A home garden experiment

Some years ago I began experimenting with planting a number of non-local, indigenous plants in our home garden.

My choice of species was influenced by many years of traversing the landscapes of northern Victoria and admiration for some of the native plants, especially wattles, that characterise these places in the zone between home and the Murray River. This includes species such as Eumong Acacia stenophylla, Willow Wattle A.salicina, Yarran A.omalophylla, Black Box Eucalyptus largiflorens, and a number of others that I began planting around a decade ago.

Most of these plants have now established and thrived, with little or no attention. It represents my small effort to plan and plant for a future climate, one in which central Victoria will be hotter and drier than we have become accustomed to. At the same time I haven’t neglected some of the hardy local indigenous plants – Silver Banksia Banksia marginata, Lightwood A.implexa, Drooping Sheoak Allocasuarina verticillata and Buloke A.luehmannii, all of which are doing well in a changing climate.

Importantly, but hardly surprising, is that our local native birds are attracted to these plantings. A few minutes ago I took a break from the computer for a stroll through the garden … Spotted and Striated Pardalotes, Red-browed Finch, Silvereye, Grey Fantail, New Holland Honeyeater, Eastern Spinebill … all in and around some of these exotic new plantings as well as the local natives.

Home gardens can provide significant habitat for wildlife, in addition to a multitude of other benefits. Over time I predict we’ll start to increasingly see the use of some of these ‘dry country’ species in home gardens.

Eumong

Eumong Acacia stenophylla seed pods and foliage

Lightwood

Lightwood Acacia implexa bark

SilverBanksia

Silver Banksia Banksia marginata foliage

Spotty1

Spotted Pardalote (male) in Eumong

Spotty2

II

Spotty5

Male in a Silver Banksia

Spotty3

… in a Willow Wattle

Spotty4

Spotted Pardalote (female) in Silver Banksia

WillowWattle

Willow wattle flowers and foliage

5 responses to “A home garden experiment

  1. Bruce Terrill

    Hi Geoff, can Silver Banksia be sourced locally and would it survive in the northern parts of Ballarat (Wendouree) ??? Bruce.

  2. Hi Bruce – Silver Banksia does well in the Ballarat region. Link here to a great project that will answer your questions and many more. Cheers, geoff
    https://www.friendsoftheforgottenwoodlands.org.au/

  3. kristinmundaygmailcom

    Those tiny spotted pardalotes make my heart lighter every time I see them. They are exquisite. Thank you!

  4. John Carruthers

    Wow, Geoff: inspiring. In Castlemaine, Cassia Read & Co are advocating and educating the West End neighbourhood for this kind of backyard natives revival driven by achievable biodiversity on a small scale. You two are probably talking already!
    P.S. We haven’t had only patchy luck so far with Implexa / Wallowa / Wirilda.

  5. David Griffiths

    Well John, what you failed to point out to the readers is that we have planted an analogue complex of species at your property from many parts and provenances from eastern Australia at present around 4000 plants with another 2000 to be planted later this year. So far success and habitat outcomes are already apparent.

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