Spring is an excellent time for planting Australian natives and cultivating a water-wise garden, especially as so many natives have beautiful flowers in September and October. Natives are hardy, look great in strong light and come in a range of vibrant colours. So, if you’re looking to do something different in your garden this year, read on for the best natives to grow in Mount Gambier’s climate and some local nurseries where you can buy them.
Why plant natives? Choosing local plants for your garden makes sense for a few different reasons. For one, most native plants can survive without the need for daily watering. This saves you time, energy and money (not to mention the heartbreak of losing your hard work to dry conditions). Local wildlife also tends to thrive when surrounded by native flora so you are doing the natural ecosystem a favour when you stick with Australia’s plant life. Native plants also thrive without the need for pesticides and chemicals, creating a healthier all-round environment. Finally, while many think of orange and green hues when Australian native flora comes to mind, our plant life actually offers a diverse array of colours, especially in the warmer months. You can really bring your garden to life using only Australian native gardening solutions and have it looking every bit as colourful as an English country garden.
What to plant in Mount Gambier in the spring
Mount Gambier enjoys a Mediterranean climate but can still be dry in the springtime.
Some of the flowering natives that are recommended for South Australia are:
1. Acacia (aka Golden Wattle), with its unmissable yellow ‘pom pom’ blooms
2. Crimson Bottlebrush, a hardy shrub that native birds and bees love, with toilet brush style flowers
3. Native Lilac, with beautiful, vibrant purple flowers. This one grows rapidly and can be trained along fences, much like wisteria
4. Olearia/native daisy, which shares its delightful white flowers in the spring
5. Jacaranda, This is a larger tree that rewards its owners with beautiful purple flowers in November. The Jacaranda is so well known to Australians and so well-loved, that many of us think of them as a native. But it is actually native to South America.
6. Lilly Pilly; which actually flowers in summer but also sprouts a bounty of purple berries that can be used to make food and drink
7. Blue Dampier; another lovely plant that delivers a burst of colour in the spring
Before you plant, check which conditions the flower you have chosen thrives in and whether it prefers lots of natural light or if it needs some shade during the day. Consider having a consultation with a gardening expert to decide which trees, shrubs and other plants will suit your property.
Where to find Australian native garden supplies in Mount Gambier
Your nearest nursery is the best place to source information and advice about planting an Australian native garden this spring.
Mount Gambier Garden Centre has a wide selection of natives, from banksia and bottlebrush to wattles and lilly pilly. This nursery is open seven days a week and has a huge selection of gardening supplies.
Local gardening fans can also visit the Gardenarium. This 25-year institution has a wide range on offer and also provides gardening and soil testing services.
How to cultivate a water-wise garden
In a dryer climate, mulch will help to trap the moisture in your soil so your plants survive for longer. While they can take a while to grow, healthy trees will provide shade to increase moisture retention as well.
If you do have a watering system, look to automate it so it comes on before the sun is completely up or in the evening. You can also find systems that won’t turn on if it has been raining, or which you can control using your smartphone so you can stop watering during wet weather.
Try to match your plants to the condition of your soil. For example, in South Australia, we have a lot of what’s known as ‘Calcarosol’ soil, which is lime-rich and doesn’t have the best water retention. This is why it makes sense to choose Australian natives that can thrive with less watering.
You don’t have to be a green thumb to add some native plant life to your garden. Consider a hanging basket or some balcony pot plants, or just work on a small area and you will still be able to enjoy the beautiful colours these plants have to offer.
If you’re thinking of selling your home this spring and are looking for some help not only promoting the property but preparing it to look its best, please get in touch with our team at Complete Real Estate.