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Garden Styles and Plant Guide

Copyright © Beverley Paine October, 2007

As summer approaches and the ground begins drying out I'm reminded that's it's time to mulch deeply. My dad, who has been living with us this past year while my parent's house is built, has been busy this week creating mulch from the feral olive trees on our property. We bought the mulcher a few years ago and at times I think it is one of the most used pieces of machinery we own!

The planned house extension required a reworking of the garden immediately adjacent to the house. This meant considerable landscaping using an excavator and bobcat, as well as construction of new retaining walls. Now that is (almost) complete I'm busy planting and planning the new garden. Some features remain from the old garden, such as the sultana grape vine, apple trees, apricot and nectarine and a few roses and shrubs.

I never know what to plant where - my garden tends to evolve in a rather messy fashion, and as a result looks good for one or two seasons and then looks messy for the rest of the year. At the end of summer it looks completely exhausted. I'd like to grow a garden that looks inviting all year...

At the local nursery and landscaping yard while picking up some gravel for the drain behind the retaining wall, I found a brochure by the state government on "planning, planting and maintaining beautiful waterwise gardens". Just what I need! It's one of a series of brochures you can also download from SA Water. In addition to lots of useful advice the brochure gives a list of plants for the most popular garden styles. I've replicated them here as an easy reference for myself.

After some consideration I've decided to blend cottage and Mediterranean garden styles for this particular area. This works brilliantly with the permaculture 'food forest' concept and allows me to focus on food producing plants as well as colourful groundcovers, annuals, perennials and small shrubs.

Cottage Garden

Mediterranean Garden
Native Garden
Formal Garden

Trees and shrubs

  • Roses
  • Crabapple
  • Elderberry Tree
  • Crepe Myrtle
  • Callistemon
  • Verbena
  • Hakea

Medium size plants

  • Rosemary
  • Banksia Rose
  • Grevillea
  • Westringia
  • Lavender
  • Wallflowers
  • Daisies
  • Asters
  • Agapanthas
  • Nerines
  • Salvias

Trees and shrubs

  • Lilly Pilly
  • Cacti
  • Geranium
  • Plumbago
  • Succulents
  • Carob
  • Citrus
  • Ficus (fruiting fig)
  • Echium
  • Westringia


  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary

Trees and shrubs

  • Callistemon
  • Grevillea
  • Correa
  • Acacia
  • Kangaroo Paw
  • Westringia
  • Dianella
  • Eucalypt
  • Hakea

Hedging Plants

  • Pittosporum Dahlese
  • Rosemary
  • Japanese Box
  • Viburnum

Trees and shrubs

  • Westringia
  • Pittosporum Euginoides
  • Lagerstroemia
  • Conifers
  • Lavendar

Low and compact plants

  • Dwarf Lavender
  • Dwarf Dianella
  • Thyme




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Our ever-changing view!
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care for earth,
care for people,
return surplus,
reduce consumption

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Copyright © Beverley Paine 2002-14. Article from this website may be downloaded, reproduced, and distributed without permission as long as each copy includes this entire notice along with citation information (i.e., name of the periodical in which it originally appeared, date of publication, and author's name). Permission must be obtained from the author in order to reprint this article in a published work or to offer it for sale in any form. Please visit Bungala Ridge Permaculture Gardens for more original content by Beverley Paine.