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Getting wild about natives

Getting wild about natives
Published 6 January 2017
Create a sustainable and low-maintenance garden paradise.

Create a sustainable and low-maintenance garden paradise.

^ Local gardener Steve Fisher's garden is an Australian native paradise. As the weather turns up a notch, you may be finding it hard to keep your garden alive.

Some local gardeners, like Steve Fisher, have transformed their backyards into Australian native paradises, which not only look magical but can survive the harsh summer conditions.

This northern suburbs resident and grevillea lover has been slowly adding and experimenting with his plant collection for 35 years, his garden now boasting hundreds of native variations.

“I like to focus on grevillea’s and other plants that have lots of nectar feed for birds,” Steve said.

And it appears to be working, with Boobook Owls, Piping Shrike and New Holland Honey Eaters regularly visiting his garden.

While the garden attracts wildlife for food or nesting, Australian natives also make your garden drought hardy.

“My tip is to grow natives out of the ground in either a raised garden bed or pot in free-draining soil,” Steve said.

Like any garden, though, there is some work involved, such as making sure that when you sow your seeds or plant cuttings it’s the right time of year.

So get your native seeds ready for this autumn, but the best part is, once they have grown natives generally need little upkeep, just a prune here and there after flowering.

^ Australian native plants make for bright and vibrant gardens.

Grow your ownFor tips on how to get your native garden started, the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Natural Resources have some great ideas. Or if you're seeking some inspiration, why not visit the Little Para Seed Orchard or the Para Wirra Conservation Park this summer.