GARDENING WITH DEBBI
IF you have an interest in growing Australian native plants, then “The Australian native garden - a practical guide” written by Angus Stewart and AB Bishop is a must read.
Angus is credited as being Australia’s leading native plant expert having spent a lifetime working with and breeding Australian plants.
He is a presenter on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia, while AB Bishop is a horticulturist and researcher for the same program.
As Angus states, “Native plants have come of age, and they are now regarded as a mainstream part of our urban landscape.
“Once I had chosen horticulture as my career path, I decided to focus on creating more Australian plant cultivars that would be as reliable in the garden as their exotic cousins.”
The book features practical advice on all aspects of growing Australian native plants in the home garden.
It has information on selecting the right plants for your climate, incorporating native varieties into an existing garden and planting to attract wildlife into your garden.
There is detailed advice on growing bush foods and creating drought tolerant and fire resistant gardens.
It shows how to plan and create a thriving garden with practical tips on different garden styles, design, layout and structure.
It covers soil requirements, planting techniques, propagation and maintenance.
There is also a section on identifying pest and diseases and techniques to control them.
With nearly 300 pages, there are many beautiful glossy photographs of plants and over 50 pages featuring established gardens with a range of landscape styles that can be adapted to any garden.
It has a comprehensive list of native plant cultivars, with photographs and information about each plant, including growth habits and requirements, flowering characteristics, and frost and salt tolerance.
There is also a state by state list of native plant nurseries, including ones offering mail order.
This book offers a wealth of knowledge and advice, and highlights the beauty and versatility of Australia’s amazing native plants.
Thanks to the Wangaratta Library for the loan of this book to review.
NATIVE: Grevillea ‘Dorothy Gordon’ is a large new australian shrub which bears mauve blooms for most of the year to attract honey eaters, birds and possums. Flowers are useful for floral arrangements.