CIE Spotlight: Australian native gardens: Is there scope for a community shift?

Kelly M. and Geoffrey W.
Kelly M. and Geoffrey W.

Authors: Shaw, A.; Miller, K. K.; Wescott, G.

Source: LANDSCAPE AND URBAN PLANNING, 157 322-330, JAN 2017

Brief summary of the paper: The negative impacts of urbanization on biodiversity are well known, and the use of native vegetation in private gardens and streetscapes have been shown to improve the species richness and abundance of native wildlife, thereby improving the biodiversity of the local area.

This study poses the question of whether the general public is interested in planting native species, to determine whether a cultural shift in garden planting style is feasible. A total of 3707 questionnaires relating to nature in the backyard were delivered to residents in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia with 417 responses received (11.2% response rate).

The results indicate that the public perception of the aesthetic appeal of native gardens is fairly positive and that Melbournians have considerable interest in planting native species in residential gardens and that a large number would like wildlife in their yards. The paper concludes that there is scope to encourage the use of native plants in residential landscaping.