Bring Your Garden To Life With Native Australian Plants
Australian native plants are a wonderful addition to any Australian domestic garden. Many Australian plants are very adaptable and easy to grown in your garden, but there are a few important points to consider. A native plant that grows well in dry inland regions, can hardly be expected to grow in a wet coastal climate! Therefore, it’s important to know and understand the relevant climate and soil requirements of Australian native plants before attempting to grow them in your garden.
It’s also important to note that Australian native plants should never be removed from the bush. It is illegal to dig up plants, pick flowers, or collect seeds from them. Most of the native Australian plant species are protected, so please keep this in mind, and only purchase native plants through reputable nurseries.
Interest has grown over recent years with respect to mixing both native Australian plants and exotic plants in the home garden. Australia is wonderful country, and we have some excellent native plant varieties that contribute well to the layout, structure, and form of a domestic garden.
It is said that Australian native plants require little attention, given they grow with relative ease in our harsh bushland. This however is not true, and you will find most native plants respond best to care in a well tendered garden. Some native plants will grow naturally even in the likes of poor soil, while others resent applications of fertilisers and other plant growth products. Native Australian plants will not tolerate excessive cultivation and root disturbance, as many of these plants only have shallow roots. Many native plants need to be grown in well drained soil, with gardens containing sandy, gravelly, or volcanic soil usually giving the best results. Mulching with grass or other compost matter is highly recommended, and will act as a weed deterent!
There is such a wide variety of Australian native plants to choose for inclusion in your garden:
Ground Covers – These are all low growing plants or prostate plants and include the likes of Grevillea Larel which rarely grows higher than 12″ but can spread to around 6 feet across. Its popularity is due to its quick growing habit, and the red (tooth-brush) like flowers it has during spring and summer. Another quick growing native ground cover is Kennedya (Scarlet Coral Pea) which is a perennial evergreen, and great for providing your garden with a carpet effect.
Small Plants – For smaller gardens, one of the most typical native Australian plants is the ‘Yellow Kangaroo Paw’, which grows very well in most conditions.
Native Climbers - There are hundreds of attractive native climbers ranging from the white flowered Clematis (Travellers Joy), which is usually seen scrambling over trees, to the (Black Coral Pea) with its thick glossy foliage and purple/black flowers.
Shrubs – Among the most common native shrubs is the brown Boronia, and the lemon scented Tea Tree.
Average Sized Trees - These have a mature height of 10 metres, and are very popular in suburban gardens. The Acacia (Wattle) and (Red Flowering Gums) both have fantastic displays of flowers during the winter and spring months, in addition to the Banksia, which is another common choice.
Large Sized Trees – The larger Australian plant species such as the Eucalyptus (Tasmanian Blue Gum) and Grevillea (Silky Oak) grow to around 20 metres, have attractive foliage and flowers, but obviously require an adequate area in space for growth.
When choosing your Australian native plants, be sure to check its mature height and spread. Some trees and shrubs grow extremely high, and can spread over wide areas, so be smart about what and where you plant. In small inner city gardens, it’s not uncommon to see saplings of a large tree, which over time will be unsuitable when fully grown.
When planning your garden to include native Australian plants, don’t attempt to be too formal with the setting. Native plants can be seen at their best if planted to give the appearance of natural bushland. Once of the key benefits to planting Australian native plants is the fact that for the most part they require only little maintenance. Like all gardens, the plants still need to be tendered to, however those with limited time for regular gardening upkeep will find planting a native garden an advantage.