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 uses plants that are a mix of both natives and exotic. Planting should be quite close to provide the dense feel that’s associated 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, kangaroo paws, grasses and rushes, native fuchsia, fan ﬂower and straw ﬂowers. Add a few climbing plants, such as wonga wonga vine and happy wanderer and a hedge of lilly pillies 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.
The overall eﬀect will be one of beauty, year round interest, low maintenance and drought tolerance, as well as attracting birds and other benefcial insects into your garden. Perfumed ﬂowers attract pollinators – insects, birds and animals. If they are pollinated by bees it usually has a sweet smell during the day, and if fragrant at night it usually is pollinated by moths or night feeding insects or animals. In gardens, these plants usually have a stronger scent when in a protected position, not dispersed by wind. Try planting along pathways, near windows or on pergolas near outdoor entrainment and living areas. Summer scentsations include Murraya, Stephanotis, Gardenias, Frangipani, Michelias, ginger lilies, star jasmine, roses , lavender and heliotrope.