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Why we should create sustainable gardens and billabongs filled with native water plants?

The use of native water plants breathes life into billabongs and their surrounds. Sustainable garden design provides food and shelter for both people and wildlife within the habitat.

Water is the life blood of any living garden. Why only have water storage tanks to capture and store the rainfall, when you can emulate the environment that naturally captures run off and channels the water into creeks and billabongs! We live in the driest continent in the world and yet we landscape in a way that results in the little rainfall that we do have, to run off down the drains and out to sea. This precious resource should be harvested and retained on site for the benefit of the local environment. Once our urban billabong is filled, excess runoff would then be able to continue to support other areas further downstream.

A billabong landscape, even in a suburban environment, can help frogs and other wildlife survive drought. By creating even the smallest natural landscape we can learn and observe the wonderful interactions with in our own gardens. They can be gardens that the whole family are able enjoy. Children will be inspired to take an interest in, not only the Googled world, but what can actually be found in their own backyard.

Do I need native water plants to attract native wildlife?

If you are planning a habitat garden, wetland or restoring a native landscape then native water plants are the number one choice. Native water plants can be a source of food, provide shelter and even nesting materials for indigenous wildlife.

Revegetating wetlands

When planning to revegetate a wetland, you should consider researching the plants that are indigenous to the particular area. The challenge being that even some Australian native water plants can become aquatic weeds when grown outside their natural area. Exotic or non-indigenous plants should be avoided.

Can Australian native water plants be combined with non-indigenous or exotic water plants?

In practical terms the answer is - Yes. Native water plants can be combined successfully with non-native water plants. How can we say this? Through observation and experience we have seen water plants combined in water garden plantings, full of native wildlife. Even in our nursery we have observed 7 species of frogs. The thought that society will ever eradicate all exotic plants and try to restore all landscapes to their original indigenous form can only be a dream. In the real world we need to accept them and plan to live with both indigenous and introduced plants.

The challenge is to understand the potential for some plants to become aquatic weeds. Whether the plants are Australian native water plants or not, cannot be the only criteria in deciding if it should be planted.


  1. For information on the plant care and maintenance of native water plants, go to our Tips & Hints page.
  2. For further information on weeds go to our aquatic weeds page.
  3. Click on the following link for information on frog ponds

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