If I differentiate the back of the house from the front, the two spaces each have a different combination of energies or microclimate. For example, the back yard has the air moving quite differently as it tumbles off the multi-story house at the rear. Whereas the front yard is somewhat sheltered from the wind by our own home and the surrounding limestone wall. The back yard is mostly shaded, whereas the front yard is in full sun, apart from one section that has some afternoon shade from the neighbour’s carport.
All the garden ‘soil’ is black sand, alkaline, free draining, and repels water.
We are considering installing a greywater reuse system and rainwater tanks as Perth’s 800 mm rainfall is reducing each year. The sprinkler ban during winter and now back to only being able to use irrigation twice per week is not enough to easily manage a lush food producing garden.
At the moment I consider myself fortunate in that I have the opportunity to grow my own food and that it is still a choice. That is, if I don’t grow food in my garden I can go to the shops and I buy what I need. It may not be as tasty, and there will be dozens of other decisions to make such as do I buy the local oranges from Gin Gin, Western Australia, oranges from South Australia, or from California. And that is not including the varieties or whether to buy organic or biodyanmic.
Eventually, we will have the greywater reuse system, rainwater tanks, solar hot water system fixed and back on the roof (currently we are using gas), and a photovoltaic system. We already have a pretty light carbon footprint, but we will do our best to look at ways of reducing it further.
Working with the climate, adapting to it, I feel is a better way of living sustainably and increasing resilience. So no, we won’t be installing the exterior uplights, swimming pool, or airconditioner that appears to be the new home essentials.