GARDENING: Sophie Thomson with Merridy Briese at her Cleve gardening workshop.
GARDENING Australia presenter Sophie Thomson visited Eastern Eyre last week to speak to people about issues they might face in their gardens.
Visiting Cowell, Cleve and Kimba, Ms Thomson ran a series of workshops, covering topics like sustainability and pests and diseases.
She said the main focus of the workshops was talking about the principals of sustainable gardening and how people could achieve it.
“A lot of people think by choosing the organic mulch they are making a wise choice and in many ways it is, but to get that out here gives it a large carbon footprint,” she said.
“What I talk about is how gardeners can make more local choices, so if they are looking for mulch you could local source pea straw for your garden.”
Ms Thomson, who also visited for the field days earlier in the year, said gardeners in this region in particular were “some of the best”.
“People here garden in spite of all the challenges they face, this is some of the hardest land to work with and people are doing really well.”
She said the drier weather and water restrictions had also seen a lot of people become wiser in their plant choices as well as with watering.
“People here have become innovative and that is because they have had to, if you don’t have the water you have to make smart decisions about what to put into your garden,” she said.
Ms Thomson said she had seen a rise in interest with a lot of younger people getting involved with gardening, especially produce gardening.
“We had a quite young group come to the Cleve night session and that was good to see.”
“The younger generations are definitely showing interest in the produce side of gardening, and I guess I try to talk about things they can do to make that successful.”
She said a part of her workshop was talking about making the right decisions so people could get the best from their gardens.
“Things like attracting beneficial insects into your garden, like bees is important – if you don’t have them in your garden then they aren’t going to get what they want out if it.”
“It is about education really, learning about these things will hopefully give people the gardens they want and they will continue to enjoy it.”
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