Why choose native plants for council landscaping projects
Landscaping public spaces can often feel like a balancing act. There are many competing forces at play; location, plant availability, unpredictable weather conditions, community tastes, budget and tight delivery timelines.
As one of Australia’s leading native plant nurseries, we know that correct plant selection can help level out this balancing act, make your job easier and positively impact the local environment along the way. From our 20 years in the industry, here are our top four reasons why quality native plants are a must-have for your next local council landscaping project.
Work with the weather
“I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains”.
We’ve all heard the famous poem and know that Australia has always been a country of harsh conditions, rugged beauty and seemingly endless summers. However, now more than ever, water, heat and fire are at the front of the public consciousness. We’re experiencing an ongoing drought across our island nation that’s thought to be the worst in 800 years — and reprieve doesn’t appear to be in sight.
For local councils, correct plant selection is vital if they want to produce green spaces, nature strips and pocket parks that can stand the test of time. Within the industry, there is a renewed enthusiasm for climate-appropriate or drought-tolerant varieties of native plants. Native plants need less help and resources to grow because they are already adapted to local soil and conditions. Over time native plants have developed natural systems to withstand droughts and harsh weather.
Bring in the birds and bees
The world over, we’re famous for our unique flora and fauna. For Western Australians, our local native plants and animals create the biodiversity hotspot that we call home. Think about it this way, at Plantrite we have over 600 plant species, and we’re one 20-acre nursery.
Unfortunately, because of human impact, there is a reduction in native plant biodiversity. As a result, there is less food and shelter for native animals which has resulted in a species decline. However, we can all help reverse the decline by replacing the lost native plants in our urbanised areas.
Natives are essential if we want to encourage biodiversity, recreate wildlife corridors for birds, reptiles and mammals, and provide flora for insects and bees, which pollinate the plants. Our natural world supports human life in return by producing food and water, regulating the climate, supporting nutrient cycles and providing recreational benefits. Plantrite is the only WA nursery dedicated to wholesale native plants. Councils and landscapers will find a unique selection that is protected by Plant Breeder’s Rights and are exclusive to Plantrite.
Natural pest control
Pest spraying is a considerable and costly undertaking for local councils, using toxic chemicals and manpower to keep garden destroying bugs under control. By selecting native plants, you encourage natural pest controllers to come into the landscape such as blue tongue lizards, leaf tail geckos and bandicoots. By replicating the native Australian environment, landscapers can provide these animals with rocks and logs for them to live in. These native animals help to control pests such as snails, cockroaches, slugs, lawn beetles and spiders.
Better and faster
Native plants are a fantastic option for any professional who wants to balance the bottom line, along with their environmental impact. Overall, we’ve discovered that native plants thrive and grow quickly when planted from tube stock which makes native plants a cost-effective solution for large scale landscape projects. Plus, established native gardens often require less support than exotic species, so they are more cost-effective to maintain year on year.
From a 160,000 plants strong revegetation program with the City of Wanneroo to providing a ‘Plants for Residents’ service to the City of Kalamunda, Plantrite has helped many local councils use native plants to deliver on their targets in challenging environments and under tight timelines.
They are our top four reasons why you should use native plants in landscaping — and there are plenty more. Our experts would love to show our nursery, discuss your next project and help you get your stakeholders and community interested in natives. If you want to know more, there are many case studies and examples on our website.