There are some fabulous native plants suitable for home gardens from ground-covers to trees. Generally natives are low maintenance, and flowering species are great for attracting wildlife. Nevertheless, as with most plants, put a native in the wrong climate, soil or situation and you are likely to be disappointed.
Australia is a big country and natives that grow in one part of the country won’t necessarily grow in another, but that is not to say we have to stick entirely to local provenance. With care and the right choice of varieties many natives will flourish. New cultivars of Australian plants have given us a wider range of improved varieties to choose from, including grafted specimens, that will perform better in our gardens. At Tanby Garden Centre it is our intention to sell plants that can be grown here in Central Queensland.
Most natives don’t want rich soils (consider their natural environment) and many are phosphorous sensitive. but an occasional application of an organic or specific native fertiliser will benefit them. Whilst generally low maintenance, in a garden situation many will make a better display with a little care, which may even need to extend to some pest control. Most natives require good drainage. If you are creating a native garden bed and need soil we recommend you use Tanby Turfsoil.
Natives can of course be happily combined in a garden with non-natives and can fit into most styles of garden. What matters is grouping plants that like similar conditions together and so this may mean it is a good idea to create a native garden bed.
Some of our favourites:
Grevillea banksii/forsterii: A large shrub, usually with red flowers, and has silvery grey divided leaves. It is a widely cultivated grevillea and the parent of many well known hybrid varieties. Popular garden plant here in Central Queensland. (Note: Grevilleas are particularly sensitive to phosphorous in the soil).
Callistemon varieites(closely related to Melaleuca): Also called Bottlebrush due to the shape of their flower spikes. Hardy with small leaves and brush shaped flower heads in various colours, often found in moist sites. Callistemon will benefit from pruning and fertilising after flowering.
Ozothamnus Rice Flower : Shrub, gets covered in white or pink flower heads which make good cut or dried flowers.
Lomandra: Clumping grass with flat strappy leaves. Great landscaping plant.
Leptospermum Madidum: Weeping Tea Tree. Attractive weeping growth, small tree suitable for suburban gardens.
Xanthostemon chrysanthus (Golden Penda): Medium sized rainforest tree with vibrant golden yellow flower clusters which attract nectar feeding birds and insects. Well suited to our climate, in full sun. Smaller varieties of Xanthostemon also recommended.