Local councils are increasingly using indigenous plants to re-vegetate degraded nature reserves and parklands. On our property we have been following this example and working hard to remove introduced exotic species with either native or indigenous plants on our property.
For us a native plant can come from any part of Australia – this includes our coastal regions, desert regions or alpine regions. But indigenous plants come from a local area, so it’s a local native plant.
The advantage of indigenous plants is that they can eventually maintain themselves in our poor soils, require less or little water, attract birds and native animals and also adapt better to our climatic conditions.
Do you understand what indigenous plants can offer you? Have you had a look at how you can use them to make an ornamental garden as well as a natural area? I think we have been so used to seeing exotics that we have not considered how we can design an area incorporating indigenous plants.
Sometimes you can find a native plant that grows across a number of areas, but there are differences that occur locally within that individual plant. This means that it’s more adapted to this particular location and will grow better, and have greater disease resistance. Understanding this is can save you time and money.
We have had many challenges because our property is quite a harsh site. The soil is shallow and rocky and also dries out quickly. I have learnt to choose planting time well because when the weather cools it also becomes dry.
Another problem is that we have also been heavily invaded with European weeds, and it takes a huge effort to keep these under control, time that I would love to devote to regeneration and growing our vegetables.
When choosing the right indigenous plants it’s important to understand which plants once grew in your area.
We are lucky to have access to information through our “Land for Wildlife” group –perhaps you can check through your local council as to what you should be planting.