Gardens aren’t just beautiful – they let us breathe

by | Oct 17, 2014 | In the Garden, Urban Greening

One of the big reasons I love gardens is because as is well known but mostly taken for granted, it is plants that produce the oxygen we breathe. Whether that plant be a rose, or an indigenous grass or a tomato, all plants photosynthesise and produce oxygen in the process. It is plants and in particular trees that shade our streets and create ‘liveable cities’. Pedestrians and cyclists…where would we be without trees? They are our air-conditioning, our protection from harmful UV rays, our nesting place when we are tired. And as much as I love beautiful architecturally designed buildings, and gorgeous landscaped spaces, without the green of trees and shrubs and grasses and climbers, even the best architectural landscapes pale in significance. So no matter how small your home or apartment is, no matter how little you think you can contribute, plant a herb or a native grass or a shrub as soon as you can because our cities need more green…arrivederci cari amici, mara


Even the smallest addition of vegetation transforms a space for me. Someone is lovingly tending this climber. They will have watched it grow over many years and slowly trained it to follow the line of the veranda. Trimming here and there to keep its shape.


This stunning tree embellishes this home and blocks out a bit of summer sun.


Nature strips have a bit more nature in them when they are planted to more than just lawn.


Small amounts of paving pave the way for larger gardens.


Rambling and a bit wild and fantastic I think.


A lonely tree in a sea of paving: neat and tidy it is but this garden does little to mitigate summers scorching heat.


Small amounts of paving create an intimate path and even more importantly make room for more oxygen producing plants.


A simple rugged fence, rusty and open to let plants work their way through it and to let passers by enjoy a view to the garden within.

soft green

Green screen of soft wispy foliage.

front garden

A cool and cosy nook with a view of the garden.


Structural support for a growing plant.


This walkway benefits aesthetically from the green small tentacles that shoot up from the gaps in the paving.

red chair

A welcome chair at the end of a calming path.


A spectacle of texture.


It is always the colour green that transforms for me a cold concrete environment into a little oasis.


A gift of petals on my walk.

petal line

Purple painterly lines along the path.

stair green

Another welcoming set of steps.

red mass

A spectacle of red.


My favourite gardens are a blur of green, with a few strong structural forms and shapes, but mostly bleeding lines, overhanging branches, and few colours.

white (2)

White and green looks fantastic to me.

purple cones

Purple ice cream cones.


Stones and rocks mixed with green and in the city you could not possibly be.


A great mix of wood and fangs and prairie soft.

tree supports

Supporting branches.


An inviting garden…sure the sticker makes my statement a little absurd…

side path

Someone has made a huge effort I imagine, to get these grasses to grow along this path.


An abundant overflowing sea of daisies with purple and white as the central theme.


Corymbia ficifolia.


Disc-like suckers a decorative feature.

bottle brush

Slightly overhanging foliage creates a dynamic path.

car space

A small path leads to a car park.


Daisy detail.


I prefer a weedy garden full of nutritional herbs like dandelions, than a sterile, highly controlled environment of meticulously few plants.


A simple grape vine fence.


Blurred garden edges soften a concrete path.


One of the other really important reasons to plant more trees.

paper bark

Paper bark trees are great for building cubby houses with. Just peel a few layers from various trees on the street and not too many from any one tree.

pea flower

Pea flower detail.


Street placed raised garden beds make me smile with happiness.


What more can I say but that I really, really respond to this type pf garden design.


More nature on nature strips with a path to the car. Why use your garden as a car park when the streets are full of asphalt.


Texture, form and white.

walking track

Shade and green is what I want on a hot summers day.


Garden detail.



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