Build Your Own Garden

Plants native to the Sydney basin are good at growing in poor soil with not a lot of water.

Plants in Sydney have been cultivated by generations of Darug, D’harawal and Gadigal peoples to grow well in combined groups. We recommend incorporating a Eucalypt tree into your garden; as the leaves break down they create a fungus on the roots which allows the mixture of plants to support each other’s growth.

You can use regular garden soil or any native soil purchased from a nursery. If you are concerned about space or plant height you can plant the tree in a pot without holes so its roots are restricted, this will dwarf the growth of the plant. Picking and pruning the ends of the Eucalypt branches will also restrict its growth. Trees should be replaced every 7 years as the chemical composition of the leaves changes cyclically.  If you can’t incorporate a tree in your garden, mix Eucalypt leaves into the soil every 6 months.

Download the Sydney plants list and choose which type of plants you would like in your garden.

  1. Download the Sydney plants list and choose which type of plants you would like in your garden.
  2. Listen to Aunty Fran Bodkin talk about the plants and their uses. Are there some that could be useful to you and your family and friends ?
  3. Visit your local native nursery to see what they have in stock. Aim to have 4-5 different plants in the one garden bed.
  4. Mix slightly rotting Eucalypt leaves into the soil, about 1–2 handfuls for each plant. These can be collected from most parks around Sydney.
  5. Plant your new plants!
  6. Water every few days for the first few months until they are established. From then on plants in a balcony garden bed will need a ‘drowning’ once a week. Plants in the earth won’t need much attention.

Sometimes plants will die despite all our good intentions while others will thrive beyond all expectation. Don’t be concerned – replace the plants that don’t survive and continue to enjoy your native garden!