There are few cities as green as Victoria. Our multitude of mature trees and abundance in plant life all year round has made us the envy of Canada. The pride of most of our parks and green spaces has to be our Garry Oaks. The unique ecosystem supported by these gnarled, freeform trees are not only radiant and cheerful places, but they also offer our region abundant biodiversity.
While once making up the bulk of our coastline, Garry Oak habitats have vastly disappeared. Many local homeowners, though, have decided to curb this trend and develop their property into a native ecosystem. This idea is attractive for a number of reasons.
- Native plants are already accustomed to our climate so you don’t have to douse your yard with toxic chemical fertilizers or herbicides.
- It is a chance to shrink your water bill as these plants do not have to be watered nearly as much as their imported counterparts.
- The main draw is the diversity of wildlife that these gardens attract all year round.
Growing the Value of your Home
A native Garry Oak ecosystem in your yard can also impact your property value. The low maintenance associated with native plant gardens is attractive to home buyers, and nothing adds to curb appeal like mature and stately Oak trees. The wide variety of colours and blossoms of our indigenous plants mean that you can make your garden visually spectacular.
The days are over for homes to have cookie cutter lawns and dull lifeless yards. In Victoria, we have grown to respect our natural heritage and most people want to reflect that in their homes. It is part of what makes this city a great place to live.
More information can be found at the Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team. There is also a free downloadable guidebook if you are interested in transforming your property into a Garry Oak ecosystem.