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 Acacia stenophylla seed pods and foliage
Lightwood Acacia implexa bark
Silver Banksia Banksia marginata foliage
Spotted Pardalote (male) in Eumong
Male in a Silver Banksia
… in a Willow Wattle
Spotted Pardalote (female) in Silver Banksia
Willow wattle flowers and foliage