Popular garden designs for Perth and the South West

This guide for Perth and the South West region will help you take a fresh look at your garden and make it more waterwise, lower maintenance and more beautiful.

Featured design: a native garden

The ideal garden for our Western Australian climate, a native garden will look attractive, can provide year round flowering and will attract birds and wildlife.

Native Garden (South West) example

Abrv.  Common name Botanical name
Bb Southern Blechnum Banksia 
Swainsona formosa *
Dd Dampiera Dampiera diversifolia *
Dm  Mondorup Bell  Darwinia macrostegia * 
Grs  Grevillea ‘Star Burst’  Grevillea saccata * 
Grt  Grevillea tenuiloba  Grevillea tenuiloba *
Af Dwarf Agonis Agonis flexuosa * Δ
Alh Native Hibiscus Alyogyne hakeifolia *
Cv Bottlebrush ‘Little John’ Callistemon viminalis
Eut Egg and Bacon Plant Eutaxia myrtifolia *
Mh Chenille Honey Myrtle Melaleuca huegelii *
Grasses/Strappy Leaf Plants 
Amn Kangaroo Paw Anigozanthos Manglesii *
Po  Native Iris or Purple Flag Pattersonia occidentalis * 
Ba Ashby’s Banksia Banksia ashbyi *
Eucv Eucalyptus ‘Snow Queen’ Eucalyptus victrix *
* These species are endemic to WA  
Δ Optional species (not included in illustration)

Other garden design ideas for this region

Often rugged and relaxed a coastal garden is full of hardy plants that can withstand strong winds.

Plant species

Abrv.  Common name Botanical name
Eg Emu Bush
Eremophila glabra *
Grps Grevillea 'Seaspray' Grevillea preissii * 
Kc  Kennedia 'Coastal Carpet' Kennedia coccinaea *
Ads Adenanthos ‘Pencil Perfect’ Adenanthos sericeus * 
Cora Coastal Correa Correa alba * 
Ls Green Bird Flower Crotalaria cunninghamii *
Lb Berrigan Eremophila longifolia *
Wd Native Rosemary  Westringia dampieri * 
Al  Acacia lasiocarpa  Acacia lasiocarpa * 
Ci  Holly Flame Pea  Chorizema ilicifolium * 
Grasses/Strappy Leaf Plants 
Anfb Kangaroo Paw (Dwarf) Bush Gem Series  Anigozanthos flavidus *
Dr  Dianella 'Little Rev' Dianella revoluta *
Ba Ashby's Banksia Banksia ashbyi *
Ml  Rottnest Tea Tree Melaleuca lancelota *Δ
* These species are endemic to WA
Δ Optional species (not included in illustration)

Coastal Garden (South West) example

Often informal in layout, a cottage garden usually contains a combination of annuals, perennials, brightly flowering shrubs and herbaceous plants. English in origin (yet waterwise through modern plant choices) cottage gardens burst with colour and fragrance.

Plant species

Abrv.  Common name Botanical name
Bb Southern Blechnum Banksia
Banksia blechnifolia *
Dg Darwinia (Prostrate Form) Darwinia grandiflora *
Sca Purple Fanfare Scaevola aemula *
Ah Blue Hibiscus Alyogyne huegelii * 
Cop Diosma Coleonema pulchellum
Crow Crowea Crowea exalataΔ
Sant Cotton Lavender Santolina chamaecyparissus
Sals Salvia 'Electric Blue'  Salvia sinaloensis
Grasses/Strappy Leaf Plants 
Ap Dwarf Agapantha Agapanthus praecox
Arc NZ Rock Lily Arthropodium cirratum Δ
Lm  Lilyturf Liriope muscari
Af Jervis Bay Afterdark Agonis flexuosa *
L Bay Tree Laurus nobilisΔ
Pb  Ornamental Plum Prunus blireiana
* These species are endemic to WA
Δ Optional species (not included in illustration)

Cottage Garden (South West) example

Creating pleasures for all the senses, a Mediterranean garden has a combination of colours, productive plants, interesting foliage and flowering plants. Complete this look by incorporating design elements such as paths and rustic benches.

Plant species

Abrv.  Common name Botanical name
Ct Snow in Summer
Cerastium tomentosum
Leh Red Lechenaultia Lechenaultia hirsuta *
Leb Blue Lechenaultia Lechenaultia biloba *
Coc Blue Smoke Bush (prostate form)  Conospermum caeruleum *
Ar Wormwood Artemesia absinthium
Ec Pride of Madeira Echium candicans
Ld Upside-down Bush Leptosema davesioides
Salg  Salvia ‘ Crimson and Black’  Salvia greggi 
Sals  Salvia ‘Electric Blue’  Salvia sinaloensis 
Grasses/Strappy Leaf Plants 
By Mexican Lily Beschorneria yuccoides
Sis Devon Skies Sisyrinchium ‘Devon Skies’ *
Ery Coral Tree Erythrina indica
Lag  Crepe Myrtle Lagerstromia indica 
* These species are endemic to WA  

Mediterranean Garden (South West) example

Having your own vegetable garden is a great way to enjoy fresh and healthy produce. It is possible, regardless of your garden size and through using waterwise gardening techniques that will minimise your water use.

The location of your garden and what you create it in are important decisions when establishing your garden. Vegetables need a good source of sunlight; somewhere not too sunny in summer with sufficient sunlight in winter is ideal. A spot protected from wind by a building or hedge will keep your vegetables happy.

When choosing where to establish your garden, if space is limited, a raised container is ideal as they keep the garden contained and can be moved to suit the weather conditions. If you have plenty of space a garden bed can be established in the ground, as it involves less set up but can’t be moved. 

Deciding what to grow and planting seasonal vegetables will ensure the best results and minimise water use. By planting from seeds you can stagger when the vegetables are ready and planting from seedlings will see them mature at once. Whichever you choose, make sure you plant vegetables that will be eaten and put to good use. 

Hand watering twice a week or installing sub-irrigation or drippers will see the best results in your garden. 

For more details on waterwise gardening techniques for your vegetable garden please refer to the Your guide to a waterwise garden brochure.

By transforming your verge into a waterwise garden you will create an attractive hassle-free garden that requires less maintenance.

Before planning your verge check with your local council for any guidelines or restrictions in place.

To transform your lawned verge firstly apply a herbicide with glyphosate as the active ingredient. After a few months, the lawn will breakdown and act as a source of nutrients for new plants. There is no need to remove the lawn, just plot out the design and dig holes for the new plants and watch your new waterwise verge come to life.

Example of Verge Garden

Plant species

Abrv.  Common name Botanical name
Hp Snake Bush
Hemiandra pungens
Gro Grevillea ‘Gin Gin Gem’ Grevillea obtusifolia
Grcu Grevillea ‘Flat Jack’ Grevillea curviloba
Adc Adenanthos ‘Coral Carpet’ Adenanthos cuneatus
Egc Eremophila ‘Compactum’
Eremphila glabra
Kp  Running Postman Kennedia prostrata
Myp Creeping Boobialla Myoporum parvifolium
Ega Eremophila 'Amber Carpet' Eremophila glabra
Low Shrubs 
Bn Honeypot Dryandra Banksia nivea
Al Acacia lasiocarpa Acacia lasiocarpa
Oa Olearia ‘Little Smokie’ Olearia axillaris
Wd Westringia ‘Jervis Gem’ Westringia dampieri
Grasses/Strappy Leaf Plants 
Conc Grey Cottonheads Conostylis candicans
Myp Creeping Boobialla Myoporum parvifolium
Anm Kangaroo Paw Angiozanthus manglesii
Po Native Iris or Purple Flag  Pattersonia occidentalis 
Dianella ‘Silver Streak’
Dr  Dianella ‘Little Rev’
Dianella revoluta 
Fn  Knotted Club Rush  Ficinia nodosa 
Lc  Little Con  Lomandra confertifolia 
Bj  Bare Twig-rush  Baumea juncea 

Watering your new garden

A typical suburban block will thrive on irrigation on 2 watering days per week in summer (half that in spring and autumn).

If planting a new garden, you can ensure it gets the best chance to establish itself by applying for a watering exemption. Once your garden is established you will need to abide by the state-wide watering rosters and daytime sprinkler ban between 9am and 6pm.

Check my watering days

Look for the Waterwise symbol

Waterwise ApprovedFor professional assistance with saving water in and around your home and garden, contact a Waterwise Garden Centre, Garden Designer, Garden Irrigator, Irrigation Design Shop, Landscaper, Plumber or Water Auditor. When creating your new garden look for Waterwise and Smart Approved WaterMark symbols when choosing gardening products such as mulch, plants, greywater systems and sprinklers.

How to start creating your waterwise garden