Planting in Sydney
Planting the perfect Sydney garden
Our temperate climate makes planting in Sydney a horticulturalist’s dream. But our sunny city is uniquely diverse, enabling different styles of garden from suburb to suburb. Read on for our tips on choosing the right plants to complement your little corner of Sydney.
Gardening by location
With its unique topography, Sydney offers a diverse range of planting potential. Some little pockets of Sydney allowing cultivation of plants that might not survive even one or two streets away. Take your cues from the area you’re in. Coastal suburbs are burdened with sandy soil and salt-laden winds. They offer the perfect environment for a relaxed, Mediterranean-style garden. The heavier and cooler soils of the Lower North Shore are ideal for the type of lush green foliage and white flowers used in formal gardens that are popular there. While certain nooks of Avalon and Palm Beach enjoy a microclimate suited to a true tropical scheme.
For all the diversity of planting in Sydney that the climate allows, there are some things that just won’t work here. Our Winters lack the crisp, frosty nights and dry summers needed to get a proper display of rich autumn colours, while we’re not quite warm enough or wet enough for a true tropical garden. The good news: if you can’t grow it, you can fake it! A tropical-style garden can be created by combining those plants that will survive with ones that, though not truly tropical, display some of the same shapes and colours. Similarly, though many of Melbourne’s favourite cold-climate plants won’t cut it here, a creative gardener can usually find varieties that display similar characteristics.
Consider quintessentially Sydney plants
Native gardens aren’t as popular as they once were, but a couple of star Sydney plants could be a hardy and beautiful addition to almost any style of garden. Plants like the Gymea lily, Banksias and Sydney red gum thrive on our sunny shores. They would make a stunning contribution to your backyard landscape. Or, although it’s not a native, there are few plants that scream Sydney louder than a fragrant Frangipani in full bloom.