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Australian Plants

Updated on November 22, 2017

My Australian Garden And Its Plants

Well, the title says it all, really. Most of the plants in my front garden are Australian natives, but a few others creep in, because I like them. There's no theme or formal planting in my garden, it's just growing the way it feels like growing. :-)

Gardens, of course, are always in a state of flux, so things change regularly, depending on which plant I fall in love with at the nursery, or the market.

The garden at the back of the house is a mixture of herbs, natives, exotics and fruit and vegetables. It's a real mix, but I like it that way.

A Young Garden

The garden after a few years growth.
The garden after a few years growth. | Source


Most people think of eucalypts when they are planning an Australian garden, but we do have many other types of tree. I have to admit to liking the eucalyps myself, and currently have four in the front garden. Many of the varieties are much too big to have in a suburban setting though.

The eucalypt in the photo is Eucalyptus forestiana; the birds love it. We've tried to add bird attracting plants where possible, as our native birds are awesome. Lots of them come when the eucalypts are in flower.

Eucalypts and Other Trees

The Front Garden.
The Front Garden. | Source

A Palm Tree At Last

For years, I've admired palm trees, and have always wanted one in my garden, but they are so tall, it hasn't been a viable proposition.

At the local market on Sunday, I discovered that there was a dwarf species of date palm, the proper name of which I don't know. This variety apparently only grows to two metres in height, so will be ideal in my back garden. It may not fruit, as it may not be hot enough here in Melbourne, but that's fine with me.

Anyway, it now resides near the seating area, and we've put stones around the base so the chickens can't disturb the roots. They're notorious for doing that. The green object is the all too infrequently used rain gauge. :-)

As you can see, I'm really happy to have finally got my palm tree!

Finally Got A Palm Tree!

Dwarf Date Palm.
Dwarf Date Palm. | Source


Below is a picture of my genista, a beautiful yellow flowered plant, which is a legume. It seeds itself readily, and we are collecting any seedlings which come up, and will be replacing the front fence with a genista hedge. Should look spectacular in Spring.

Unfortunately, we have discovered that the Genista isn't really an Australian plant, but it's a beautiful plant, so we'll leave it where it is for the time being. It's most likely South African.

Genista In Full Bloom - ......It's Spring!

Genista. | Source

Quondongs, A Rare Fruit

In case you didn't know, Quandongs, or Quondongs, are an Australian fruit. They aren't particularly well known, and grow in the outback. I've never seen them in a fruit shop or supermarket, nor as a tinned fruit.

A couple of weeks ago, we were at an Australian Native Plant nursery, where they have a cafe which specialises in making food from our native plants. The dessert I chose was Quandong crumble, with ice cream and cream - it was beautiful! This fruit deserves to be better known.

The nursery stocked Quandong plants, so I brought one home with me - it's only about 4 inches high at the moment, as has a companion plant with it, which is a boobialla. Quandongs are semi-parasitic, so need a host plant. Just about anything native will do, even grasses.

They are a bit of a challenge to grow from seed, but I've got some of those as well, and am hoping for germination soon. The seeds have been planted with some seedling saltbush.

Quandongs are also known as the native peach, and their Latin name is Santalum acuminatum

Hopefully, either the seeds, or the seedling tree will do well, and in a few years, I'll have my own Quandong fruit.

Update: Unfortunately, the drought killed the poor quondong seedling.

I Really Like Quandongs

Another New Plant

Since I enjoy adding plants to my garden, I decided it was time to get another. After a lot of searching, at both the market, and a local garden shop, I decided on a dwarf acacia. Its botanical name is Acacia howittii, and it's common name is Honey Bun.

The maximum height should be about 1.2 metres and it has a spread of 1.2 metres also. As with most acacias, the flowers are yellow. It's a very dense shrub, and should look pretty good against the fence in the front garden.

Once we get enough plants at hedge height along the fence, we're going to get rid of it, and just have the plants, which by then, hopefully, will be thick enough to act like a barrier themselves. This new acacia is a nice addition to the plan.

Update: This plant is now about two metres across, as is looking very healthy.

Acacia howitti

Acacia howitti.
Acacia howitti. | Source

Australian Tufted Bluebell

Tufted Bluebell.
Tufted Bluebell. | Source

Drought Tolerant Plants

Some of the plants I've loved have succumbed to the heat and dryness of the past few years, when we've been in drought. There are some groundcovers that I'm allowing to run wild for the present. The tufted bluebell is one of them - it's a beautiful shade of blue

There's a much bigger patch at the other side of the garden, but it was in shade and didn't photograph well at the time.

Water Lily

Apricot Water Lily.
Apricot Water Lily. | Source

Ponds Are Great Features

Drought or no drought, I still have a small pond, surrounded by rocks. The goldfish haven't survived, for some reason, but the waterplants are still going strong. We actually have to trim the water weeds as they keep taking over, now that there are no fish to eat them.

The waterlily has just started to flower, and is a very pale apricot in colour. It's about four years old, and it still in a pot standing on the bottom of the pond.

Copper Tea-tree

Tea-tree in flower.
Tea-tree in flower. | Source

Growing Tea Trees

Tea trees are not actually the plant from which the drink is made, but they were used as a substitute by early settlers in Australia. There are many varieties, and one of my favourites is the copper tea-tree pictured above.

These plants an be found in a variety of conditions, and can tolerate full sun or part shade. Many Australian native plants do not appreciate fertilisers, unless you can get one made for them. Some wood ash, or blood and bone can be used, however.

These plants spread easily, so don't let them take over your garden when they seed.

Bird of Paradise Plant

This is my bird of paradise plant - I've had it for about six or seven years, since it was about five inches tall. I believe this particular variety is Strelitzia reginae.

Now it's about a metre or more, and it's the first time it's flowered. I'm really impressed with this flower - it's beautiful. The flower is about seven inches across and about six inches in height.

A Really Exotic Plant

Bird of Paradise Plant.
Bird of Paradise Plant. | Source

Red and Yellow Cacti

OK, so these aren't Australian Natives, but I like them a lot, and that's enough reason to have them in my garden!

I don't know what they are, only that one is red, and one is yellow, so that's what I call them!

A Couple of Cacti

Cacti. | Source

Native Geranium

This is a new plant in my garden, purchased on a recent trip to the Cranbourne section of our State Botanical Gardens. These gardens are dedicated to Australian native plants.

This little flower is hopefully going to spread, as I'd like it to become a ground cover for the area near the path.

Australian Native Geranium

Australian Native Geranium
Australian Native Geranium | Source

Purple Pigface

Pigface in my garden.
Pigface in my garden. | Source

Do You Like My Garden?

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    • shewins profile image

      shewins 4 years ago

      So pretty, it's nice that you use so many native plants.

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      @Anthony Altorenna: Thankyou! At the moment, we are getting a little too much sunshine, and are losing plants, while the North of the country is getting floods. The garden will definitely need some replanting in Autumn and Spring.

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 5 years ago from Connecticut

      I'm very envious of your garden, especially now that's it's winter here and the snow is falling outside. Visiting here is like a trip to warmth, sunshine and natural beauty.

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      @anonymous: Thanks for visiting, and glad you liked the garden. It's too hot to work out there today, but the zucchinis, raspberries, and plums are all over-producing this week in the heat! :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      yes I do, liked it a lot and appreciate you sharing.

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      @Virginia Allain: Thanks for visiting! Alice Springs is icy in winter too, which doesn't help a lot of plants.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I remember when we lived in Alice Springs we put a trellis up with shadecloth to give our veggie garden respite from the hot sun. Then I lived in South Texas which is pretty arid, so I had to chose really hardy, drought resistant plants. Good luck with yours.

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 7 years ago

      Your garden is looking great. Hope you include photo's as all your new plants grow and survive. I've learned to choose only the hardiest plants because I don't have water for them a lot of the time.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Great lens. Look forward to seeing more pics of your garden.