Designing a waterwise garden

No matter what your style, you can create a colourful, inviting and sustainable waterwise garden for your new home.

The best way to make your garden waterwise is to include a mix of waterwise plants, low maintenance turf and hardscapes like paving or pebbles.

For friendly advice and all the waterwise products and plants you need, visit your local Waterwise Garden Centre

Soil improvement

Before starting any landscaping, give your plants the best start by improving your soil first. Good soil is the foundation of a waterwise garden, but sandy soils commonly found in WA are nutrient poor and don't hold water well. Adding soil improvers and wetting agents will help your soil hold more water and keep your garden happy.

Check what kind of soil you have in your new garden and see how you can increase its nutrient and water holding capacity.

Soil type  Non- wettable (water beads run off) Water holding capacity Nutrient holding capacity Benefits from organic matter Benefits from soil improvements (various)
Sand Very common Poor Poor Greatly Greatly
Clay Very rarely Good Medium Greatly A little
Loam Rarely Good Medium Greatly A little
Gravel Occasionally Medium Medium Greatly A little

Female tending to a vertical garden


Whether you're adding a few new plants, creating a feature garden or starting from scratch, using a waterwise design is always a great idea.

Our range of handy garden design guides will help you create a beautiful garden space for your home. 

When designing your garden consider the following elements:


One of the best ways to conserve water in the garden is to group plants with similar watering needs. This also helps establish your overall theme and gives each plant the best conditions to flourish in. So consider this during the planning and replanting phases of creating your waterwise garden.

Hyrdozoning your garden

Choosing plants

Waterwise plants have adapted to our climate and live with less water – and look fabulous in your garden. You'll enjoy their low-fuss nature!

Start by finding the best plants for your area in our dedicated waterwise plants directory


Installing a warm season grass will help keep your home cool and provide a hardy area for children and pets. 

Use our guide to find the perfect grass for your home and see how to best install it to be water efficient:

Establishing a new lawn

Top tip: Think about ways you can reduce your lawn area while still maintaining a usable space and make your garden more sustainable. This could be:

  • creating garden beds or borders
  • planting groundcovers
  • putting in decked or paved areas
  • including areas of porous pebbles or gravel. 

You can apply for an exemption if you are installing a new garden or a new lawn, including roll-on lawn, runners, shredded lawn and seed.

Find out more about exemptions

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