Plants are a classic design element for any outdoor space.
However, landscape design is an art that preaches the mantra, “right place, right plant” and a common mistake made in the garden is selecting plants primarily based on their smell or appearance. In order to create a low maintenance tropical backyard oasis, it is important to understand the soil, the sun and the moisture of the environment.
Native plants such as Banksia, Bottlebrush, Wattle and Kangaroo Paw are low maintenance which means that you can spend less time in the garden whilst still reaping the rewards of a beautiful green space.
Australia holds many heat-related records: the continent has the hottest extended region year-round, the areas with the hottest summer climate as well as the highest sunshine duration. Native plants are quite hardy and can withstand the hot climate. Once established, they also have very low water requirements.
For homeowners wondering where to start when landscaping a garden around their pool, think about the size of the plants that fit your vision in terms of shrubbery, ground cover and trees. Head to your local nursery for free advice that could save you from making costly mistakes! Don’t forget that there are many gardening books, magazines and websites out there to learn from too.
Stay clear of overplanting. Instead, landscape with mature sizes in mind or else you may end up paying to move crowded plants.
If you have a salt water pool, the native plants with silvery or waxy looking leaves are great to choose for poolside planting as they are naturally more tolerant to salt that may splash out of the pool.
Always test your soil. A simple soil test will pinpoint what your soil lacks so you won’t have to buy unneeded additives or the wrong plant. Many of these tests will also work to recommend the best plant choices for your soil type – you will thank yourself when you can grow a carefree garden without trying to amend your ground. Prevention is always better than cure!
Check your irrigation system and install new stations if required. Subsurface trickle irrigation is recommended because water is delivered straight to the root zone and is not lost through evaporation.
Native plants are likely to fulfil your backyard design aesthetic you were hoping to achieve but did you know that they also help to support wildlife? These plants (Banksia, Melaleuca, Grevillea and Hakea Genera) can attract the birds because they provide nectar, seeds, nesting sites and a sheltered habitat safe from predators.
We’re lucky in Western Australia to call many bright natives such as Bottlebrush, Kangaroo Paw and Wattle our own, and they may be the answer to your landscaping needs!