Garden Inspiration

The new look Aussie backyard

Mix succulents, cactus and exotics with natives in pots, rockeries, paths and garden beds for a contemporary Australian back yard.

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It was a trip to California that inspired New South Wales based landscape designer, Grant Boyle to start incorporating Australian natives in his gardens.

“I was so inspired by the plant compositions. The mix of succulents, our Australian natives, cactus and exotics – they work really well together visually but are also great choices for watering and maintenance,” says Grant Boyle, founder of Fig Landscapes.

Working in Sydney, Northern Rivers and Bryon Bay, mixing natives and exotics has almost become a signature style for Boyle – though his clients don’t need much convincing.

“I’m now always getting requests for natives in my designs – 50% of clients want all native gardens while the other 50% want to see Australian natives in the design of their gardens,” he comments.

“There’s a real resurgence in natives, I think there’s finally a greater appreciation of what you can do with them that goes beyond the environmental – there’s an application for almost everything you can think of.”

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One of his most popular designs was the Woolooware garden, completed to compliment a striking renovation in suburban Sydney. The totally new garden incorporates all Australian plants, with a selection from NSW, VIC and WA – including some of Boyle’s favourites to work with: Banksias and Cupaniopsis trees, Westringia and Correas shrubs for topiary, and ground covers such as Casaurina Cousin It, Carpobrotus rossii and Myoporum parvifolium.

But Boyle enjoys combining natives with exotics too for gardens large and small.

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“Native plants work particularly well alongside cactus and succulents, providing a nice contrast. They also suit dry-style gardens and pair really well with herbs such as lavender and rosemary,” says Grant.

Travelling continues to be a source of inspiration for Boyle and the Fig Landscape team, as they continue to hone their aesthetic.

“My design style keeps evolving and there’s nothing better than nature and travel to stay inspired.”

Visit Fig Landscapes for more inspiration.

Photo credits: Jessie Ann


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