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Outdoor living

Lawns and landscaping

A landscaped garden


Lawns are responsible for up to 90% of the water used in the average garden. Designing your garden to withstand times of low rainfall, including reducing lawn areas, can bring a range of benefits. Minimising the need for maintenance, water and other resources with a water-smart garden means you'll have more time to sit back and enjoy your oasis. Things to consider include:

  • Replacing lawn areas with easy to maintain renewable woodchips. Identify lawn areas you currently don't use and turn these into garden beds. Besides saving on water use, other benefits sure to please include easy maintenance, and no more noise and air pollution from all the equipment required for trimming, edging and cutting. Your family and neighbours wanting to have a weekend sleep-in will love you for it.
  • Planting native species. Fill your newly mulched and chipped area with water-efficient, low maintenance, local native species that will attract birds and wildlife. As you look out on your new habitat, think of all the time and resources saved on mowing, watering, weeding or fertilising.
  • Measuring up. If you do want a lawn area, plan for the size you need for household activities, and consider planting drought-tolerant and native varieties that'll require less water.
  • Reducing the amount of water your lawn and garden needs. Setting your mower to cut at 4cm or higher provides greater protection for soil so it doesn't dry out as quickly. Water your lawn deeply and infrequently instead of lightly and often to encourage a deeper root system and better water retention. Try out our other water-saving and planting ideas for creating a greener garden.
  • Reducing the need for heating and cooling. Well selected trees and shrubs can help reduce your heating and cooling bills. Plant shade trees that will keep the summer sun out and let the winter sun in to your home. Follow our tips on passive design or talk to a landscaping expert for more ideas
  • Selecting the right pump. Reduce the running costs of decorative ponds and fountains by choosing a solar pump and keeping your water clean and healthy at the same time.
  • Choosing equipment wisely. Consider our tips on choosing and using a mower, leaf blower and other lawn equipment so you can reduce your lawn's environmental impact and save time and money too.