A bushland setting is very appealing. There are areas of land where the soil is too infertile for any other type of garden, and where only native species are likely to survive. A new site in an expanding suburb might have a number of useful trees already growing on it and you might want to keep the indigenous taller specimens. Bushland settings abound In many of the coastal regions and often beautifully-grained rocky outcrops appear with them.

The first step in making a new garden in these conditions is to examine carefully all the growing plants; any tree or shrub that is diseased or damaged should be dug out and destroyed. Some undergrowth might have to be cleared, and very tall trees, even though healthy, cut down to allow sunshine to filter through if their foliage is very dense. Most native shrubs demand sunshine, and it would be unwise to plant a garden with natives if they are unable to get sufficient sun. It is almost impossible to suggest any set plan for bushland gardens, since there is such a wide variety of conditions to consider, but any scheme of planting should fit in with the natural state of the land rather than call for its alteration.

Many of our natives are very attractive but usually they do not flower for long, and for an all-the-year flowering native garden it is necessary to select species carefully.

Some of the improved types flower longer and, if introduced into the garden, will
tend to have an uplifting effect on the overall picture. Callistemon (Bottlebrush), Leptospermums (Tea-trees), Grevilleas, Hakeas, Melaleucas, Eriostemon, Waratahs and native Myrtles may be introduced.

There are many varieties of the natives now available that are well worth a place in a bushland setting. The dull grey colour that predominates in native species can be relieved by the introduction of some brighter green exotics that will thrive in bushland areas. Such species as Pittosporums, Berberis, Abelia, Ericas and Azaleas are worth considering. Old tree stumps can be covered with Micromyrtus ciliatus, whose red buds and white flowers make a good floral display. Hot, sun-scorched areas will provide a suitable habitat for many succulents and cacti. To add interest, an area of the bushland garden can be set aside for a rockery.