Opportunities taken, opportunities missed.

Reservoir suffers from heat waves. All suburbs do, but some more than others and Reservoir has been identified by our Local Government as high on the heat wave risk raider. There are a number of reasons why, but the reason I am interested in has to do with the lack of vegetation in our streets. In the absence of tall trees with dense canopies, our homes and us are very exposed to direct sunlight and heat.

Hard paving radiates heat back up into your face and body if it has not been shaded during a summers day.

Trees and shrubs also help to reduce the number of air borne particulates that make it into your house. Trees with very fine foliage and density of foliage are better able to trap particulates, which eventually make their way into soil. Trees do not remove particulates but they help to filter them away from your breathing lungs.

As a home owner, or renter (although so much harder for renters) you can contribute to the heat waves by foregoing a garden or you can make the very most of the patch of earth that is temporarily yours and plant every bit of it.

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Acasio’s garden is planted with lots of edible plants, fruit trees, olives and very few paved surfaces.

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This garden has no visible paved surfaces. It has lots of shrubs and flowers. It is one of my favourite gardens as I get a sense that life happens here! It is inviting, welcoming and hospitable. No high fences.

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A simple and clever way to green an otherwise ordinary fence and to increase vegetation.

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A fantastic way to increase vegetation and create some privacy where needed.

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Rio, to support new plants. This ordinary fence will become a ‘green’ wall.

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Green walls that are easy and cheap to install.

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Opportunity missed. Garage takes pride of place over a garden. Stormwater runoff is high when large paved surfaces like these are installed and in summer the paving acts like a heat bank on summer nights.

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Opportunity missed – car takes pride of place.

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A very beautiful garden could have been here.

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Will these Buxus sempervirens make it? Black absorbs more light and more heat. Although bark is a non conductor. It is the colour green that our minds associate with a feeling of being cool not black.

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When neighbours agree, a green fence there will be! These shrubs were planted instead of a fence built.