Sometimes in small spaces you can't afford the luxury and space for a rainwater tank. In this episode, Brendan tackles two tiny and very different gardens and proves that you can have a climate friendly water efficient garden whatever the size of your outdoor space.
a) Deborah and her husband Rodney share their small inner city terrace with Deborah’s adult daughter Laura, two cats and a dog. They purchased the 100 year old terrace almost four years ago and renovated it in time to hold their wedding ceremony and reception at home. The renovations were designed to open up the rear of the building so that it faced the tiny courtyard. But after paving the yard for the wedding, they ran out of inspiration. They need Brendan’s help to turn their blank courtyard into a garden space that they can enjoy together and entertain in. Once complete, it will provide views and a point of interest to their small ground floor living space.
A giant Poplar tree in the garden soaks up all the water and with no room for a tank it was important that the rest of the planting could survive on rainwater alone. By incorporating a lot of vertical planting in his design and using a breed of water efficient Bromeliads, Brendan ensures the garden looks lush without being a drain on natural resources.
b) Television producer Nicole, her nurse partner Gerard and nine-year-old son Marlon, have lived in their heritage listed weatherboard cottage for the past eight years. She loves to garden and describes her current courtyard as an RSPCA for plants. Nicole always manages to find a space for an orphan plant but the end result is usually lacking in logic and chaotic. She and her son spend weekends in the Blue Mountains and are big fans of Australia’s natural landscape – so they’re very fond of natives.
It’s easy to install a rainwater tank if you have a large backyard but here there was no room for one so Brendan inserted a grey water recycling system (an Aussie invention featured on New Inventors last year) for climate-conscious Nicole. Grey water recycling is explained in this episode.