26 Jul 2012

A Guide to Native Trees and Bushes for Your Garden

Posted by bcsands

If you want to plant native trees and bushes in your garden and don’t know where to start, then here is some information that may help you. People assume that native plants are “low care”, and while that is the case with many, some are not. The first step is to answer these five questions:

  • Do you know what type of soil you have? If not, buy a soil testing kit at your local nursery and test each area that you want to plant with native plants.
  • How much sun does the area get, and what plants are appropriate for each location?
  • What is growing well in your neighbourhood?
  • What are the best, most reliable species to provide the basic structure for your garden?
  • What mulches, additional soils, fertilizer and insecticides should you be using?


The Best Native Plants for Sandy Soil

Here are some of the beautiful Sydney native trees and bushes for sandy soil that you can look for in your local nursery or one that specialises in native plants: Blackbutt, Christmas Bush, Gymea Lily, Heath-leaved Banksia, Native Fuchsia, Pink grevillea, Red-stemmed Wattle, Sydney Blue Gum, Sydney Boronia, Sydney Red Gum, Waratah and Yellow Bloodwood.


The Best Native Plants for Clay Soil

The list is by no means complete, but this is a record of the plants that do very well in the clay soils found around the Sydney Basin area: Black Wattle, Blackthorn, Blue Flax-lily, Crimson Bottlebrush, False Sarsaparilla, Forest Red Gum, Grey Box, Grey Ironbark, Kangaroo Grass, Swamp Oak, White melaleuca, White riceflower and Yellow grevillea.


Attracting Native Wildlife to Your Garden

If your intent is to attract a variety of wildlife to your garden, then you will need to provide not only plant diversity, but structural diversity – layers of growth from trees to ground covers.

To attract small birds, you need a dense shrub layer in which they can nest and get away from danger. In order to feed them you need clumping plants, ground covers and grasses, as these conceal small insects and provide other nutrients.

Mulch is also important for small native creatures such as lizards, frogs and other wildlife, as well as insects that small creatures depend on for food.

A water source such as a pond or even a bird bath will also help increase the chances of native birds visiting your garden.

The final piece of the puzzle is to allow nature to take its course. Native trees and bushes need to be planted in places which allow them to grow to their full potential without pruning or shaping.

This forethought on your part not only lets the flowers grow when and how they need to, but it means less work and more enjoyment of the environment created by planting native trees and bushes in your garden.

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