You might LOVE your neighbours but still not want to be looking at them from the back deck. If you’re trying to create some privacy, you can’t go past a range of Australian native plants that do the job perfectly – so you can make that mad dash to the clothesline and only be scaring the wildlife!
Grevilleas are one of the easiest natives to grow, and they flower virtually non-stop and make a beautiful cut flower. They love soil that drains well, and is low in nutrients, so don’t be tempted to feed them with anything other than native specific fertiliser. For fine textured, small-flowered screens, try G. hookeriana or G. ‘Ivanhoe’. For larger flowers, try the tropical cultivars like ‘Honey Gem’, ‘Moonlight’, ‘Misty Pink’ and ‘Sylvia’ – all are stunning.
Bottlebrushes are tremendously adaptable to a range of soils, both wet and dry, and flower twice a year, in spring and again in summer. Their iconic flowers also attract nectar feeding birds. Callistemon ‘Taree Pink’ is a pretty, long flowering fine foliaged form. ‘Endeavour’ is your typical red and ‘Hannah Ray’ is a lovely gentle weeping cultivar that makes a lovelysmall tree. The white flowered ‘White Anzac’ is a great choice if you only want a fence high plant.
If you’re after a formal hedge, there are plenty of plants to choose from that clip into shape well and are native. We stock a range of suitable plants including Lilly Pilly ‘Cherry Surprise’, which has new pink growth that’s highly ornamental, as well as creamy white fluffy flowers that are great for attracting bees, followed by colourful berries that birds love and can be made into jam. This type is resistant to psyllids too.
Evergreen trees maintain their foliage year around, which makes them great for screening. Almost all natives are evergreen, and include Lilly pillies (we have some great compact types), grafted gums (we stock a really great range of pink, cream, orange and red flowering ones), NSW Christmas bush, lemon myrtles (Backhousia citriodora) , bottlebrush, ivory curl trees, blueberry ash, and a plant sometime called the native magnolia - Tristaniopsis ‘Luscious’. If you want a tree yesterday, plant a wattle. Same goes for grevilleas, many of which will grow 3-5m and screen any block of flats or 2 storey building that’s rocketing up by the time builders have said ‘tools down!’.
For more information on spacing, soil preparation and pruning tips, come into one of our stores and chat to our staff.At Eden Gardens we can give you all the advice you need to prepare your soil, select the right plant, work out how far apart to plant, and even hold pruning workshops to help you out closer to pruning time!
By Meredith Kirton