Australian Native Gardens may conjure up images of uninspiring, lifeless bush gardens with sparse, dull grey foliage but this isn’t the case anymore. With modern Australian garden design’s increasing preference for the use of local, sustainable, organic materials that blend seamlessly with the surrounding landscape, Australian native plants have never been more popular and they can be easily incorporated into any style of garden.
Not only are Indigenous gardens sustainable, with lower maintenance requirements than other gardens, but native plants are surprisingly easy to maintain and propagate, they’re fauna-friendly and are typically less water-hungry than other plants.
The richness and diversity of the Australian landscape also mean there are native plants to suit almost any garden situation and any climate. If you have ever doubted the beauty of natives for your garden you will be amazed at just how lush, contemporary and easily convertible to your existing outdoor space natives can be.
Native gardens can also be full of design elements and points of interest which work best using organic, naturalistic design.
Think crushed granite pathways, timber sleepers for garden bed edging, rustic recycled containers and curved and fluid lines avoiding formality for the overall garden design layout.
Colour in an Australian Native Garden
Colour is one of the first things most people notice when they look at any garden and you can still have this with drought-tolerant natives.
You can achieve colour in the garden by using natives with similar tones to exotics with a base of bright green and your favourite colours layered over the top. Coppers, silvers and bronzes of foliage, barks or gravels help bring the natural bush landscape colour palette into your outdoor space.
Native plants with colourful flowers are Anigozanthos (kangaroo paw), Callistemon (bottlebrush), Xerochrysum (Everlasting daisies), Brachyscome (Australian native daisies), Corymbia Ficifolia (flowering gum), Banksia, Grevilleas, Hakeas, NSW Christmas Bush and the Acacia (wattle).
Contrasting Form and Texture with Natives
Just as important as colour are form and texture and the keyword here is contrast. As with exotic gardens, each space needs complementary visual foliage aspects such as vertical spikes with mounds, furry with glossy or strappy with spherical. Our eyes are attracted to contrasts and it holds our interest drawing us to each area.
You can use a variety of grasses, desert plants, shrubs, ground cover, succulents, herbs, food plants, fruit and berries to create a diverse Australian native garden.
Other popular Australian natives are: Birds Nest Fern (fern style), Lilly Pilly (Syzygium smithii -a hedging option), Lomandra (grass like ground cover), Pandorea (climbers)
Whilst it is easy to find thousands of photographs of beautiful English or French gardens, there are not a lot of examples of the modern Australian Native Garden for our reference, because they are a relatively new trend for us as complete landscape design concepts. The basic design principles are all the same though.
If it all seems a little too hard to be part of the new bush garden trend, don’t be put off. You don’t have to start with a blank canvas to create an Australian Native Garden, just start adding some indigenous species – plants that grow naturally in your local area that work with your existing garden scheme and let it evolve. The result will be a very drought-tolerant and wildlife-friendly garden.
Luke and the team at Fresh Perspective Landscapes would love to work with you designing a beautiful, trendy Australian Native Garden that will thrive. Give Luke a call 0434 355 066 or Contact Us Now for an initial free quote or visit us on Facebook.