New! Have a look at our new wish list feature which allows you to add your favourite plants to a wish list to email or print off for your convenience
their importance to the environment go without saying, however, in the brief context
of our website we need to limit ourselves to focusing on the smaller scale to
suit our urban lifestyle. The use of native aquatic plants should be a goal for all water
garden designs. Those seeking to design
and construct a more natural looking landscape should consider that natural billabongs or habitat styled ponds tend to be free
flowing in design. Incorporating a stream
or waterfall into the landscape also creates an element of excitement. These ponds are generally not designed as
centrepieces and work best if they utilise they natural slope of the landscape.
How do native
aquatic plants attract wildlife to my garden?
is the life blood of any living garden. Native aquatic plants help to breathe life into a
billabong and its surrounds. The
wildlife is attracted through not only the availability of water, but also food,
shelter and for many, a site to live and breed.
can feed directly from the plants leaves, roots and seeds, or indirectly
through the attraction of native insects and microorganisms that become the
food source for those that are higher up the food chain. Rushes and sedges are often the source of
nesting materials for birdlife, the seeds as food and the leaf stems can form
sites for some frogs to lay their eggs. The
native aquatic plants not only aid in supporting
the lives of those that depend on the water, but also the neighbouring land
wetlands may attract wild life, but are they attracting the wildlife that
belongs in that area? In some ways this
is the impossible question and in some instances will be impossible to solve
due to the influences of European settlement.
Can I mix native
aquatic plants with introduced exotic plants?
a contentious issue for some. Building a
habitat water garden in a suburban landscape, using native
aquatic plants combined with introduced exotics, can still help create
an environment that helps frogs and other wildlife survive drought. By observing nature in your own backyard, we
can see firsthand how an investment in our own environment, helps to create a
better future for all. They can be
gardens that the whole family can 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.
How do I decide which native aquatic plants to
This will depend on a number of factors. Planning is the best answer.
- The goals - Understanding
what you are trying to achieve, the purpose and intended use of the water
garden. Is it a pond that is permanently
kept full or a rain garden, with water captured only when it rains and allowed
to dry out in between? If you have a more formal styled pond but still wish to
use some native aquatic
plants then the
selections need to replicate the look that you are trying to achieve, for
example selecting Nymphoides species as a substitute for waterlilies. If you seek to plant an indigenous water
garden, then it is recommended to observe local plantings and also seek out
information from local government bodies.
- Site location
- This will affect not only the scope of the project but also the plant
selections for all their own needs such as how much sun or shade they get. How warm the water gets. Is it frost protected?
- Space - Whether
a courtyard or a larger urban garden, this will affect the range and scope of any
- Water depth -
This affects not only what native aquatic plants can be planted, but if you are trying to achieve an ecologically
balanced pond then a selection from all pond zones is important. As each occupant depends on each other for
- Aesthetics -
There is nothing wrong with trying to make the pond look attractive. If we don't get any pleasure from our water
garden, then we tend to neglect it. Not
only do we suffer, but so does the wildlife.
Choosing native aquatic
plants of varying
heights as well as those that suit different water depths gives us the ability
to create a more natural looking landscape.
- Regulations -
Some councils or environmental departments may have regulations on the types of
plants that may be used. Some native aquatic plants may be regarded as aquatic
weeds in some areas.
- For plant selection lists, refer to our Australian
Native Plants page
- For information on the plant care and
maintenance of native aquatic plants, go to
our Tips & Hints page.
- Click on the following link for information on aquatic
Please use our store
locator to contact your nearest garden centre, to place an order.