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Many people look at their coastal gardens in despair after many attempts to try different plants most of which have failed or struggled. They want a beautiful thriving garden but have all but given up. I get allot of enquiries about coastal gardens as there are not that many landscapers who can deal with high pH soils and in some cases shallow soils on limestone (Cottesloe). Here is a list of plants which naturally thrive in the most challenging coastal WA soils and if designed nicely will create a garden that your neighbours will be envious of.
1. Conostylis candicans (Haemorodacea) Clumping ground cover, silver foliage/yellow flower
2. Alogyne cuneiformis (Malvaceae) small/medium shrub, white/pink flowers
3. Guichenotia ledifolia (Malvaceae) small shrub (shade), mauve flowers
4. Guichenotia macrantha (Malvaceae) medium shrub, mauve flowers
5. Grevillea preissii (Proteacea) small shrub, red flowers
6. Scaevola nitida (Goodeniacea) small shrub, blue flowers
7. Templetonia retusa (Fabaceae) medium shrub (Shade) red flowers
8. Pimilea ferruginea (Thymelaeaceae) small shrub, pink flowers
9. Myoporum insulare (Scrophulariacea) spreading ground cover (edible), white flowers
10. Boronia crenulata (Rutacea) small shrub, pink flowers
11. Scaevola porocarya (Goodeniaceae) small shrub, blue flowers
12. Acacia lasiocarpa (Fabaceae) small shrub, yellow flowers
13. Leucophyta brownii (Asteracea) small shrub, silver foliage
14. Olearia axillaris (Asteracea) medim shrub, silver foliage
15. Hardenbergia comptoniana (Fabaceae) vine, purple flowers
16. Melaleuca huegelii (Myrtaceae) medium shrub, white/pink flowers
17. Ricinocarpus tubercalatus (Euphorbiaceae) medium shrub (shade) white flowers
18. Billardiera heterophylla (Pittosporacea) small shrub/vine (shade) (edible) (purple flowers)
19. Atriplex sp. (Chenopodaceae) medium shrub (edible) silver foliage
20. Eremophila glabra (Scrophulariaceae) spreading ground cover, silver foliage, orange flowers
One thing that allot of WA native plants have that not many other plants have is silver foliage. This is fantastic for highlighting the other green foliage around making the greens stand out more and they can dull down bright flowers. There are a few quite popular grounds covers such as Conostylis candicans (Grey Cottonheads) which is a clumping ground cover with yellow pom pom flowers and Eremophila glabra which is a spreading ground cover with orange flowers. For a dry shady spot look, no further than Guichenotia ledifolia which is an attractive small shrub with mauve bell-shaped flowers. For other small to medium shrubs then Leucophyta brownii (Cushion bush) which is widely used in landscape design for it is compact and attractive silver foliage and Olearia axillaris (Coastal daisy bush) is a medium shrub which is great for screening. A shrub which is literally tough as old boots is Atriplex sp. (Saltbush) this can create a silver living fence that is thick and can be pruned to size.
If you want scented plants, then look no further than Boronia crenulata (Aniseed Boronia) which is from the Rutaceae which is the same family as lemon, lime, orange and other citrus plants.
If you favourite football team is the West Coast Eagles, then you are in luck because you can have a front garden that supports the best team in the AFL. For yellows you can use Conostylis candicans (Grey Cottonheads) and Acacia lasiocarpa (Dune moses) which have striking yellow flowers and for the blue then you can use Scaevola nitida and Scaevola porocarya.
If you are hungry then there are a few options which include Atriplex sp. (Saltbushes) which have edible leaves and Myoporum insulare and Billardiera heterophylla (Australian Bluebell) which have edible fruits. Always take caution when eating bushfoods as you might be allergic to something you have not tried before, and they are usually eaten in small amounts.
If you want red flowers in the garden then look no further than the bird attracting plants such as Templetonia retusa (Cockies tongue) and Grevillea preissii which will grow in the shallowest and toughest soils and provide nectar for native birds during winter.
To be able to purchase these beautiful plants then please visit APACE nursery in North Fremantle, Australian Native Nursery and Zanthorrea.
For a professional designed native garden contact us as we would love to help.