How does my garden grow? Melbourne

How does my garden grow?

My front garden is changing from a veggie patch to an indigenous garden. Last year I realised that a veggie garden was just too time consuming for me to keep up.

I have been reading about the plants that were here before colonization, and how the First Peoples cultivated the land to harvest grains and roots. It makes sense to me that the native plants are the ones that are suited to my garden, and therefore should flourish. That’s the plan, and so far they seem to be. The ones I showed you a few months ago bulked up nicely over the Summer and Autumn.

You can see some of them from back then in the feature photo, where they are being overwhelmed by the parsley plants.

The other hoped for benefit is that they will attract and nurture native insects.

So, some photos

These are my favourites at the moment. The one at the back — is a native pelargonium. I think it dies back to in Winter, but at the moment the red leaves glow with the Sun shining through them. In front is a Wahlenbergia. Its delicate blue flower is peeking through the pelargonium.

To those walking past with their dogs and takeaway coffees I am sure the garden looks a little unkempt, an out of the ordinary garden. However I am fine with that. I see that the plants are settling in, bulking up and will strut their stuff when the time comes. That’s when I will become a neighbourhood trend setter!

And I am still in love with my new fence πŸ’•

30 replies on “How does my garden grow?”

“xeriscaping” is a great word, and it is just what I am doing. I am really pleased that everything I have planted haven’t died, which I can’t always say about other plants.


I agree, Anne, veggies are time consuming to grow. After making a big effort this time last year I’ve cut way back, now that I know what, and how much we will eat and I will leave the harder work items to the farmers and I’ll buy organic at the grocery! Except for the herbs and few leafy greens, the rest of our garden is natives and we have lots of birds and bees as a result. Happy growing!

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Keep the faith… my sister and BiL’s front garden in not-so-far from you Croydon is an indigenous garden… which looked scrappy at the start but now is wow. Too many people don’t bother to research or at least read plant labels, or they want an instant “look”… so waste time and money over-planting. Better to embrace a garden as an ongoing creative project, wait and see what its nature is and where the gaps are. The results of patience and ongoing care will make your front garden a talking point… in a good way β™‘

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The new fence has given me a spur to make the place more interesting. Unfortunately life has stopped me getting to the shop to get the panels I have in mind. Maybe next week, if life doesn’t get in the way.

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aha, “panel” will that cover something…one of my f/b artist friends who is in the UK, has painted quite a bit of her fence as a back drop to her small garden…she has many potted plants that she has gathered to add depth to her painted panels.


Oh that “what do the neighbours think” is a killer isn’t it? We havent been able to get to our house in Donegal for over a year and a half and I know our garden will be an unkempt forest by now. Perhaps you could make a “Native Plants Garden” sign so people will understand what you are doing?

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A sign is a good idea. I had often thought about labelling the veggies I grew, but never got around to it. It will be exciting to get back to Donegal, but a lot of work by the sounds of it. How is the moving going?

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That is a brilliant idea Anne. If the effort of growing veggies outweighs the pleasure of them then get rid I say! Rewilding is quite a buzz word here in the UK but xeriscaping sounds even posher! That plus no-mow May (or antipodean equivalent) should silence any critics who like suburban neatness.

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There seems to be a healthy move back to making more insect friendly gardens and spaces. Our only grassy area is our nature strip, which has been the Fella’s domain. He hasn’t been able to mow it for a while, so we are reliant on neighbours. Isn’t that a good excuse to let it do its own thing?!

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I’m good at excuses like that too! I would never win ‘best kept allotment’ or be popular in suburbia!


There will be more pictures, I am sure. ☺️
i thought I had followed you, but it turns out I hadn’t….so I made sure I have now. (Isn’t that a tortuous sentence?)


Any garden that has interesting things to see and meander through are good gardens. My inspiration comes from my Mum’s garden, which has made me realise that I must do a post about it.


I think your plants will be wondrous by the end of the season! No matter what it is, when you first out the transplants in the ground they look so lost and forlorn don’t they? In time, though look out, and yours will be right there. More pictures, so we can watch it grow with you!

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Forlorn is a great word to describe them. Then, without you noticing, they do bulk up. I will certainly keep the pictures coming. Maybe I could focus on a different plant each time.

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Husband loves growing the veggies but it is an awful lot of work and I don’t blame you for capitulating – I would!
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to force a plant that doesn’t like its environment to grow so I think you are very wise to stick with those native plants and you might well start a trend in your neighbourhood or at least provoke some curiosity and questions,


Love how gardens and gardeners evolve. Many people are too used to the instant garden of a couple of varieties planted in rows of hedging. Hate that. Like something like yours that has evidence of experimentation and room to grow and evolve.


Nothing like a good natter, so let's have a chat!

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