Tips to create a healthy native Australian garden


Kangaroo Paw.
Kangaroo Paw.

Creating a native Australian garden

Choosing to grow native plants in your garden will benefit you, the local wildlife and the environment.

Not only pleasing on the eye, they save you time and money and also help support our birdlife and insects.

Perth horticulturalist Neil Miles of Planted Passion Horticultural Services shares his tips on growing a stunning, healthy native garden.

It’s a misconception that gardens planted with Aussie natives thrive on neglect.

It’s important to prepare the soil well and have an ongoing maintenance program for adding nutrients, pruning and care.

Australian native garden plants can be used to create a cottage style garden, such as brachycome daisy, boronia, correa, kangaroo paw and dampiera.

Australian native garden design options can include:

– Creating a forest of plants at various heights from tree to groundcover;

– Add gabion walls for retaining, seating areas, or dramatic entranceways;

– Using soft materials such as woodchip and sawdust for pathways;

– Incorporating large rocks, aged wooden sleepers and rough cut logs for interest and a place to sit;

– Installing nesting boxes for parrots;

– Adding screens made from timber or aged steel;

– Using red sand with grasses, for a dramatic inland desert effect;

– Building a shallow pond to sustain native frogs; and

– Using sandstone for low walls and steps.

Shaded areas can be planted with Australian natives too, providing hardy and attractive options. Kentia palms and tree ferns for height, with a deep green ground cover such as dichondra, make a great combination for a dappled light area.

If you need to cover a fence or wall, popular climbing native plants are hardenbergia (native lilac) or kennedia (running postman).

For screening and windbreaks, the lilly pilly and coastal rosemary are both excellent performers, and new cultivars of bottlebrush can be clipped into a low hedge.