Australian natives can be used in a wide range of garden styles and uses. The advantage of them over exotics is that they’re better suited to our climate and soils, meaning that they can cope with our unique conditions without extra resources.
The concept for the Australian Cottage garden is to take the ideals of a traditional cottage garden and apply them to an Australian setting. The plants used are a mix of both natives and exotic. Planting should be quite close to provide the dense feel that one associates with a cottage garden.
Use raised beds or mounds in your garden to get the great drainage that many natives require. Try a mixture of flowering small shrubs, grasses and ground covers like flannel flowers (Actinotis helianthi), kangaroo paws (Anigozanthos spp.), coastal tussock (Poa poiformis), knobby club rush (Isolepis nodosus), white correa (Correa alba), fan flower (Scaevola aemula), black eyed Susan (Tetratheca thymifolia) and straw flowers (Helichrysum spp.). Add a few climbing plants, such as wonga wonga vine (Pandorea pandoroides) and happy wanderer (Hardenbergia violaceae) and a hedge of lilly pillies (Acmena smithii ‘Minor’) and you have a ‘traditional’ garden made from true blue botanicals. And if you have room for a small tree, you can’t go past the ‘Summertime’ range of grafted flowering gums (Corymbia ficifolia cvs).
The overall effect will be one of beauty, year round interest, low maintenance and drought tolerance, as well as often attracting birds and other beneficial insects into your garden.
By: Meredith Kirton