This is based on a 5 page article by Jill Dawson printed in the Indigenous Flora and Fauna newsletter. After a year of explaining the principles to kids, we came up with this below. Now we think one word says it all – HEALTH
- Native plants bring native creatures;
- More is better!
More variety of plants and creatures makes a healthier ecosystem or web of life. Just like we choose our favourite foods at a restaurant, so each creature has it’s favourite plants. We want the balance that comes from a complete ecosystem or the whole shebang. An out-of-balance ecosystem can have lots of pests like mosquitoes.
- Gum trees
They can live for hundreds of years, locally we have some that are 1000 years old. They need their whole family of shrubs, flowers and grasses around them to stay healthy, and they need worms.
They take up space that native plants could be in. Weeds come up from the ground and in with the wind. With no light, weeds will die, so we cover the ground with newspaper or cardboard. When native grasses and flowers cover the ground (not just shrubs and trees) there is no room for the weeds. We can replace weeds with native plants.
Add wood chip mulch on top of the paper or cardboard to make ground level habitat for insects that brings all sorts of creatures, including worms.