It’s that time of year when the weather is warming up and we start to feel like getting out into our gardens. Spring offers a vast array of beautiful plants to enhance our outdoor spaces, but perhaps consider adding some of Australia’s easier care, less thirsty and hardier native varieties to provide a glorious garden display. An added bonus is that our native plants also encourage a large variety of beautiful wildlife and gorgeous native birds to our gardens. Many birds are beneficial in helping to rid the garden of insect pests. Bees are also encouraged by bright blooms and nectar producing flowers.
Grevillea are already a popular ground covering plant and there are many different varieties available. They are considered to be part of the protea family. From prostrate ground covers to taller plants, these hardy evergreens provide a haven for pollinating bees foraging with their beautiful bright flowers. The prostrate varieties are useful in keeping the weeds at a minimum. They like a well drained soil and are generally a very tough and easy to grow plant. Cutting back dead flowers will encourage more to grow.
The callistemon is from the bottlebrush family and is a very popular addition to the coastal Australian garden. Known for their attractiveness to our beautiful native birds and parrots, they are also remarkably easy to grow and maintain. These woody shrubs are very hardy and require little maintenance while providing a colourful display. They like a sunny spot and aren’t fond of highly alkaline soils. The unique flower shape of the bottlebrush is a delight and there are many varieties available throughout Australia.
Banksias are one of Australia’s most beautiful natives with their distinctive flower. They enjoy a sunny spot in the garden and prefer well drained soil. These Australian wildflowers are also popular garden plants are easily recognised by their characteristic flower spikes and fruiting “cones” and heads. Banksias range in size from prostate woody shrubs to trees up to 30 metres tall. Banksias also have bottle brush shaped flowers, yet they are not the same plant. They do attract insects because of the nectar flowers produce.
Lilly pillies are native Australian smaller trees and are distinctive because of their gorgeous glossy leaves and their ability to produce dense foliage in your garden. Because they are hardy they grow well in sun or shade, and like a well drained soil to thrive. The large varieties of lilly pilly available mean it can be used as a low hedge, a screen or as higher dense shrub like plantings. Some of lilly pilly varieties produce small berries which are considered by Indigenous Australians to be bush tucker. If you are growing your lilly pilly in a pot it will need to be kept well watered as they dry out quickly.
We have all seen the stunning cordyline gracing many coastal gardens. The distinctive spear like scarlet leaves create a dramatic display, and they are also hardy and easy to grow. They are truly water wise plants, flourishing when it rains, but also staying healthy and alive in drought conditions. They like both sun and shade and will flower in summer. They are very easy care and together with other Australian natives can provide a gorgeous display in our garden.
Bonville Landscape Supplies has a wide range of natives available for your spring/summer planting. Along with sound advice and experience, we also provide everything you need from mulch, soil and pots to enhance your gardens this summer.