Native Plantings and Grey Water Sustain Summer Gardens
Creating a summer garden in this, the driest continent on earth, is always going to be challenging, but it does give the avid gardener the opportunity to try something different and experiment with the types of plants that will withstand a scorching summer. The dilemma Victorian gardeners have is that, while summers are usually milder than those in the northern states, they still experience hot, dry winds and over 40°C temperatures.
Eco-scaping Perfect for a Summer Garden
A summer garden in these circumstances needs to be adaptable and resilient. Eco-scaping is the newest trend in gardens and landscaping, using environmentally sustainable materials and lots of native plants and lawn grasses that are eco-friendly. The garden form itself is less formal and structured than a traditional garden, allowing the gardener a greater degree of creativity and personal expression.
To construct such a garden, it is best to start with a plan that can be as simple as a hand-drawn sketch, as long as it contains all the elements for a successful summer garden. From the sketch can be drawn a list of materials needed to get started. Items like decorative rocks, mulches, pavers, planters and large pots will get the ball rolling. Quality soil is essential if all this hard work is not to be wasted, so if the natural soil in the area lacks nutrients, the Bacchus Marsh Redgum and Garden Centre can bring in the best they have.
Native Plants Naturally Beat the Heat
Many native flowering plants do well in full sunlight, so generous numbers of these types of mature plants have an immediate effect. A mixture of soft toned and hardy ground covers will create an interesting contrast when they spread throughout the garden area. Place a few large pavers in between the plantings for effect, as well as to keep feet off the plants at pruning time.
Pots and planters are perfect for large, glossy, leafy plants that can be placed in and around the garden when shade is available, and removed to a safer location when the hot sun is making its presence known. The added bonus of introducing flowering natives into the garden is the lorikeets, wattlebirds and other honeyeaters that will be regular visitors.
A Summer House – Now There’s an Idea
Strategically placed decorative rocks of varied sizes and a good covering of mulch will complete the picture. To save water and to keep the plants healthy and thriving, a small irrigation system using household grey water is an absolute necessity. If the budget allows it, the final touch could be a small summer house or gazebo overlooking the garden where people can rest, relax and enjoy this beautiful summer garden.
If this type of project gets you motivated but you need some help with the logistics, contact the experienced people at Bacchus Marsh Redgum and Garden Centre. Their website at www.bacchusmarshredgumgardencentre.com.au has contact details and further product information.