Gardens and the Bush: Gardeners' Attitudes, Garden Types and Invasives
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Zagorski, T and Kirkpatrick, JB and Stratford, E, Gardens and the Bush: Gardeners' Attitudes, Garden Types and Invasives, Australian Geographical Studies, 42, (2) pp. 207-220. ISSN 0004-9190 (2004) [Refereed Article]
Garden plants that invade native vegetation can be a threat to native ecosystems. The species composition of gardens near the bush in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia is shown to relate to environmental variation and the attitudes of gardeners to their recreation, to native plants and to the bush. Four types of gardens are discriminated: the species-poor shrub garden; the local native garden; the woodland garden; and the gardenesque. A group of gardeners who valued functional gardens, and the hard work in creating a garden, largely produced gardenesque outcomes. A strongly conservationist group of gardeners had native, woodland or shrub gardens. A group of gardeners who valued romance and privacy largely had woodland gardens. A small group of gardeners who liked gardens to create themselves, and preferred to minimize the act of gardening, tended to the shrub garden outcome. Plant species that invade the bush are least frequent in the more manicured shrub and gardenesque styles of garden than in the more informal local native and woodland gardens, in a dissonance between expressed attitudes and outcomes. Most of the most invasive weeds in the bush are shown to be independent of their occurrence in adjacent gardens, suggesting that integrated control programs involving both all gardeners within dispersal range, and bush managers, are necessary. The existence of a small number of respondents who see benefits in environmental weeds in their gardens, suggests that such programs would be ineffective without regulation, a solution offered by no respondent. However, regulation might be ineffective without community understanding, the raising of which was the main solution suggested by the interviewed gardeners. © Institute of Australian Geographers 2004.
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