Saturday, August 14, 2010

in my new native garden

Over the past fortnight or so I’ve been digging up my front lawn and planting a native garden. Planting a native garden is one of my goals for 2010, and it is a great feeling to be able to tick it off the list. The plan was to reduce the amount of lawn we have to maintain (we now have a small patch of lawn just large enough for a picnic rug) and have a water wise bird attracting garden that increased our privacy at the front of the house.

This post is mostly for my benefit – a log of all the plants that I have put into my garden that I am unlikely to loose. A visual record of what they look like at the time they were planted. I wonder how long it will take before I notice the plants thriving and blooming.


kangaroo pawKangaroo Paw - Anigozanthos hybrid 'Amber Velvet'up to 50cm high; flowering spring and early summer; bird attracting; full sun; trim back after flowering.

I’ve planted seven of this variety of kangaroo paw down the southern edge of our driveway. They should look spectacular over the summer when they’re in flower. I’m planning to plant some more kangaroo paw for this area of the garden. Umming and arghing about yellow or red or yellow and red. Decided that I don’t want black even though they’re stunning because I panted the fence charcoal.



winter flowering bottle brushWinter flowering bottlebrush - kunzea-baxteri  – shrub 2m high  x 3m across, red bottlebrush flowers in the winter, attracting honey eaters; full sun; trim to desired shape.

I’ve planted four of these bottlebrush down the southern fence line hoping that they grow to form a small screening hedge. The red flowers should look so stunning and dramatic against the charcoal fence. In this picture the foliage of the plant looks a bit yellowish – that’s because I bought the super special $2 root bound pots. With some tender love and care these bottlebrush should be just fine (touch wood!). You’ll also note that you can see the old colour of the fence – the mulch should conceal this.







everlastingsPink & White Everlastingrhodanthe chlorocephala subsp. Roseaerect annual herb 20 – 60cm; flowers pink and white from August to November, full sun/part shade; prefers well drained sandy soil; responds well to any fertiliser and regular watering

I’ve planted these at the front of our letter box. Apparently Everlastings will self-seed for the following year – fingers crossed!




little smokie Little Smokie – Olearia – compact silver shrub 50cm high x 1m across with soft grey foliage; full sun; trim to keep compact; limestone tolerant.

I’ve planted eight little smokies – four in the garden bed on the northern side of the driveway and four in front on the splendid wattles as a border plant to the lawn on the verge. This little plant is tricky to photograph against the Perth sandy soil, but the foliage will look stunning against mulch once it is laid and amongst the green foliage of the surrounding plants.



spring mistSpring Misteremophila niveasmall shrub to 1.5m; lilac tubular flowers spring and summer; soft silver foliage; full sun/part shade; trim to desired shape.

Five Spring Mist plants have been planted parallel yet offset to the splendid wattles on the side closest to the house.










badgingarra BadgingarraCalothamnus villosusdense shrub to 1 metre; red flowers in spring/summer, honey eater attracting; full sun; trim to desired shape after flowering excellent for hedging.

I’ve planted three badgingarra at the top of the driveway, one on the northern side of the driveway and two on the other. Fingers crossed I won’t run over one whilst backing out – the one on the northern side is most at risk but to date has stayed safe.




hairy lechenaultia Hairy Lechenaultia Lechenaultia hirsutus – small shrub 30cm x 50cm; deep red flowers

I planted three of these little plants – the bright red flowers are spectacular – but already one has died and the other looks a bit dodgy. I might need to put some stakes near this little plant as the children seem to be stomping them to death.





swan river myrtleSwan River MyrtleHypoclymma robustum - shrub to 1m; rich pink flowers during winter and spring; full sun/part shade; trim after flowering to keep compact

I’ve planted three of these wispy and. whimsical shrubs in the garden bed north of the driveway. This photo does not do the plant justice. Its sweet pink blooms are delightful. Truly lovely.




orthrosanthos polystachyusMorning Iris - Orthrosanthus Polystachyus – clumping grass to 60cm, blue flower spikes in spring, full sun/part shade.

Oh these are gorgeous, particularly when they’re flowering. I’ve put in ten of these clumping grasses down the northern edge of the driveway. I’m so looking forward to seeing them bloom. It is going to look fantastic.









melaleuca incana nana Dwarf Grey Honey Myrtle -Melaleuca incana nanasmall shrub, weeping habit 1m high x 1.5m across, white flowers in spring, full sun/ part shade.

I’ve planted three dwarf myrtle under the existing trees on the northern edge of the front garden. I’m a little bit worried that perhaps they won’t get enough sun – only time will tell. The sweet little white flower is simply splendid.




ivory pearl Ivory Pearl Chamelaucium medium shrub 2m high x 1m across; cream flowers late winter/spring; full sun; trim to desired shape and size after flowering.

Just one of these beautiful shrubs has been planted. Hoping that it will grown into a point of interest in the corner of the garden behind the letterbox.  The plan is to let it grow taller than the spring mist and splendid wattle to draw the eye towards it. 









dampiera linearis Dampiera linearis - Dampiera linearis – small suckering shrub to 30cm; blue flowers winter and spring; full sun/part shade.

There are eleven of these sweet little plants. I’ve planted them on the embankment of the existing garden bed to stabilise the garden soils. This little plant will grow to a metre wide will over time grow into a magnificent and colourful ground cover.




Grevillea Ellabella Grevillea Ellabella - Grevillea Ellabellaground covering shrub 50cm high x 2-3m across; small red flowers autumn, winter and spring, honey eater attracting; full sun/part shade; trim to desired shape.

Four of the grevillea ellabella have been planted at the edge of the existing retaining wall. The plan is that they will grow over the edge of the wall. Their weeping foliage and blooms should look much better than the log retaining wall that can be currently seen.




dianella longifolia Smooth Flax Lily - Dianella longifoliaclumping plant with strappy leaves to 1m; blue flowers on tall stems in summer; semi shade/full sun

Four of the dianella have been planted at the base of the log retaining wall. I love clumping grasses and these are particularly beautiful. Over time there’ll be many more dianella planted in the garden as part of phase two.




acacia splendensSplendid Wattle - Acacia splendensspreading shrub 1.5m high x 2m wide; grey foliage; yellow flowers scented Autumn/Winter; trim to desired shape

This wattle is an endangered species so I’m pretty chuffed to have five along the front of my garden. The description for this plant is that the foliage is grey… but it looks pretty green to me. Perhaps it will change over time?!?! Looking forward to all the wattle blooms – all the yellow will help keep me cheerful next winter.









Yellow Feather Flower Yellow Feather FlowerVerticoria chrysanthasmall shrub to 1m; yellow flowers spring and summer with scented foliage; full sun/part shade; trim to desired shape.

Mr. 3 choose this plant. Initially I was a bit reluctant but he was quite persistent so I’ve planted two in the garden bed under the existing trees. After some reflection I think he has made a lovely choice. 










This is just the beginning. There is still plenty of space for plants closer to the house – but that has to be painted first which is an epic job that we hope to start soon but we are yet to make some final decisions about colours.


  1. From little things, big things grow. Love Posie

  2. You have a lovely selection of plants there :)

    Just keep an eye on your Dianella - if it is anything like mine, if planted anywhere it is happy, it will multiply as fast as you blink lol

  3. You have been very busy indeed! Let's do something with the kids next week.

  4. Loving your new garden. Kangaroo paws are ace aren't they. You've inspired me to go down to the garden centre tomorrow and buy some.

  5. I have plenty of plants in my garden but I never heard of yours...........They look great.

  6. Oh that is gojng to look great!! :)

  7. Oh it will be great! You have done a great job & I bet it will grow so fast!

  8. Wow. SO damned impressed. And even if it was a post mainly for you, I'll be coming back to reference and plot/plant accordingly.

  9. Oh well done you Sally!!! I'd love to do something like that, but can't see it happening any time soon. Tried to do something similar with this large yard of ours using fruit trees, when we moved in over 20 years ago! Just didn't work out. Yours should look stunning when all grown up. Would love to see some pics at differing stages of all the growth. You must be feeling very pleased with yourself.....and so you should. A pat on the back to you. :) x

  10. Phwooaa, very jealous! As an expat West Aussie i'm envious of the plants that you have put in. Unfortunately i can't have many of those species on the east coast due to clay soils or humidity. Will look great when they are established. Don't forget my favourite, Chorizema cordatum, or whatever it's name may have been changed to recently.

  11. I'm interested to hear about your success with the Lechenaltias, i didn't have much luck with them when i was in WA.

  12. You've provided a great list there, just ready for when I get a house in Perth... I'll be renting there for a year from October, but I'm already full of ideas... mostly involving palm trees!! This will expand my thoughts a bit... looking forward to seeing the photos as the garden grows :)

    Ps I've added you to my growing Creative Perth blogroll on - although you've been on my amoebahandmade blogroll for a while I didn't know you were in Perth until today!

  13. What a beautiful selection! I like the look of that Olearia, and the Eremophila nivea will also be a great contrast plant. Soon you'll be enjoying your picnic amongst the flowers!


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