Guide For Landscaping Native Gardens (Adelaide SA) With Native Landscape Design.
Adelaide is well known for long, hot dry summers with periods of water restrictions due to droughts not uncommon.
Adopting a landscape design using local native plants is best way to have a lush, attractive garden that requires little to no water and will thrive while other gardens wilt away under Adelaide’s hot Sun.
Following native garden design principals & incorporating natural materials such as rocks, hardwood timbers and steel, Hand Made Gardens have over 35 years experience landscaping native gardens Adelaide residents request for their dream garden.
This guide will hopefully give you a starting point if you’d like to have a low maintenance garden makeover that will flourish, even when things get dry and hot.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to find out the reason many lawns and plants don’t survive a very hot summer is because they’re not native to Adelaide SA, often coming from tropical or much cooler countries that have far milder conditions with plenty of rain.
Discovering Adelaide’s local native plants that have adapted to survive harsh conditions such as prolonged Sun exposure, nutrient-deprived soils, and limited water availability actually has more upside than just your plants surviving. Apart from requiring far less water, saving you money, regular fertilising and the use of pesticides will be a chore of the past. With clever selection, perhaps the best advantage of landscaping a native garden will be the colour you’ll see all year round.
Ideal for all areas of the garden, there are native plants that are suitable as ground covers, low shrubs, formal hedges, creepers that can act as a natural privacy screen, featured garden trees and even screening trees that provide a natural barrier, hiding an unattractive boundary fence. All of these can attract native birds and butterflies, adding tranquil sights and sounds to native gardens you won’t experience with fake lawn properties adorned with plastic screens, decking, even fencing.
Regardless of the space, style or theme you’re wanting to create with your garden makeover, native plants can be potted for small courtyards, planted in a relaxed design to suit country or cottage gardens or planted for a modern, structured or very formal landscape design.
Master Landscaper Martyn Hand (MLSA) has over 35 years, built up an encyclopaedic like horticultural knowledge bank, knowing what plants to place where, so if you’d like to decide what garden theme you’re after having created with all the elements and features you’d like included, Martyn can help you with what plants will look great, especially in the years to come, once fully grown.
Natural Cottage Garden Theme
Adelaide native garden designs are relaxed and flowing, a wonderful place for attracting local wildlife. To achieve natural cottage looking native gardens it’s a good idea to mimic the flow and mix of plant species in nature.
Allow plants to cascade over clay brick paved paths and flow through one another. Utilise curved paths with a mulch or pebble base and decorate along the way with rustic wooden furniture. Adding garden features like bird-baths, hollow logs and nesting boxes will attract and support local wildlife such as birds.
Landscaping native gardens across Adelaide to achieve a natural cottage garden is easy with local native plants and as many species flower during winter, once established, you can achieve and enjoy your colourful garden makeover constantly all year round.
Formal Courtyard Designed Theme
A formal style suits courtyards and small garden areas as the emphasis is on structure and balance with a simple and uncluttered feel. Formal courtyard gardens emphasise symmetry with clearly defined borders, often using pavers with an edge. Sustainable river pebbles are also used to highlight garden landscaping features. A number of local native plants can be grown into clipped hedges or shapes to form the basis of formal gardens.
A green wall using a native climber species can provide screening to a private seated area, be a garden feature in its own right, provide privacy from neighbours or to hide sections from view. Natives can also be planted in pots providing added interest and colour in lieu of statues or urns, or if you don’t want to include a water feature.
Purpose Designed Family Garden Theme
Gardens can be great, safe places for children to play and have fun. A large expanse of tough, drought tolerant lawn such as male sterile Kikuyu will always get plenty of use.
Successful family gardens often feature different areas so that children can play in one area while adults can relax and observe in another.
As Alfresco outdoor entertaining areas with tables and chairs plus the BBQ or outdoor kitchen are so popular, when looking at your back garden makeover why not include such an area for the grownups to be, watching the kids play.
You may also want areas to be where all the family can gather such as a large paved area you can add seats, outdoor umbrellas and perhaps a fire pit to enjoy as the Sun goes down.
When it’s not raining, how good would it be to have the family together around a fire looking up at the stars in your native garden? An example of low maintenance landscaping at its best!
Contemporary/Modern Garden Design
Contemporary gardens feature bold modern designs, with an emphasis on contrasts of colour, texture and form. Many local natives offer excellent colour and texture to provide opportunity for striking designs.
Add some extra points of interest such as colourful pots, pebbles and pavers to create something truly unique.
Looking After Your Native Garden
When landscaping native gardens Adelaide landscapers from Hand Made Gardens will let you know how to look after and maintain it in the future.
When watering your new plants, over the first two summers give your plants a deep watering once a week to help them establish deep roots. After this, they should be able to cope with rainfall alone.
Automatic irrigation systems set up with subsurface drip line irrigation tubing is ideal for this as you can make sure all plants get the right amount of water, down to the roots and when required. By establishing a strong, deep root system, your plants will be able to survive periods of low rainfall.
Pruning South Australian native plants is required less often than most imported species, which is why they’re a popular addition to low maintenance gardens, but is just as beneficial to the plant. Most will just need a light trim to keep their shape, promote new growth and encourage flowering.
Prune after flowering and with young plants, prune lightly and regularly to thicken and shape them to produce great looking mature examples.
Most native plants prefer well-drained soil, but not all soils work efficiently. Adelaide typically has two types of soil, clay and sandy. Both are low in organic matter and fertility often needs to be unlocked by choosing the right type of fertiliser. Adelaide soils are generally slightly acidic with a pH of between 5.5 and 7.0. Some areas have extremely high amounts of very reactive clay deposits so often an amount needs to be removed and replaced with a good quality soil mix before planting trees.
Wood chip mulch, especially recycled bark, eucalyptus mulch and pine bark mulch, is the best mulch for natives, promoting microorganism activity and enhancing nutrients in the soil. As organic mulch decomposes, it releases nutrients, including nitrogen, into the soil to bolster the health of your native plants.
A layer of quality mulch (10cm thick) added to your garden can also reduce evaporative water loss by more than 70%.
Organic mulches keeps soil temperatures down, which benefits root density, suppresses weed growth, and helps to promote good soil structure and productivity.
Cow manure is cheap and a good all-rounder for the garden. Once matured, cow manure can be used on all native plants. Due to cows eating grass, their manure is perfect for adding structure and increasing aeration in the soil.
When landscaping native gardens Adelaide gardeners can use ‘Blood and Bone’ fertilisers as it’s a good natural source of all three of the major nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus & potassium). Used as a general-purpose fertiliser for a wide range of plant types, including native plants, the inclusion of phosphorus makes it particularly good for stimulating strong, healthy root growth.
Native plants are able to get enough potassium from any soil that has even a small amount of clay. There may be a need to provide extra potassium in areas that have very deep amounts of sand.
Instead of spending weeks of your time, when looking at designing a native garden, Adelaide residents often turn to the professional landscape designers from Hand Made Gardens because of their extensive experience with native garden design & landscaping native gardens.
Both hardscape construction plans outlining the paving, retaining walls, decking, lawn and garden lighting etc. and the softscape plans containing the layout and size of plants and irrigation can be drawn up so you know exactly how your dream garden will look.
The team of licensed landscapers can then turn your plans into reality.
Using natives when landscaping Adelaide gardens is a sure fire way to keep your garden looking lush, colourful and alive, especially during our hot dry Summers.
Would You Like A Native Garden?
If you know what your budget is & have something in mind, Ask us to quote on it.