Native plants don’t just look good but they can thrive better than other plants in our hot and dry Perth climate. Transform your garden or verge into a water wise Native haven. Having a native verge or a garden has several benefits:
- Save precious water as natives require less watering.
- Natives grow faster than other types of plants.
- Create a low maintenance garden/verge.
- Help wildlife thrive with a perfect natural habitat for bees, birds and reptiles
- Beautify your streetscape and inspire your neighbours to do the same.
- Create a cooling effect for your home especially during the hot summer months.
It can be tricky to decide what types of plants you need for the project as there are thousands of plant varieties out there. A few considerations have to be taken into account before starting on your native garden or verge.
The major difference between the 2 options is that with the verge upgrade, you will have to follow the Council’s strict guidelines and restrictions in place. It is advised to check that where you are digging does not have underground services like gas or water pipes.
Whether you decide for the garden in the backyard or the verge, the following tips and tricks will help you maintain your plants in the best shape.
- Design your layout.
This is the most exciting part of the project: Planning the colour scheme, the placement of plants, how you envision the layout. This can be a DIY job for the most passionate gardeners out there. Garden designs for Perth can be found on your local Council’s website or the Water Corporation website.
Or better yet, get an expert waterwise specialist to get a hassle-free job done at your property.
- Choice of plants.
Choose the best plants to grow in your local area. The Water Corporation can shortlist the plants that will be best suited to your suburb. It is an easy process and helps you make the most judicious decisions for your location. You will have a list of low maintenance plants that you can choose from depending on your colour scheme, flowering cycle and garden type.
You can also contact your local council and they will supply you with all the information you need to start off the right way. Sometimes Councils have incentive schemes running for the verge and offer free waterwise plants!!
- Reticulation System for Watering your plants.
Yes, your native plants need water to grow and survive mainly in the summer months. Grouping the plants with the same watering needs is a good starting point. This will allow you to design and install a proper reticulation system to cater for their needs.
Once the plants are established, they will only need watering based on your watering days in Summer – at least twice weekly and less often if at all during the winter months.
Some basic tips for your plants:
- Water well twice a week on your rostered watering days.
- Hose the plants if they are looking a little bit stressed especially if planting during the summer months until established. Keep an eye out.
- Plants will grow quicker and better in summer. Refer to tip 2!
- Planting in Winter months will make the plants grow slower but they will not need much watering due to higher rainfall probability.
- Establishing your native garden:
- Fertilise with slow release native specific fertiliser to promote growth.
- Mulch your plants for insulation and protection but not too close to the plants to prevent rotting.
- A soil wetter can be used to promote water retention especially for Perth’s sandy type soil..
- Water well after putting the plants in the ground to give them a good chance to live and thrive.
Below are some recommended plants for your native garden:
- Banksia Burdettii
|Grows in sunny position|
|Flowers in Summer and Autumn|
|Grows to 4m high|
|Silvery green leaves with orange/silver acorn type flower|
|Low water needs|
By Melburnian – Self-photographed, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3460897
- Kurulbrang, Red & Green Kangaroo Paw
|Hardy Perennial with long strappy leaves|
|Green and red flowers in spring and summer|
|Low water needs|
|Grows to 1m high|
By Photographs by Gnangarra…commons.wikimedia.org, CC BY 2.5 au, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51144863
- RSL Spirit of ANZAC Grevillea
|Protea family- all year round flowering|
|Bright red flowers|
|Grows to 2m high|
|Sunny position but tolerates part shade|
|Can withstand drought when established|
By Shermozle (talk) (Uploads) – Own work; taken by Shermozle. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=980424