Australian native plants for pots, courtyards and small gardens

Over the past 20 years, I’ve been richly rewarded speaking with over 100 gardening groups and clubs about our wonderful and unique Australian flora. Lest there be any misunderstanding, my being ‘richly rewarded’ has come from the enthusiasm from my audience when hearing about Aussie plants and seeing some pretty mediocre photographs I’ve taken of them! 

Water in the garden

Water in the garden has a long history, as long as gardens themselves. Any history of gardens and gardening will show that the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Chinese, Roman, Japanese, Persian, Mughal, Aztec, French, Italian, Dutch and Spanish gardens all featured water prominently in their designs.

A walk around Corymbia

John Elton shares some of the plants flowering in his garden in autumn. I always think that autumn is the best time in the garden. One of the great things about having a native garden is that we have colour 12 months of the year.

Plants for clay soils or clay loams

The following plants generally tolerate (or in some cases prefer) clay soils that are poorly drained but not boggy in winter, and that tend to dry out in summer. Of course, other factors can play a part in a plant’s success, so this list is a guideline only.

Growing plants in clay soils

Much of western and north western Sydney is based on clay soils. Quite often these soils are wet in winter and much dryer in summer. While clay has the advantages of holding water well especially at deeper levels and can be rich in nutrients, there are some problems

Reliable native daisies for the Sydney region

Some people think that native plants are straggly and boring. You only need to look at the beautiful variety of Australia daisies to see that this is just not so . They grow quickly and flower over a long period of time and there is a place for them in every garden.

Time, time, time

Time is an interesting concept and is all relative to one’s perspective. If you are one of the average Australian that change houses every 5 years then your perspective of creating a garden with that time frame will be very different to an old bloke like me that has been gardening on the same 800sq m block for 40 plus years.

Graft-chimeras on eremophilas

Grafting is often the only option to grow plants in soils and climates outside the normal habit, including for eremophilas. Russell Wait reports on graft-chimeras, which can arise in grafted plants. A growth, known as ‘graft-chimera’, can form within callus tissue at the graft union. Chimeras occur in other plant families, either naturally or contrived to produce features such as variegated foliage.

Magic on the roof

Imagine a roof top covered with stunning native plants from around Australia, blowing in the breeze! A few of us visited the first indigenous rooftop farm and other cultural gardens at the newly developed South Eveleigh precinct. (https://southeveleigh.mirvac.com/)

Banksia book now available from APS NSW

Banksias are Australia’s most iconic plants after the Eucalypts, known for thousands of years to indigenous Australians and, through writing and art, to many more who have never visited this land.
This extensively revised edition of the first edition, The Banksia Book by Alex George, includes the most recently discovered Banksia, vincentia, with descriptions and illustrations of all 79 known species with many new photographs and updated species descriptions

Daisy, daisy – growing colourful WA flowers – – Story #1

Daisies provide a delicate, multi-coloured and spectacular impression on the seemingly harsh and dry looking bush areas of Western Australia (WA). Growing everlastings and other colourful daisies for your own spring show is guaranteed to bring great pleasure and satisfaction.

Taking a chance of Eremophilas

Eremophilas can be marvellous plants in the garden, but their reliability in a variety of soils and climates is still being established by their many devoted growers. As so many eremophilas have been only recently collected from the wild and introduced into our gardens they are still a work in progress as garden plants. They […]

APS VIC Seedbank available to NSW members

Updated seed list now available. The enterprising David Drage of Northern Beaches recently wrote to APS VIC to see if NSW members could purchase seed from them. Chris Long, the APS Vic President has let us know that they are happy to provide to APS NSW members on the same conditions as apply to APS VIC members.

A high country native garden at Cloudy Hill

Swapping jobs in the nation’s capital for a tree change to the high country and a shed with a view on a rural property, Fiona and Alex moved to Fitzgerald’s Mount near Bathurst in 2008. There they built a house and created a garden that flourishes despite the harsh conditions of the high country of the central tablelands of NSW.

My favourite Australian native plants

When it comes to thinking about a favourite plant, I think those interested in Australian plants are very spoiled for choice. Have you ever thought about a favourite? Where would you start?

Prickly natives for barrier hedges

Here are the suggestions for prickly shrubs and hedging plants from our panel of experts: Grevillea rosmarinifolia cultivars such as’Scarlet Sprite’…

Native plants to keep cats out

reader recently asked for plants to discourage cats from entering the garden. The reader’s plants needed to thrive in tough conditions being southerly facing and sandy soil. Here are the plants suggested

Jeff Tips – What I learnt trying to grow our native plants

For many years, I have been growing native plants and have picked up tips and tricks along the way. Here is a summary of some of my learning.
1. Planting under gum trees
To maximise your success in getting your plants to grow, plant them as close to the trunk as possible. The reasons you do this are:

All about mulch

What is a mulch? A mulch is any covering put over the top of the soil, such as bark, woodchips, leaves, gravel and groundcovers – even a layer of leaf litter counts as a mulch.
There are a number of different types of materials that are widely used as mulches.

Amazing Greys

I feel confident anyone reading this would agree that gardeners have a better insight than most into changing weather patterns. Whatever the reason, the hot days seem to be getting hotter and the cold days colder but it’s usually the former that presents the greater challenges in selecting the right plant for the hot spot. Enter stage right our wonderful grey-foliaged native plants.

Activities for more time at home – inside and outside

Less time being out and about and more time at home to protect community health from COVID-19 is a chance to do some activities you might not usually have time for. Here are some ideas, both for individual members and for APS Groups to consider if you don’t want to clean the cupboards or the garage.