Writer: Alana King
When you are a sapling or new shoot to the gardening world, knowing which plants are best suited to your area can seem a bit of a challenge. Are they a variety that requires lots of water, or are they one that you should keep in the shade?
It may appear to you that nothing can grow in your backyard. You have direct sun or maybe you don’t know the particular nutrients certain plants need for the conditions you live in.
Well worry not, my nature newbies, for here is my handy guide to help you through what may seem a jungle of plant life.
The southeastern type of garden:
If you live in the south east of Australia, particularly Victoria, you can have a variety of weather to deal with. The north of the state can get quite dry; however, further south can be humid due to the mountain ranges.
Using plants that are easily adaptable are best suited to for this type of climate. Being unpredictable, plants may also require much more water.
A number of companies stock excellent drainage and irrigation supplies in Australia. This can help you bring out the lush foliage and colour, both in summer and all year round.
The coastal garden:
There can be no denying that Australia is a coastal nation. We are the island continent, surrounded by water. Nearly 85% of Australians live near the ocean or within 50km of the coastal fringe.
So, what plants do you choose when you want to bring the coast into your backyard? Go for plants that can stand cold temperatures during the winter, with minimal chill factor.
Soil is also something to consider. Being near the coast, plants that do well in sand are best. These can include Kangaroo Paw, Banksia trees or Waratah flowers.
A tropical backyard:
If you live in the tropics or want to bring the feel of them into your backyard, go for plants that suit lush rainforest where it is often hot and humid. These plants will be able to take full sun and can range from shrub plants to large palms.
According to experts, there are an array of tropical plants that will work in any garden, including cordylines, bromeliads and the ever-popular Birds of Paradise.
It is wise to note that bromeliads will have difficulty in the southern areas of Australia, being unsuited to a cold climate.
Think about the garden that you want to create:
When thinking about your garden, it can often be a time to think about yourself. Are you someone who likes being outdoors, or one who wants the garden to look after itself?
According to Scott Calhoun and “Desert Gardening: Planting to suit the climate”, desert gardening “is a harsh teacher”. However, if you are someone who wants a low-maintenance gardening experience, desert can be the way to go, as most are drought hardy plants that retain their nutrients and water.
Go for succulents and cacti, as these require the least watering. In addition, those such as lavender and Acmena or “fire screen” are able to withstand a variety of conditions.
Work with the wildlife
When choosing plants for your garden, working with the animals that inhabit your climate can greatly increase the vitality of your garden.
According to realestate.com.au, planting certain plants will attract different wildlife, creating a thriving ecosystem.
Those such as Grevilleas and Banksia will attract lorikeets that are honeyeaters, while certain grasses give finches like sparrows native seed.
There is my guide for choosing plants to suit your region my landscaping newbies. May you grow and tend a gorgeous garden.