Make Your Eco-Garden Gorgeous with these Water-Saving Plants

We’re no stranger to hardships in Australia.

We’re accustomed to a climate which likes to challenge us constantly to think outside the box – especially when it comes to outdoor landscaping.

Today, we all share a desire to minimise our water usage, whether it’s due to our location, climate or just simply because we’re looking to lower our water bills. The added bonus to all this is the fact our efforts diminish our environmental footprint.

Creating a garden chock-full of water-saving plants means you’ll have a backyard which needs less water and maintenance. It will thrive in dry conditions, so you won’t feel as though you’re neglecting your yard when you can’t water due to restrictions.

It’s easy to create a beautiful backyard not bound by the amount of water it receives. To start, search for plants native to your area that flourish in your location.

You can also pick plants that typically dwell in drier climates, whether they’re natives or are designed to optimise what water they receive. If you’re looking to also attract native wildlife to your eco-garden, make sure you read our blog on it here.

Drought-Resistant Trees

Not only do trees create natural boundaries for your backyard (not to mention playthings for the kids), they cast shade over your garden.

Shade means your backyard will receive less sun, so the soil won’t heat up as much. This will minimise moisture loss in the soil as the water won’t evaporate quickly.

Here are some fab backyard trees perfectly suited to an Aussie climate:

Crepe Myrtle

Crepe Myrtle is a deciduous tree which can grow to about 8 metres in height. It has peeling bark the kids will love and covers itself with white, pink, or red flowers when in bloom.

crepe myrtle

Quince

Quince is a small deciduous tree which can grow to about 5 to 8 metres in height metres and offers pastel pink flowers around springtime. If the name is familiar to you, that’s because this tree grows fruit of the same name.

If you’re lucky, your quince fruit can be picked and eaten, giving the tree multiple purposes in your backyard (supplying food, shade, and beauty). Quince is a great fruit which can be used in all sorts of recipes (like this delectable Quince Hazelnut and Oat Crumble).

Willow Bottlebrush

No tree is typically more Aussie than the Bottlebrush.

This member of the Bottlebrush family grows to approximately 5 to 12 metres tall. The Willow Bottlebrush is a hardy tree and is drought resistant making it perfect for Australia’s extreme temperatures.

Swamp Mallet

The Swamp Mallet is a rounded tree, native to WA. It’s fast-growing and takes soil challenges like no other plant. It has an endearing orange bark and can cast a pretty decent shadow over your lawn at maturity when it can reach up to 8 metres in height.

Water-Wise Shrubs

These plants will grow effortlessly in tough, low-water conditions and bloom with a wide variety of colours. In Australia, shrubs kick off pretty well in drought-prone regions, are a fantastic way of covering vast portions of your backyard and reduce the amount of grass which can otherwise be a water-guzzler (unless you have artificial lawn!). Here are some of our favourites:

Native Fuchsia

When it comes to native plants, fuchsia steals the show. It has charming long bell-shaped flowers and depending which variation you choose, can grow from anywhere between half a metre to 1.5m.

native fuchsia

Gold Dust Wattle

While this variation of Wattle may look delicate, it certainly packs a punch and when in season, the yellow glow which consumes the tree, is a sight to behold.

The wattle’s cotton ball flowers may look fragile, but don’t be fooled – – this is a tough plant which can tolerate frost, drought and lime.

Be a Water-Conscious Gardener

There are plenty of ways you can reduce your impact on your backyard and still have a vibrant, flourishing garden. Aside from planting shrubs and trees, adding mulch to garden beds is a really great way to retain moisture in your garden beds.

Other water-conservative tips for your backyard include:

  • Minimising the lawn with paving, paths, decking, garden beds, or artificial grass
  • Pitching your paths and paved areas so that water runs off into your garden beds
  • Zoning your plants according to their water needs to minimise water waste
  • Adding compost to your soil to help retain and drain water and stabilise your soil temperature

Looking for more inspiration?

Make your garden truly admirable with more of Australian Outdoor Living’s outdoor resources:

Feature image courtesy of boughtbooks via Flickr.
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