Popular garden designs for the North West

This guide for the North 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 tropical garden

Filled with bold foliaged plants that provide shade, shelter and colour throughout the year this garden will have a tropical feel without needing a lot of water.

Tropical Garden (North West) example

Abrv.  Common name Botanical name
Groundcovers
Es Echeveria setosa
Echeveria setosa
Ipo Beach Morning Glory Ipomoea pes-caprae
Swf  Sturts Desert Pea Swainsona formosa * 
Shrubs 
Ef Burra Eremophila fraseri *Δ
Aa Jacob's Coat Acalypha amentacea
Ao Desert Rose or Impala Lily Adenium obesum
Cm Natal Plum Carissa macrocarpa
Eum Crown of Thorns Euphorbia milii
Zf Cardboard Palm Zamia furfuracea
Bo  Fern Blechnum orientale * 
Grasses/Strappy Leaf Plants 
Cra Giant Crinum Lily Crinum asiaticum
Sans Mother in Laws Tongue Sansevieria trifasciata 
Trees 
Ad Elephant Ear Wattle Acacia dunnii *
Adg Boab Adansonia gregorii * Δ
Ara Alexander Palm Archontophoenix alexandrae  
Ps  Screw Palm Pandanus spiralis 
* 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
Groundcovers
Cr Wild Jack Bean
Canavalia rosea *
Ipo Beach Morning Glory Ipomoea pes-caprae * 
Shrubs 
Ef Burra Eremophila fraseri * 
Grw Wickham’s Holly Grevillea Grevillea wickhamii * 
Cc Green Bird Flower Crotalaria cunninghamii *
El Berrigan Eremophila longifolia *
Grasses/Strappy Leaf Plants 
Aga Agave Agave attenuata
Trees 
Eucv Eucalyptus ‘Snow Queen’ Eucalyptus victrix *
* These species are endemic to WA

Coastal Garden (North 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
Groundcovers
Thym Thyme
Thymus vulgaris
Egk Eremophila 'Kalbarri Carpet' Eremophila glabra *
Ro Creeping Rosemary (Prostrate) Rosmarinus offcinalis
Shrubs 
Br Pony Tail Palm Beaucamea recurvata
Cm Natal Plum Carissa macrocarpa
El Berrigan Eremophila longifolia *
Ff Mauritius Hemp Furcraea foetida
Grasses/Strappy Leaf Plants 
Alf Cape Aloe or Bitter Aloe Aloe ferox
Sans Mother in Laws Tongue Sansevieria trifasciata
Trees 
Bc Jigal Native Bauhinia Bauhinia cunninghamii
* These species are endemic to WA  

Example of Mediterranean Garden (North West)

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.

Plant species

Abrv.  Common name Botanical name
Groundcovers
Swf Sturts Desert Pea
Swainsona formosa *
Swm Ashburton Pea Swainsona maccullochiana *
Shrubs 
Ef Burra Eremophila fraseri *
Ed Slender Fuchsia Eremophila decipiens *
El Berrigan Eremophila longifolia *
Gc Gomphrena 'Pink Gem' Gomphrena flaccida *
Grw  Wickham's Holly Grevillea Grevillea wickhamii *
Pel  Tall Mulla Mulla  Ptilotus exaltatus * 
Grasses/Strappy Leaf Plants 
Dc Flax Lily 'Cassa Blue' Dianella caerula
Trees 
Brac Rock Kurrajong Brachychiton acuminatus *Δ
Eucm  Manowan Woollybutt Eucalyptus miniata *
Hl  Corkwood or Witinti  Hakea lorea Δ  
* These species are endemic to WA  
Δ Optional species (not included in illustration)

Native Garden (North 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
Groundcovers
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’
Dianella
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