Some high profile garden designers believe that we are beginning to see increased interest in Australian native plants in private and public garden spaces across Australia. Reasons? They are well adapted to our climatic and soils conditions, particularly to the extremes of heat and cold if you pick the right plants. There are also a growing number of propagators and plant breeders who are interested to select new cultivars of native plants that are well suited to domestic garden spaces-producing beautiful flowers, attractive foliage, suitable for hedging, eyecatching structure, or all of the above.
So…here goes with some suggested native plants for different functions in the gardens of our region. Hedging – Westringia(cultivar Grey Box) is great for low, “formal” hedging; Dodonaea (purple leaf hop bush) for slightly higher (2m) “informal” hedges; Callistemon (bottle brush) for higher (up to 3m) screens.
Groundcovers – Grevillia bronze rambler or Banksia roller coaster; Myoporum (creeping boobialla). Colourful flowering shrubs – Correa (beautiful bell shaped flowers-red, white or pink); Grevillias Lady O (red flowers), Hills jubilee (pink and white flowers), Moonlight (cream flowers); Eremophila (emu bush) with striking silver foliage; Leptospermum Mesmer eyes; Philotheca (wax flower).
Small trees – Eucalyptus Euky dwarf or Corimbia ficifolia Baby Scarlet (both red flowering small gum trees); Eucalyptus Little Snowman (white flowering, dwarf snow gum)
Larger trees – Eucalyptus viminalis (ribbon gum) or Eucalyptus scoparia (white gum); Casuarina cunninghamiana (she-oak). The species and cultivars listed above are just the start. Many of us probably don’t realise the full range of possible native plants and trees that are suited to our region’s gardens. One way you can investigate the possibilities of native plants for your garden could be to join the Australian Plants Society NSW, which has a central west regional group (see www.austplants.com.au/centralwest).
Ian Rogan-Millthorpe Garden Nursery