A Designers Perspective
By Gary Winter
Sustaining life means different things to different people and each individual and group working toward improving our planet and the life which resides upon it, is doing so in their own unique way.
When I look at my own needs and desires, they are heavily geared toward the simple and natural areas of life. Healthy food and environments, inner peace, warm and loving relationships, connections with animals, gardens and the environment at large, along with opportunities to enrich my own life through different cultural experiences.
My life, and through my observations, the lives of others, are often balanced and/or improved through all of the above surroundings. People seem to healthier, happier, more inspired, more peaceful, more helpful, more caring, more giving, and have more to offer in general through these connections.
I have reached a point in my life where I can assist people, animals and the environment as a whole. Through my design, landscaping and horticultural skills, I implement gardens that help bring as many of the above elements together as is possible.
In doing so, I also benefit by applying my knowledge, skills and my future learnings to my life and my surroundings to live a healthier, happier, and more enriched life.
From a design perspective, my aim is to design gardens that are not only visually and functionally sound and appealing, but also: improve soil structure and fertility in an organic manner and to use plants and trees that ‘give back’ in terms of replenishing the soil while also being edible and/or used for medicinal purposes. They are plants that not only attract wildlife for people to appreciate but give the wildlife a home. They address water catchment opportunities on the site for garden and other uses. They are detached from our stormwater branches to keep our oceans cleaner and provide additional economic benefits. They improve the health of our beloved pets by taking their needs into consideration with shade, shelter, non-poisonous plants and room to play. The result is an opportunity for us as human beings, to benefit from all these environmental aspects.