How Jamie Durie embraces nature when bringing gardens to life

With people having been confined to their own environments, a significant shift has been seen towards embracing natural environments and placing a great deal more emphasis on landscaping. When done properly, this can work in tandem with the natural environment and work to ultimately benefit it, and the climate in general.

Horticulturist, landscape architect and Australian television personality Jamie Durie sat down with Adrian Ramsay for the latter’s podcast Talk Design, where the two spoke at length about multiple topics, including creating cohesive gardens and homes to get the most out of an area, as well as how frustrating unnecessary chemicals in the landscaping game are – because of the negative impact they can have on the world.

The host of House Rules Australia spoke of how innovation and sophisticated materials are being used in his shows to encourage viewers to be forward-thinking and environmentally sustainable when it comes to their own building, renovating, and landscaping plans.

“They’re the things we should all be looking at in what I call the ‘future build’,” he said.

When discussing the topic, Jamie said there are a couple of factors which inform his – and by proxy, others’ – thinking.

“Yes, it should fit within the environment it’s in, but how do we create the lowest impact in that house moving forward, functioning as a daily household? What is the energy consumption, what is the carbon footprint?

“What does that house leave behind after we’re dead and buried? That’s the really important point.”

The podcast episode covered several topics but highlighted the importance of sustainability and carbon neutrality – with someone with as high a profile as the TV host’s making the most of it to push and promote his ecologically-sound message.

“Climate change is something that’s upon us,” he said, “Whether we think it’s caused by humans or not, we do know that we’re producing carbon, and we do know that carbon is waste, and we wouldn’t throw rubbish on the streets, so let’s not throw it in the atmosphere.”

Host Adrian Ramsay took the discussion in a multitude of directions, including Jamie championing the use of what he calls ‘pioneer plants’.

“(They) have a lifespan of 15 years,” he said, “And they’re called ‘pioneer plants’ for a reason: they create lovely, wide habitats. You’ve seen those images of Acacias in Africa – their foliage is like a tabletop. That’s what nature has intended to do, because when the Acacias throw out that umbrella-style canopy, what exists underneath it is what we call a microclimate.

“That enables the shade, and the nutrients, and the reverse transpiration to keep the moisture in the soil and stop the wind erosion so that the plants underneath it can get a good start.

“It’s how forests regenerate.”

The conversation, which spanned close to an hour, is another in a series of chats the Sunshine Coast designer has had with high-profile and acclaimed designers, architects, artists, and creators of all trades from multiple places around the world.

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