Landscape & Garden Design
Re: Nature strips without lawns101
Nov 16, 2011 2:08 pm
we put in plenty of 'wild iris' grass plants on ours and never had a complaint- I guess some councils are stricter than others. I loved mine because they are SO hardy- I never had to worry about them and then they would spout these pretty purple or white mini iris flowers and I would think- how could such a neglected bunch of plants look so pretty? Goodluck!
Addicted to home design and new colour trends. So many good options- but so few rooms!
Nature strips without lawns102
Nov 17, 2011 8:01 am
They do have potential to become a serious weed problem.
Try growing Patersonia as an alternative. A native that has similar flowers as showy and more, looks similar overall and is not invasive.
Re: Nature strips without lawns103
Nov 17, 2011 6:55 pm
Ive planted three Steppable Silver Carpet plants on a strip of lawn approx 10m X 0.5m wide which is out the front of the property and a real pain to mow/edge. (Not the Nature strip)
Any idea how long it would take for the plants to start taking over....?
Thinking i should get a few more if i want it to overtake the lawn before i die....
Re: Nature strips without lawns104
Nov 17, 2011 8:42 pm
Well its very difficult to say. The reason being that there are so many variables in what dictate a plants growth and strength and how they combine to make a plant "hardy"
The soil is the number one driver of plant strength and health. Unhealthy plants = unhealthy soil.
So zeolite, certified organic composts, some degree of sand blended through clay soils to a depth of ideally 30cm.
This will allow strong root growth that is deeper and resulting in better summer resilience. With that comes satisfactory growth.
Now what we really need is the botanical name. The one you mention is just a generic name of particular marketing name. I'll take a guess and say it might be Dichondra Silver Falls? That stuff is a tough plant to grow well. Sometimes it goes nuts and other times it will struggle in seemingly the same conditions. It prefers more sun than shade from my experience.
Re: Nature strips without lawns106
Nov 17, 2011 8:59 pm
It'll do great. That stuff is super tuff. You'll love it.
Just wish more peeps would get into it and realise there are far better natural options for most applications where turf is commonly used.
Many herbs also make better lawns than lawn.
Re: Nature strips without lawns107
Nov 18, 2011 1:19 am
Dymondia margaretae Silver Carpet
It's super tough. Each plant grows to about a dinner plate in size, separate stems to propagate.
Dymondia - 2 by Shauna Cozad, on Flickr
Looks like a blob of creeping thyme in there too.
Re: Nature strips without lawns110
Dec 02, 2011 3:05 pm
Redman is that your front nature strip? It's beautiful. I hope some day ours will be as nice as that. We have planted things right across our nature strip and have been basically the only people in the estate who have. Looks way better than stones IMO.
Re: Nature strips without lawns111
Dec 03, 2011 1:04 am
Redman is that your front nature strip? It's beautiful.
Yes it is. I am trying to get a Victorian heath / showy heath garden with a few little extras. Some to keep the black birds and cats away. Others simply for a splash of colour or contrast.
I have started propagation of seeds and cuttings so I can learn and most end up in there. Sprinkles. The lawn replacement is one big experiment with a number of different plants to gauge how they cope this summer and just to see what hotch potch semi random blend of all will look like.
I hope some day ours will be as nice as that. We have planted things right across our nature strip and have been basically the only people in the estate who have. Looks way better than stones IMO.
Anything looks better than plain grass so enjoy the canvass, don't be afraid to try things. As for the estate, it will catch on, especially when they spend an hour every 2 weeks mowing and you pull weeds 4 times a year.
A couple up the road caught the bug and now have a mulched nature strip full of daisy, some flax, iris and Grevillea. Its beautiful and shady too. No mowing, minimal weeding, sweet if you are lazy...
Re: Nature strips without lawns116
Dec 03, 2011 8:05 pm
Spread sawdust around the plants...no more snails!! If they are really bad you might have to bury some beer traps or (heaven forbid) use snail bait...which I had to do recently in the shadehouse because the neighbour had rubbish against the fence and gave the snails somewhere to breed profusely. Fortunately I could place the snail bait where kids and animals couldn't get to it but it did the trick. Now I get the strawberries instead of the snails!!
Re: Nature strips without lawns117
Dec 10, 2011 2:27 pm
The snails got my plants...
They've got two little leaves left on each plant. Bastards!!!!
Yeah, it happens. it won't mean the plants are dead and done for though. Get some pet friendly snail bait. They will be Iron based and not chemical based (such as those containing Metaldahyde- check the small print). The iron will be of some benefit to the soil and equally effective at killing the snails. Also when birds or lizards eat the snails we won't be killing them either.
Re: Nature strips without lawns118
Feb 19, 2012 9:13 pm
Just read through this entire thread (minus all the links!)
We are on 2 acres & although we're not planning to landscape it all I want a large area around the house to be nice & lush seeing as where we live is a dry, brown, dustbowl in summer
Anyway, I was considering some nice desciduous trees around the place but I think I'm almost converted to going for natives. But I don't really know where to start? Are natives easy to grow? Say in a large garden bed, can I just bunch an assortment together or does it require more planning? (Clearly I have no idea!!)
My biggest concern is snakes, brown snakes are fairly common around here (SA) & I'm paranoid they'll be attracted to all these low growing, bushy shrubs. I don't want to stick my hand in to pull out a weed & get attacked!!
Also, my neighbours have a nice looking gum tree which they call a "ghost gum" it has a very straight trunk with very little bark. Does anyone know what it's proper name is? And would a couple of those provide nice shade on our future back lawn? Or can anyone suggest something better?
Glad I saw this thread, it's given me plenty of inspiration
Building our custom design "Dream Home"
Follow my Build - viewtopic.php?f=31&t=46820
Contract Signed - 28/04/11
Siteworks Commenced - 20/06/11
Re: Nature strips without lawns119
Feb 22, 2012 3:15 am
Ghost gum could be anything white barked. It might even be a bloodwood or Angophora from NSW. One usually coined "ghost gum" was the Manna gums of Victoria and central highlands of NSW.
RE: Snakes - use low growing covers like prostrate grevilleas (Honey gem) or Erimophila (broad leaf) which will grow very well in SA. There is also the chance to use fan flowers - Scaevola sp - from WA. (http://www.gardenexpress.com.au/scaevol ... e-fanfare/) Myoporium is also excellent.
These are very hardy and will tolerate extended dry periods. Use taller Erimophila or a more open grevillea to lift the garden so that you can see the snakes. Erimophila and Myoporium ground covers are very tough and hardy. They tend to grow slowly for about 2 to 3 years then they just grow into something the diameter of a truck wheel or bigger. You just need a little patience for these but the reward is a great looking garden that in most cases will never require water or maintenance of any kind but will be a supply for more cuttings and floral decorations.
Myoporium the darker broad leaf var is so easy to propagate its just a matter of cutting a stem and sticking it in the ground a little deep, around the length of a tent peg - it's that simple. You could buy one and let it grow out until the stems reach around 20cm. Then you can cut 30 or 40 plants from that and within a year you will have an entire nature strip done in Myoporuim. They have tiny white and lilac flowers in spring. Looks like grass from the distance. Clumping a silvery plant like cushion bush or Dichondra silver falls in the middle or here and there will contrast nicely with the dark green hues of Myoporium. The fan flower is also just as easy but best done in pots using a quality mix. Again a good size cutting or clump deep into a pot and water regularly. After about 15 weeks they are ready to plant out.
Re: Nature strips without lawns120
Feb 22, 2012 3:23 am
Dichondra (kidney plant) is tough as nails. I thought it would struggle in summer but its growth has continued where others have died back. A great lawn alternative. Hardy as hell, tough and rugged. These have had wheelie bins rolling over them and no watering at all and now without help have covered the entire pathway.
Prep was original soils + 30% sand and 50% wood shavings topped off with composted mulch to provide a harder, already walkable relief surface with pockets as places for the plants to be protected. Eventually that will break down but by then the dichondra will have established and stabilised.
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