Parkland Villas residents learn how to improve their soil and gardens from sustainability expert Chris Fereira


Sustainability expert Chris Fereira with village resident Libby Elliot.
Sustainability expert Chris Fereira with village resident Libby Elliot.

PERTH sustainability expert Chris Fereira treated residents at Ellenbrook retirement village Parkland Villas to a gardening workshop earlier this month.

He showed the 70 residents who attended how to improve their arid soil and enhance their native gardens.

Mr Ferreira started the Forever Project in 2003 to address interest around WA’s sustainability issues and protecting the natural environment.

“Our Great Gardens program allows our communities to affect real and lasting change for a sustainable, happy and prosperous future,” he said.

“WA has the worst soil in the world, so it’s no surprise that growing anything lush and lasting in Ellenbrook is a challenge, given the whole area is devoid of natural nutrients and organic material.”

The session inspired the residents to ensure soil preparation and the use of natives were prioritised, especially in the village’s communal gardens.

“Today was an enlightened day for us gardeners in the village,” resident Libby Elliot said.

“Chris really prompted us to rethink our mindset and continually go back to ensuring our soil and foundations are improved.

“Water really is our most precious resource, so tips on adding clay to increase the water solubility is really the start to a great garden; get the base right and everything will thrive.”

The village was given a ‘sand to soil’ recipe, ensuring the plants would thrive.

Residents will also use more drought-resistant natives such as native wisteria in their communal gardens in the future.

“I’ve definitely noticed an increase in bird life back to the natives,” Ms Elliot said.

“It’s lovely to watch and we also know it’s sustainable and lasting, which is wonderful.”