Native plants don't appeal to everybody, with their natural, scrubby, bushy style. If you're after a garden that's contemporary in style, with cleaner, geometric lines and manicured beds, you wouldn't automatically think of natives...
But why not? As Brendan points out, Australian native plants are right for our environment, they thrive in our climate, and they help restore the ecology by attracting back the native wildlife.
Things to consider
- By separating your natives and embracing the space between each plant the delicate beauty in each plant is emphasised. The effect will be one of gentle order rather than bushy chaos.
- Using natives in your garden in a contemporary style is more about placement than the types of plants that you choose.
- There are so many varieties of natives – flower, fruit, evergreen, or deciduous – that you have has many choices available as exotics or European species.
- Take advantage of the expertise available at specialist nurseries across Australia. Not all native plants grow well in every part of the country, and a specialist nursery can tell you which ones are suitable for your area. Or contact your local council for information on plants native to your area.
- Just about any recognised garden style can be adapted to use native plants. Even formal and parterre styles can lend themselves to native plants.
- There are more than 16,000 varieties of native plants, and the native colour palette is spectacular – brilliant reds and pinks, luscious yellows and oranges, and vibrant blues and purples.
- Natives work beautifully in inner-city urban gardens, creating a wonderfully bushy atmosphere contained in a stylish, contemporary setting.
Brendan visited two beautiful native gardens
- Designer Pamela Batters has ensured compact growth, small stature and tight flower formation are features of this native garden, displayed in these fine examples of kangaroo paws, and newer varieties such as "bush gems". It's abeautifully designed traditional native garden, featuring Conostylis (silver leaves), Helichrysums (yellow daisies), Kangaroo paws in pink and yellow, grass trees, and kangaroo grass.
- Designed by Ted Whittley, this is a native garden with a contemporary edge. Situated in a courtyard setting at the back of an inner-city terrace, the design as well as location is not your typical native garden expectation. The geometric layout gives the garden a formal edge while the random planting of colour and texture, and combination of natives and exotics, relaxes the design into a less formal style. The native plants, including kangaroo paw, grevilleas and a weeping Western Australian gum, have brought birds such as honeyeaters into the garden. The garden also boasts the hardy succulent Agave, Papyrus, Red-flowering Coral Pea and Cycad.
Garden Designer: Ted Whittley
Ph: 0417 219 109