How this Ipswich resident transformed his garden into a wildlife oasis

From little things, big things grow. It’s something that Ipswich resident Jonathan Gregory knows first-hand to be true.

Mr Gregory has transformed his garden from a humble patch of grass into a thriving wildlife oasis, with help from Ipswich City Council’s Habitat Gardens program.

“When we first moved to Ipswich three years ago there was only one tree and a Camellia bush in the garden set in lawn behind a low front hedge,” Mr Gregory said.

“Since then, we have installed over a hundred endemic trees and drought hardy plants, which have primarily been sourced through the Habitat Gardens program.

“As some of the original trees are now over five metres tall, the garden is now a welcoming space that is noticeably cooler in summer and more resource efficient, while also being home to a much wider variety of resident wildlife, which is a good reminder that positive change is possible.”

The popular Habitat Gardens program has relaunched this month, with new members encouraged to sign up.

Image: Mr Gregory’s garden is a wildlife oasis with hidden habitat solutions for local creatures. 

Mr Gregory said the program has challenged him to try new things in his garden, with a focus on creating habitat for local wildlife.

“As a landscape architect, what I enjoy most about my garden is the opportunity to experiment and use local plants in a way that challenges the sometimes negative perceptions of what a native-based garden should look like,’ he said.

“There are lots of wonderful species that we should be using more of in our backyards, which look great and provide valuable food and shelter for local animals.

“I am also proud of the nesting box made from recycled timber, the concrete laundry tub frog pond and the rock piles placed in the garden beds, which provide a home for the local rainbow skinks.”

He has also redirected his grey water to use on the garden, and has a vegetable garden and worm farm to make his yard more sustainable. 

On a typical-sized urban block, he has shown how to make the best of a relatively small space for aesthetics, comfort, the environment and for the lifestyle. 

Mr Gregory said the Habitat Gardens program is a great opportunity for residents to make a real difference in their community.

“The creation of a habitat garden is a good place to start in taking meaningful action against climate change and making a real difference, while getting outdoors and staying healthy, and this program provides the framework to help you out on your project,” he said.

Image: This nesting box houses possums and birds throughout the year. 

“It provides an opportunity for people to reconnect with nature and be actively involved in its rehabilitation in a very direct and personal way to help improve local biodiversity by providing habitat and refuge for birds, mammals, insects and reptiles.

“On a broader scale it will also help reduce the negative impacts of the urban heat island effect, stormwater runoff and air pollution, while improving household energy efficiency, soil fertility, property values and mental health.”  

Image: Rock piles placed around the garden provide a home for local rainbow skinks. 

Image: A concrete laundry tub has been transformed into a frog pond. 

The program requires a five-year commitment from members, with the intent to remove all environmental weeds and replace with native species.

“In return Ipswich City Council will provide resources and information to help you with this process, while also facilitating neighbourhood meetings and workshops,” Mr Gregory said.

“Apart from the 20 free plants per year, my favourite part of the program is the opportunity to meet with likeminded people and share local garden knowledge and stories, encourage others to start up their own projects and contribute my experience in the creation of a greener future for Ipswich.”

Mr Gregory is passionate about helping others create unique environmental solutions in their gardens; the local landscape architect owns and runs Bombax Design.

Apply now for the Habitat Gardens program

New memberships are now open.

Why should I do it?

You’ll have exclusive access to:

  • 20 free plants per year
  • A closed communication group through Shape Your Ipswich
  • Neighbourhood meetings
  • Workshops
  • Resources
  • Electronic quarterly updates

What are the requirements of the program?

  • Intent to remove all environmental weeds and replace with native species
  • Participation in neighbourhood meetings, workshops and online forums
  • Intent to improve sustainable practices
  • Five year commitment with the option to renew
  • Submission of a report every five years.

To find out more or apply, visit Ipswich City Council’s website.

Local news and info to your inbox

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button