In this article

  • Ideas for creating a waterwise garden that will thrive in our climate
  • What is hydrozoning?
  • Selecting plants for your garden design

WA’s climate is unique and calls for a unique approach to gardening. In WA, gardens play an important role in our lifestyle, so incorporating a waterwise design into your garden will ensure you have a gorgeous green space that will thrive in our climate.

What is hydrozoning?

Creating zones based on plant needs allows you to set up your garden with irrigation stations, which will deliver the required amount of water for the plants. This is known as hydrozoning. Hydrozoning not only maximises the efficiency of your watering, it also helps to prioritise maintenance and fertilising requirements.

Think about the following zone types when setting up your garden:

  • Primary: These are high demand water areas and may require daily watering by hand. Examples include vegetable gardens.
  • Secondary: These are moderate demand water areas and thrive on the two days a week watering roster. Examples include turf and ornamentals.
  • Minimal: These are low demand water areas and may only require hand watering in the hotter months. Examples include established natives.

Waterwise garden designs

Waterwise gardens aren’t just succulents and mulch. With so many native Australian plants and hardy exotic varieties available, you can create different styles of gardens that are both beautiful and fit for our climate. Below we’ve put together a few of our favourite designs to help you create a beautiful waterwise garden that is easy to maintain.

Native garden

Ideal for our climate, a native garden will look attractive, can provide year round flowering and will attract birds and wildlife.

Example of a native garden design for the South West region

Groundcovers

Table showing the abbreviation, common name and botanical names for groundcovers
Abrv. Common name Botanical name
Bd Southern Blechnum Banksia Swainsona formosa*
Dd Dampiera Dampiera diversifolia*
Dm Mondorup Bell Darwinia macrostegia*
Grs Grivillea 'Star Burst' Grivillea saccata*
 Grt Grevillea tenuiloba Grevillea tenuiloba*

Shrubs

Table showing the abbreviation, common name and botanical names for shrubs
Abrv. Common name Botanical name
Af Dwarf Agonis Agonis flexuosa* Δ
Alh Native Hibiscus Alyogyne hakeifolia*
Cv Bottlebrush ‘Little John’ Callistemon viminalis
Eut Egg and Bacon Plant  Eutaxia myrtifolia*
Mh Chenille Honey Myrtle Melaleuca huegelii*

Grasses/strappy leaf plants

Table showing the abbreviation, common name and botanical names for grasses/strappy leaf plants
Abrv. Common name Botanical name
Amn Kangaroo Paw Anigozanthos Manglesii*
Po Native Iris or Purple Flag Pattersonia occidentalis*

Trees

Table showing the abbreviation, common name and botanical names for trees
Abrv. Common name Botanical name
Ba Ashby’s Banksia Banksia ashbyi*
Eucv Eucalyptus ‘Snow Queen’ Eucalyptus victrix*

* These species are endemic to WA
Δ Optional species (not included in illustration)

Coastal garden

Often rugged and relaxed, a coastal garden is full of hardy plants that can withstand strong winds.

Example of a coastal garden for the South West region

Groundcovers

Table showing the abbreviation, common name and botanical names for groundcovers
Abrv. Common name Botanical name
Eg Emu Bush Eremophila glabra *
Grps Grevillea 'Seaspray' Grevillea preissii *
Kc Kennedia 'Coastal Carpet' Kennedia coccinaea *

Shrubs

Table showing the abbreviation, common name and botanical names for shrubs
Abrv. Common name Botanical name
Ads Adenanthos ‘Pencil Perfect’ Adenanthos sericeus *
Cora Coastal Correa Correa alba *
Ls Green Bird Flower Crotalaria cunninghamii *
Lb Berrigan Eremophila longifolia *
Wd Native Rosemary Westringia dampieri *
Al Acacia lasiocarpa Acacia lasiocarpa *
Ci Holly Flame Pea Chorizema ilicifolium *

Grasses/strappy leaf plants

Table showing the abbreviation, common name and botanical names for grasses/strappy leaf plants
Abrv. Common name Botanical name
Anfb Kangaroo Paw (Dwarf) Bush Gem Series Anigozanthos flavidus *
Dr Dianella 'Little Rev' Dianella revoluta *

Trees

Table showing the abbreviation, common name and botanical names for trees
Abrv. Common name Botanical name
Ba Ashby's Banksia Banksia ashbyi *
Ml Rottnest Tea Tree Melaleuca lancelota *Δ

* These species are endemic to WA  
Δ Optional species (not included in illustration)

Mediterranean garden

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.

Example of a Mediterranean garden design for the South West region

Groundcovers

Table showing the abbreviation, common name and botanical names for groundcovers
Abrv. Common name Botanical name
Ct Snow in Summer Cerastium tomentosum
Leh Red Lechenaultia Lechenaultia hirsuta *
Leb Blue Lechenaultia Lechenaultia biloba *

Shrubs

Table showing the abbreviation, common name and botanical names for shrubs
Abrv. Common name Botanical name
Coc Blue Smoke Bush (prostate form) Conospermum caeruleum *
Ar Wormwood Artemesia absinthium
Ec Pride of Madeira Echium candicans
Ld Upside-down Bush Leptosema davesioides
Salg Salvia ‘ Crimson and Black’ Salvia greggi
Sals Salvia ‘Electric Blue’ Salvia sinaloensis

Grasses/strappy leaf plants

Table showing the abbreviation, common name and botanical names for grasses/strappy leaf plants
Abrv. Common name Botanical name
By Mexican Lily Beschorneria yuccoides
Sis Devon Skies Sisyrinchium ‘Devon Skies’ *

Trees

Table showing the abbreviation, common name and botanical names for trees
Abrv. Common name Botanical name
Ery Coral Tree Erythrina indica
Lag Crepe Myrtle Lagerstromia indica

* These species are endemic to WA
Δ Optional species (not included in illustration)

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 watering roster.