Green thumbs can learn about food growing, gardening and water saving using new techniques and technology at a series of free workshops at Bullaburra on March 1.
Hosted by award-winning sustainable Now & Zen Landscapes, guest presenters will include master landscaper and educator Shannon Decker who will demonstrate new steam weeding technology.
Now & Zen Landscapes (derived from the common saying “now and then’’) has operated for 20 years and is the yardstick for the highest end bespoke garden market in the Greater Blue Mountains, Nepean and Central West where projects are limited only by imagination.
Ian Collins from WaterUps From Down Under, which is making significant inroads into combating water waste, will talk about how to save water using wicking beds.
He grew up on an orchard near Orange, where his father was one of the pioneers in organic farming in the early 1970s.
Manu Prigioni from the Farm It Forward program, which links residents who have unused garden plots with volunteer food growers, will outline the program and how property owners can get involved.
One of the co-ordinators of the Lyttleton Stores Co-operative initiative at Lawson, she has a background in permaculture, soil ecology and restorative farming.
The workshops were a chance for home gardeners to learn from experts, Mr Decker said: “Ian, Manu and I are so passionate about sustainability and reducing water waste that we are prepared to share our knowledge for free.
“We are all custodians of this earth and we must work together to look after it.’’
The free workshops will be held at the new Now & Zen Landscapes showroom, 351 Great Western Hwy, Bullaburra, from 10am to 12pm on Sunday, March 1.
The Blue Mountains has cemented its place at the leading edge of landscape design, after Now & Zen Landscapes won two gold awards at the industry’s most prestigious awards earlier this month [Nov 8].
All NSW & ACT Landscape Industry Awards were for work completed in the Blue Mountains by a completely local team.
Headed by master landscaper Shannon Decker, Now & Zen Landscapes took out best in category and gold for Residential Construction $100,000 to $150,000 for work on a property in Sublime Point Rd, Leura.
It also brought home bronze awards in the residential construction section ($100,000 to $150,000 category) for projects at Leura and Wentworth Falls and $150,000 to $300,000 for a Leslie Rd, Glenbrook property.
The highest accolades in the industry, the annual TLA Landscape Excellence Awards recognise innovation, creativity and outstanding craftsmanship in landscape construction, design and maintenance residential and commercial sectors.
Sublime Point Rd, Leura, property owners Jane and Alan Cooper, who have commissioned Now & Zen for garden design and maintenance work for more than a decade, said they were “thrilled with the final result and the attention to detail’’ and not surprised their new outdoor living area and kitchen won the top award.
“We wanted to have a beautiful and functional outdoor area that blended with the modern lines of the house design and the water feature.’’
The Now & Zen design gave the space a modern feel and made the most of the magnificent view over the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
Committed to excellence, Mr Decker said he was proud to continue the tradition of landscaping excellence the likes of Danish-born Paul Sorensen who created renowned Blue Mountains gardens such as Everglades and Leuralla.
“It’s nice to swap our cargo pants for a bag of fruit now and then and celebrate the collective achievements of our industry.
“I was stoked to win these awards, but I was even more excited at the number of talented people in our industry, including here in the Blue Mountains, doing some truly outstanding work, which pushes us all to reach higher standards.
“It’s such an exciting time for landscaping, with new technology and products coming out all the time and property owners who embrace sustainability, water-saving designs and drought resistant gardens yet without compromise on beauty.
“I’m especially excited that regional landscaping has been recognised and the possibilities that presents to landscapers in some of the nation’s most significant rural and country areas, where the scope of design can be greatly magnified by the scale of the landscape.”
Now & Zen (derived from the common saying “now and then’’) has operated in the Blue Mountains for 20 years supporting sustainability and resourcefulness and is the yardstick for the highest end bespoke garden market in the Nepean valley, Greater Blue Mountains and Central West.
Mr Decker himself is the local industry authority, recently headhunted by one of Australia’s oldest recognised training organisations, The Management Edge (TME), to run its NSW and broad horticultural training program working with employers and was recently invited to sit with the board of directors of The landscape Association, given his cohesion with metropolitan and regional areas and passion for training.
As well as an 80-acre property at Mt Victoria where concrete and soil is recycled and green waste composted, Mr Decker has built an off-the-grid ironstone and iron bark house and he and his family recently opened The Source bulk foods store focusing on zero waste shopping with an old charm shopping experience.