Go native for fresh colour

With Australia Day approaching it’s the perfect time to highlight Australian native plants.

OLD FAVOURITE: Bottlebrush is a hardy, adaptable choice that will grow in the poorest of soils.

OLD FAVOURITE: Bottlebrush is a hardy, adaptable choice that will grow in the poorest of soils.

Natives have never been more popular with their reputation of being easy care, adaptable, not requiring as much water, and attracting native birds and wildlife into your garden.

They have been conditioned to withstand the harsh Australian climate and can be easily incorporated into any style of garden, offering an array of colour and texture.

BOLD COLOUR: Grevilleas are the perfect plant to attract native birds and animals to feed on the sweet nectar.

BOLD COLOUR: Grevilleas are the perfect plant to attract native birds and animals to feed on the sweet nectar.

The Blueberry Ash (Elaeocarpus reticulatus) is a strikingly beautiful and hardy evergreen shrub or small tree. It produces sweet smelling, bell-shaped, fringed pink or white flowers in spring and early summer, followed by blue berries in the autumn.

Reaching a height of four to six metres, it will grow easily in most soils and positions but protect it from frost until it gets established. Tip prune after flowering to encourage bushy growth.

If you want to encourage native wildlife into your garden, grevilleas are the perfect plant. Their unique flowers attract native birds and animals to feed on the sweet nectar.

Grevilleas come in all shapes from low growing ground covers, small shrubs and hedges, to tall trees. Most grevilleas are frost tolerant once established, though they may require some protection while young.

Grown all over Australia, grevilleas are fuss-free, native shrubs that provide continuous flowering. These beauties are sun lovers, so plant in full sun and keep sheltered from strong winds.

Grevilleas need well-drained soils so it’s a good idea to build up your garden beds as elevated mounds which will provide good drainage. 

A few popular ones to look out for are Grevillea ‘Moonlight’, with creamy-white flowers, Grevillea ‘Coconut Ice’ which has pinkish-red flowers, and Grevillea ‘New Blood’, a red flowering ground cover.

Callistemons are commonly known as bottlebrushes because of their cylindrical, brush like flowers. They are terrific for attracting nectar-feeding birds. Most callistemons produce dense clusters of bright red flower spikes in spring, however there are pink and white varieties. They can be used as a feature plant and are also great for screens and hedges.

They are a hardy, adaptable plant that will grow in the poorest of soils but you will get the best result in moist soil and they flower best in a full sun position. Varieties include: Callistemon Dawson River Weeper which has red flowers and grows to 5-6m high; Callistemon ‘Wildfire’; and Callistemon Wilderness White, which has creamy-white flowers and grows to 3m.

  • Article courtesy of Glenbrook Village Nursery, 20 Ross Street, Glenbrook