A garden inspired by the site

Over the last 20 years, we have created a garden, inspired by the site. We are now bound to the site in ways we would never have thought possible. Where we began Our garden of about one hectare is part of a 21 ha property bought in 1997. It was denuded farmland above Port Elliot … Continued

Growing a mini-hedge with native plants

Ever want to grow a mini-hedge with native plants? Many of us are passionate about native plants – how they look, their flowering and form, and the fact that they are uniquely Australian. But what about how natives perform as specific landscape elements, like a hedge, or mini-hedge? Here are points to consider if you … Continued

A Mediterranean garden in South Australia

I am enjoying growing a Mediterranean garden in Moonta Bay, in South Australia. Distinct seasons in a Mediterranean climate A garden in a Mediterranean climate is fun because the seasons are distinct and interesting. They are generally not too harsh to restrict what can be grown. We have wet mild winters, rarely a frost and … Continued

A truly habitat garden

Shirley Carn has created a truly habitat garden. About Shirley Melbourne members of the Australian Plants Society knew Shirley well. She was an amazing plants woman. In the time I knew her she had developed at least 3 gardens. The last two gardens were within cooee of each other in the beautiful volcanic soils of … Continued

Create a sustainable native garden

Introduction When you create a sustainable native garden, you discover the benefits of native plant gardening, from conserving water and providing habitat for local fauna to fostering a sense of place and identity. Explore six essential tips for crafting a thriving native garden, including design considerations, resource conservation, and the importance of experimentation. Join the … Continued

Creating a native cottage garden

Have you ever wondered how to go about creating a cottage garden with native plants? The idea of a cosy cottage garden, with herbaceous borders of annuals and perennials against a backdrop of shrubs and (maybe) a small tree or two, has always been popular. Nowadays smaller gardens continue to make this style popular. In … Continued

Fifty shades of shade

At least fifty shades of shade grace my garden! Shade is easy in my garden – but how much shade and what time of day, month, year! My acre block runs east-west so the sun comes over the 120m length in summer and from the northern side in winter. At this time of year, it … Continued

Focal points in native gardens

Using focal points in native gardens adds interest, just as it has in any garden through the ages. Emerging vision for our native gardens On our gardening pilgrimage towards our own vision of Eden we progress through various stages. Many of us start by wanting to provide a garden for birds. Most of us have … Continued

Foliage for colour and texture and form

Given flowering can be fleeting, we can look to stunning foliage in our native plants, for colour and texture and form. Flowers are a bonus, so go with foliage It’s always difficult to find native plants to fit the bill when there is a plethora of species to choose from. Add to this the various … Continued

Gardening in Townsville…a journey through time

Where I started Originally from northern England my wife and I spent 5 years in Tucson, Arizona before arriving in Townsville North Queensland in 1986. So, the change in environment couldn’t have been more spectacular. Townsville at that time was rightly referred to in the vernacular as ‘Brownsville’, but there were glimpses in the wet … Continued

Groundcovers in garden design

Not only are native groundcovers highly practical, they also play an important role in garden design. Australia has a wealth of choice of groundcovers Is Australia over-endowed with ground-covering plants, or does it just seem that way to me! I have been told that South Africa (and maybe other parts of the world) have more … Continued

How to design a perfumed native garden

Wandering through a fragrant garden is such a treat, so here we outline how to design a perfumed native garden. Have you ever wondered why some plants have perfumed flowers while others don’t? There has to be a reason. Why do plants have fragrance? Plants, like other organisms that have become adapted to their natural … Continued

How to design a small wildlife garden

Ever wanted to design a wildlife garden, but were limited by space? Here’s a guide on how to design a small wildlife garden, by Leigh Murray. Despite having no formal training in design, I found the idea of designing a small 5 metre x 5 metre garden an appealing challenge and had a go. Clarifying … Continued

Lomandras in native garden design

Lomandras are excellent plants to use in native garden design. Wide variety of lomandras on offer With a range of sizes and forms, foliage colours and textures, interesting flowers and general reliability, Lomandra species deserve to be more widely grown. Known commonly as mat rushes, there are over 50 species available in Australia. They grow … Continued

Native plants to attract wildlife

Some Australian native plants have proven ability to attract wildlife. They seem to have a magnetic attraction for birds, butterflies and bees at both our home in Queanbeyan (near Canberra) and our newish holiday house at Tuross Head (on the New South Wales South Coast). I’ve found that the most effective drawcards are those that … Continued

Practical pruning of native plants

I have a practical approach to pruning of native plants. Historically there was no pruning Historically, pruning has not been a feature of Australian plant gardening. In the 1960’s when I began a native plant garden, there was a lack of knowledge. Also there were misconceptions surrounding low care bush or naturalistic gardens. There was … Continued

Pruning Australian native plants for design

Pruning Australian native plants for design is one way to enhance form, size and flowering. For many of us, we aspire to have our gardens be predominantly natural in character. This means we encourage the plants to grow ‘naturally’ with minimal human assistance or training. Others take those extra steps to ‘interpret’ nature a little … Continued

Stunning native rooftop garden

Imagine a rooftop garden full of stunning native plants, blowing in the breeze – it’s magic! Commitment to sustainability Back in 2019, the Mirvac team, Didi Stigter and Victoria Stiles, invited several of us to visit the first indigenous rooftop farm and other cultural gardens at the recently developed South Eveleigh precinct. The rooftop garden … Continued

Stunning showcase at Melton Botanic Gardens

See a stunning showcase of dryland native plants at Melton Botanic Gardens. I have always wanted to visit this garden having seen images of its plants. About the gardens Melton is a relatively young, 25-HA, volunteer-managed botanic garden. Notably, it features dryland Australian native, South African, Californian, and South American species. The area also has … Continued