- Tips from native plant experts, growing guides, seasonal gardening diaries and more…
Gardening continues to expand its appeal beyond its conventional reputation as a pastime only for people with boundless outdoor space, retirees with time to spare, or those with deep horticultural knowledge.
For a laundry list of reasons, the pleasures and benefits associated with discovering your green thumb are being enjoyed by an ever-increasing number of Australians. Indeed, many were awakened to the pleasures of using the vivid colours and soft textures provided by nature to beautify their outdoor spaces during time spent in lockdown.
And there’s good news for anyone who thinks limited outdoor space might be a barrier! The city-dweller of today can move beyond the house plant, and easily grow their own little outdoor oasis by creating a garden out of their yard, balcony, or decking area.
With just a small spend, minimal effort, and a bit of creativity, urban gardening can yield the same mental, emotional and visual benefits once reserved for suburban or country-folk with an abundance of sprawling green space at their disposal.
For those just starting out on their gardening adventure, the logical entry point is to order a customised plant box, bursting with a diverse selection of healthy seedlings. When considering which varieties to fill your plant box with, for the best chance of success and a beautiful, authentic look, the smart money is on native Australian plants.
Our country has gifted us an incredible, beautiful, eclectic array of unique flora, which should be maximised, enjoyed and celebrated as a key feature of any Aussie garden. There are so many reasons to buy plants in a box and ‘go local’ when designing your garden, and because we’re here to help, we’ve curated a few of them below …
Before we get into the abundance of benefits associated with ‘going native’ in your plant selection, let’s start with the basics. Why is ordering plants in a box such a great way to stock your garden?
Put simply, filling an online plant box virtually with the likes of the Native Plant Project – regarded as a leading online nursery in Australia – is the modern and most convenient way to source the best quality seedlings. It’s as easy as doing your virtual grocery shop, only a lot more fun!
Simply browse through the e-nursery, pick your favourite plants, and place your order. In no time at all, you’ll take delivery of a box brimming with high-quality, lovingly grown, carefully selected tube stock.
For the uninitiated, ‘tube stock’ is a widely used term in the horticultural world that refers to plants grown in small nursery containers to encourage a fully established root system. This basically means when they land on your doorstep they arrive in great condition, ready and ripe for immediate planting!
Tubestock tends to be quicker to establish, faster to grow, and yields leaves and flowers of superior quality. Meanwhile, the ability to order plants in a box online at affordable prices makes gardening accessible for all.
Local Australian plants have a lot going for them, not least their visual appeal. The softness of our native flora, its meandering forms, and vibrant, eye-catching colours provide the perfect way to add texture and contrast that will soften the aesthetic of the built environment and all its hard lines.
Native plants are also the best way to ensure your outdoor space stays visually true to its surroundings. The best gardens should appear effortless, as though they belong to the landscape, complementing and seamlessly blending with what’s around them.
Taking the time to observe what trees and shrubs are growing in neighbouring properties, parks, or nature strips can guide you in the right direction when considering which types of native plants are the right ones to integrate into your own space.
Acacia cognata ‘Burgundy Cascade’
A beautiful large shrub with a striking weeping effect and gorgeous burgundy tones, contrasted against dense green foliage. And spring brings even more colour, with the classic and distinctive yellow flowers of acacia.
Suitable for small hedges or mass planting across large areas, when it blooms it does so profusely, with beautiful, spider-like, pink and white flowers.
The most successful gardens are designed to effectively respond to their conditions. Weather, light, soil quality, moisture, and geology are important considerations. Native plants are the obvious choice when you consider they’ve evolved to thrive in local conditions. In turn, this will help ensure you maximise available natural resources, and that your garden demands a lot less maintenance than those stocked with exotic varieties.
So, if a gorgeous yet low-maintenance garden is what you’re after (and let’s face it, with our increasingly busy lifestyles, that probably applies to a lot of us!) native plants are the way to go.
And the benefits just keep on coming … the knock-on effect is that native plants are more likely to attract birds, bees, and other wildlife, making your garden a fertile playground for an ongoing stream of happy visitors. Sit back and relax as you listen to the gentle humming of bees, and watch as the birds and butterflies flutter and dance through the air.
Callistemon ‘Little John’
Enjoy deep red flowers in spring and summer, and beautiful soft grey and blue foliage all year round. This robust plant can thrive in a variety of soil types, withstands moderate frost, and once established is drought friendly. What’s more, it is known for attracting bees, nectar-loving birds, and butterflies!
Kangaroo Paw – Anigozanthos ‘Bush Fury’
Hardy and with the ability to flower all year round, this plant adds constant colour under a variety of conditions. It attracts native birds and bees, and an added bonus is its gifts of beautiful cut flowers, which can be used to compliment your indoor plants!
Grevillea – Grevillea ‘Coconut Ice’
Nectar-loving birds are attracted to grevillea, and some smaller birds are even known to use this plant to build their nests! You’ll also be dazzled by its cream and pink flowers from spring right through to winter.
While the sheer diversity of native plants available is a real plus, there’s a chance these endless choices might seem overwhelming, particularly if you’re still figuring out what your preferences are when it comes to how you want your space to look.
Ordering plants in a box overcomes this challenge, by allowing you to use your space as a testing ground in which to try things out, live with them for a little while, make changes, and hone your garden style over time. It’s this potential for experimentation that makes gardening such a great way to express your creativity.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, consider observing plants growing in situ to see which ones have the greatest impact on you, and then determine how well they will suit the distinct conditions of your space … and if you’re feeling daring, why not explore some of Australia’s more unusual varieties?
Banksia spinulosa ‘Black Magic’
Dramatic and impactful, this plant offers gold and black flowers that are completely unique and certain to make a lasting impression.
Backhousia citriodora ‘Lemon Myrtle’
This small to medium tree boasts green and glossy aromatic leaves alongside fluffy white flowerheads. It can also be used for culinary purposes, and adding flavour to all manner of dishes. In our opinion, that’s a double win!
Native plants can hold the key to creating a striking impression when you have a limited amount of space to play with. Many varieties can be just as successful and visually spectacular when grown in hanging baskets and large pots, meaning you can give paved areas and decking a natural flavour, add extra dimension, and make sure you optimise whatever outdoor space you have.
Tea Tree – Leptospermum ‘Piccolo’
A hardy shrub that’s ideal for small gardens, courtyards, potsm and large tubs. In late spring, you’ll be treated to a brilliant display of crimson flowers, guaranteed to brighten up any small outdoor space.
Kennedia ‘Pink Postie’ – Kennnedia prostrata
This variety with its leathery green leaves and pink flowers with a lime center is a wonderful option for hanging baskets, and for spilling over retaining walls, trellises, and unsightly fences. It’s a great option for making good use of every available surface within a smaller space.
The Native Plant Project team is made up of passionate plant lovers. We understand the joy that beautiful plants can bring, and our mission is to share this joy with as many people as possible. We are also dedicated native plant enthusiasts, keen to spread the word about our country’s incredible flora, and what it can be used to create.
We sell plants that have been lovingly nurtured and primed to thrive and are committed to offering the highest levels of customer service.
Our extensive e-nursery is the most comprehensive repository of native Australian plants in existence. We invite you to explore and experiment, by customising a Native Plant Box with your top picks, delivered straight to your door, along with everything you need to make sure your new plant friends help create the beautiful outdoor space you deserve.
This compact native shrub is grown more for its foliage than for its flowers. Drought tolerant and easy to grow its striking fine, silver, twiggy form will add structure to your garden and works well as a border. It is fast growing, suited to coastal gardens or exposed sites and poor soil – and provides a playground for butterflies. Add to a Native Plant Box for delivery here.