With water restrictions in place in just about every state, Australian gardeners have to take a new approach to how they manage their gardens. Australia is the driest continent in the world, but for decades we’ve had a plentiful supply of water. With the onset of global warming, however, it’s become clear that we can no longer sustain our current water consumption levels.
Most capital cities now have water restrictions, meaning you can no longer wastewater on washing your car, and you’re restricted to watering your garden on certain days and certain times. With such restrictions in effect, Australian gardeners should not just look at how to minimize their water usage, but how to ensure that they minimize their garden’s water requirements.
Native Australian plants have evolved to deal with the Australian environment, and are ideally suited to dry conditions. Once established, chances are you won’t even have to worry about watering them on a regular basis. Another benefit is that they are also a haven for native Australian birds. Contrary to popular belief, there are also many beautiful flowering Australian natives that you can select. These days, most decent nurseries will have their own section dedicated to Australian native plants. Ask one of their helpers to give you a brief introduction to the different species.
For decades grasses have usually been the main feature of any Australian garden, but let’s face it, grasses are a legacy of our colonial times, imported from rainy England. They’re not really suited to our hot, dry, conditions and even though there are new breeds that require less water, they’re still water-hungry. Consider getting rid of your grass and moving towards something that requires less water and maintenance. If you’ve got a small backyard, going for the Mediterranean courtyard look with paving can be both classy and water-efficient.