Garden Photo of the Day

Growing With Australian Native Plants

This Western Australia gardener loves colorful native plants

Today’s photos come from Marie Newport in Dianella, Western Australia.

My husband loves gardening. He loves the Western Australia natives and created this garden from scratch only two years ago. The kangaroo paws (Anigozanthos species and hybrids, Zones 10–11) are unlike any others I have seen. They are taller than our gutters on the unit and have made our place a very pleasant place to be. Birds visit the garden all the time, I suppose like meeting at a cafe!

A brilliant, colorful mass of kangaroo paws! These plants are native to Western Australia and have become increasingly popular around the world, especially in hot, dry climates similar to where they are native. It is easy to see why they are so well-loved.

Another view of the kangaroo paws in all their colorful glory.

Can you believe how tall these ones are?

Kangaroo paws are pollinated by native birds, mostly varieties of honey eaters and wattle birds. Red is very visible to birds but difficult for most insects to see, so just like hummingbird-pollinated flowers in the Americas, this group of Australian bird-pollinated flowers also boasts some intense red colors. Australia’s bird pollinators like to perch on the flower stems to sip the nectar rather than hovering in the air as hummingbirds do. Because of that, kangaroo paws and other bird-pollinated flowers from this part of the world have thick, sturdy stems that are capable of supporting the weight of their nectar-sipping visitors.

One last view of this brilliant garden! The area is small, but it is packed with color and is a perfect habitat for native birds. The native plants of Australia are very different from those our North American readers are used to, but wherever in the world you garden, one thing remains the same: no matter how small your space, you can create a beautiful garden, and if you include plants native to your area, that garden can be a sanctuary for you and the local wildlife.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/15/2018

    Hi, Marie. Your husband has certainly achieved a lot of oomph and impact in the past 2 years with his planting of the kangaroo paws. The yellow and red colors make for a fun and festive looking wonder the birds consider your house the one to "party" at.

  2. user-6841468 11/15/2018

    I am in Massachusetts, US, which is zone 6, and like you use mostly native plants. Well done on the colors and bird habitat.

  3. cheryl_c 11/15/2018

    Marie and husband: You have really created an exciting garden for us to visit this morning! What fun to see plants so different from our North American natives thriving in their local conditions! We've visited Australia, as we have family there, and each time are struck with how 'exotic' your 'natives' are! Thanks for sharing your photos and your story.

  4. Chris_N 11/15/2018

    A beautiful garden. I love seeing photos from Australia because the plants are so different from those I see every day. Thanks for sending in the photos!

  5. btucker9675 11/15/2018

    Wonderful use of a small garden space - so much color, shape and texture! G'day!!

  6. paiya 11/15/2018

    Marie, you and your husband have created such a happy garden. Would like to see more close-up photos. Is that a frangipani tree near a window ? Like Chris, we have visited family in Australia and enjoy seeing the different flora!

  7. Gennyh1 11/16/2018

    Very pretty! Very interesting plants. Love it, thanks for sharing!
    Genny from Illinois, USA

  8. User avater
    MarionTMarino 11/26/2018

    Great info

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