept of biodiversity.
Landscape Design Consultants International is owned and managed by Jo-Anne Hilliar, a professionally trained Landscape Designer who qualified with a Garden and Landscape Design Diploma through the University of Natal in 1990. In 2005 the company shifted its operational focus to offer landscape design consulting expertise in managing, overseeing and auditing expansive commercial, industrial and environmental sites in South Africa and internationally. Jo-Anne established the Landscape Design School in 2001. Read more…