Published in the Toronto Star – February 10, 2018
Fusion gardens are about to blow our minds.
A growing number of professionals in the gardening world are bringing many of the natural benefits of a garden together under one exciting concept called ‘Fusion gardening’ and the concept is nothing short of revolutionary.
Many aspects of Fusion gardening contradict our traditional vision of what a beautiful garden looks like. It is true; the idea of a front yard dominated by a broad sweep of impatiens and the picture-perfect lawn is dead. Or, at least, it is not a viable idea in the minds of new gardeners.
Fusion gardens, above all, replace our desire to move water off our property as fast as possible with a management system that puts rain water to effective use. Rain gardens are created when you lower the grade of your yard and sequester rain water to grow plants that are suited to wet locations. More accurately, when a rain garden in the spring dries out in the summer, the seasonal performing plants thrive in heat and dryness. In a fast paced, mid-summer deluge of rain the same plants tolerate ground water, soaking it up and storing much of it for use during dry spells.
Bio swales, rain barrels and garden ponds can play a role in diverting and managing rain water also.
What is a Fusion Landscape Professional?
A Fusion Landscape Professional (FLP) is an industry certified expert that can help homeowners create the garden and outdoor space of their dreams. This new training and certification was developed by Landscape Ontario, in partnership with the Region of Peel and the Regional Municipality of York. The training provides landscape professionals with the tools and knowledge to design, install and maintain beautiful landscapes that optimize the use of rainwater. Interested landscape companies can send representatives to Landscape Ontario, our industry trade association offices in Milton, to take the certification course on Fusion landscaping principles.
What is Fusion Gardening?
Fusion Landscape Professional’s use established design principles to create beautiful gardens that effectively manage water on a property and lessen the impact on municipal infrastructure. You wonder why your local government would help develop a certification program for landscape professionals? Here is your answer. It costs a lot of money for a municipality to manage rain water, especially ‘storm water’. The more water that can be diverted onto your property and sequestered there the better for them and the lower the costs of managing storm water.
It is just a good idea!
Fusion gardening makes a whole lot of sense to us. First, rain water is a resource, not a waste product. So why would we be in a hurry to send it to ‘the lake’, when our own gardens can benefit from the use of it? Think of it this way, while many gardens rush water away from the property during a heavy rain fall, the same home owners will turn on sprinklers as soon as the ground becomes dry. How much sense does that make?
A Fusion garden is designed to absorb ‘excess’ rain water, support bio-diversity and reduce maintenance costs. Sean Hayes, president of Clintar Landscape Management in Brampton has filled training spots for the program and has this to say, “I have noticed that some clients assume these design and maintenance strategies are going to be more expensive than typical garden designs. But it does not have to be more expensive and, in fact, clients can actually save a lot of money on the back end.”
This means that you will use less water to maintain your garden or none at all when you switch to ‘Fusion’ gardening. Many Fusion garden plants are self-maintaining and do not need to be hand watered after they are established, and the new garden is designed to manage large volumes of water from the beginning.
Take a moment right now to reflect on bird song, bees buzzing in an abundance of native flowers and the smell of spring rain as it warms the soil. There are three images that are enhanced through Fusion garden design.
Fusion at Canada Blooms.
In exactly one month the largest garden festival in Canada comes to Toronto and Fusion gardening will be featured. Landscape Ontario will have a Fusion feature garden, designed by Anna van Maris and Parklane Landscapes, that will be a knock-out. Plan on visiting to learn more about it.
Fusion garden design is here to stay, and it is a concept of gardening in the future.