One of the best ways to grow a successful garden in our climate is by blending native plants with introduced species. This gives you the best of both worlds. Indigenous birds and other native animals are attracted to native plants in the garden. Some feed on the nectars produced by the flowers. Others benefit by taking shelter in bushy native shrubs. The insect populations that live in harmony with indigenous trees and shrubs also become a source of food for insect-eating birds.
In recent years native plants are being grown in ever-increasing numbers in Australian gardens. Not only are native plants attractive in their own right, they have become conditioned over thousands of years to withstand the vagaries and the harsh realities of our climate. The practice of mixing natives and exotics in home gardens can produce delightful results, as both have much to contribute to garden layouts in form, colour and visual effect.
But in those intervening decades the plant breeders have been busy and have developed improved varieties of many of the most popular native plants. Here are some groups to look out for: