Tea has been a favorite beverage of many cultures for centuries. Drunk originally in China for medicinal purposes it is now mainly drunk to get a ‘lift’. But there are now dozens of different teas from many plant sources and all come in different types of packaging, loose, in cans or boxes or in little bags. We can also grow teas at home – even in Australia. These different methods of obtaining tea differ in their sustainability and maybe grow-your-own is best.
Even if we live in an apartment, most of us have some sort of garden furniture – even if it is just one chair. Traditionally made out of wood, tables and chairs are now available in a variety of materials which differ considerably in their sustainability. Even wood is not always the most sustainable option.
Why bother with garden edging? Why not just let plants grow up to the edges of lawn (if you have it) or of paths? Unfortunately, soil and mulch migrate from garden beds because of rain or birds which love to scratch in it. And some plants send their roots further than the bed and, conversely, some lawn grasses will enter your garden beds. Some sort of edging is necessary if you want raised beds.
There are many forms of edging commercially available, but they differ significantly in their sustainability. However, natural or recycled materials make excellent edging and can add uniqueness to your garden as well as minimising manufacturing impacts and waste going to landfill.
There are different reasons for using mulch in your garden, so it’s important to choose the best mulch for your purposes. And there are so many different mulches available with different appearances, prices and characteristics.
As sustainable gardeners we are probably relying quite a bit on commercially sourced compost, manures and mulch to help promote healthy plant growth. But do these products reliably do that? Over the last decade or so there have been problems worldwide with contamination with substances that harm seeds and plants that we want to grow and eat.