13.4 C

Consider planting Australian natives


The warm weather continues! On the plus side, I have noticed the native birds and magpies inhabiting the large trees, eucalypts in the nearby reserve, then visiting my garden where I have grevilleas planted. Current garden designs generally exclude our Australian native plants, other than grasses. 

The reason for this exclusion is the demand for a minimalistic complement to modern design concepts, which is sad when I reflect on a very modern villa concept which I was fortunate to contribute to – one year only and the traditional planting of topiary trees and hedges are making it a standout development.
It is unfortunate that many gardens are filled with yuccas, cordylines and flaxes, restricting variety and individualistic design. Don’t copy the other granosite houses in your neighbourhood, consider 
planting Australian natives which can also compliment modern architecture. 

For example, try Westringia fruiticosa shaped into perfect balls, the grey foliage and white flowers contrasted with a border of dwarf lomandras to highlight the street frontage.
Screening plants are often in demand, homes are being built closer and higher than one another –the answer to this is quick growing shrubs such as lillypillies, which are wonderful for screening. They are ideal for hedging as they grow quickly.  One of my favourites is Cascade – I love the new pink flowers and clusters of baby pink berries. I have never had garden where I haven’t planted grevilleas. They grow quickly and encourage the birds and bees – there are so many choices. Try Honey Gem, Moonlight, Misty Pink and Sandra 
Gordon, all of which will constantly provide flowers for your home.

This week

  • Lawns are still providing a challenge – if you have wiped out the army grub, crickets and black beetle, it is time to address the brown patches before the cold arrives. Keep applying Seasol to encourage growth from the remaining green grass onto the brown patches, which should be encouraged with a light application of lawn top dressing.
  • Grasshoppers are loving the extended warm weather – keep my infestation on the roses under control with pyrethrum.
  • Before planting pansies, primula and sweet peas, dig in poultry manure a week before planting.

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