Whether you live in North Narrabeen, Narrabeen, Elanora Heights, Ingleside, or Warriewood, a focus on sub-tropical plants can be a smart and great-looking solution for your backyard.
Why choose a sub-tropical garden on the Northern Beaches?
There are solid reasons behind the growing popularity of sub-tropical gardens on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
To begin with, they look great because they are lush and green, with plenty of foliage to create peaceful shade.
Sub-tropical gardens are also very practical for busy families. The hardy plants used to achieve this look are easy to maintain and they grow well in the Sydney climate.
Where to find plants for your Northern Beaches sub-tropical garden
The Northern Beaches have plenty of nurseries with excellent selections, so finding the right plants should not be too hard.
Powderworks Nursery in Elanora Heights has been around for 25 years and specialises in selling wholesale plants to landscapers. They are the place to go if you are doing a major overhaul of your backyard or garden.
If you just need to pick up a few plants to help transform your garden, New Leaf Nursery and Landscapes in Ingleside have a wide selection of tropical plants, including many palms, as well as professional advice to help you make the right choices.
Another popular destination is Flower Power in Warriewood. This spot has hundreds of tropical plants to choose from.
The best plants for your sub-tropical garden
There are plants that will and won’t work in Northern beaches soil.
Top choices to create your sub-tropical garden with less effort include:
– Justicia brandegeana: Colloquially known as Shrimp Plant, this Mexican native has been common in Sydney gardens for decades. These hardy shrubs only need a little trimming in spring and summer.
– Delonix regia: You may know Delonix regia as poinciana. With its brilliant red flowers, the poinciana is sometimes known as the most beautiful tree in the world.
– Murraya Min-a-min: These hardy little shrubs make an excellent subtropical alternative to European buxus. They may be slow-growing, but they are not fussy and will make a welcome addition to any sub-tropical garden.
– Alectryon tomentosus: Hairy Alectryon is an excellent choice for any sub-tropical garden in NSW because it is native to the state. You can see many of them growing along the streets around Ku-ring-gai. They are perfect as a shade tree but can also be pruned to keep them from reaching their natural 5m in height.
– Epidendrum ibaguense: If you have a green thumb and are happy to tend your garden regularly, then Crucifix orchids can add a stunning pop of colour. They grow best in very light and well-drained soil, and if you buy a selection, then one type will be flowering at almost any time of year.
– Davidsonia pruriens: Davidson’s Plum hails from NSW’s northern neighbour Queensland but grows just as well on the Northern Beaches. You can shape them into a shrub, or you can let them grow into a narrow, small tree as long as you plant them in a shady area.
Accessories for your sub-tropical garden
A few accessories can take your garden to the next level.
– Hammock: Why not pick up a hammock and string it between two trees for a comfortable place to while away an afternoon?
– Outdoor furniture: Whether it’s a comfortable bench or table and chairs for outdoor meals and entertaining, outdoor furniture is an ideal way to enjoy your sub-tropical garden. Drop by Outdoor Elegance in Terrey Hills for some of the best outdoor furniture in the region.
– Planters: Quality planters can help you organise and manage the growth of your sub-tropical plants. You can even search sites like Etsy and Gumtree to find some planters that add a little retro cool.
Sustainable and eco-friendly gardening
The fact that a sub-tropical garden takes far less watering than a traditional European garden is a significant environmental bonus.
You can find other ways to make your garden environmentally friendly as well.
Creating a compost heap or container is a classic way to ensure that your clippings and other organic scraps are not going to waste.
Worm farms are a growing alternative to composting. Where composting works best in sunnier spots, worm farms are better suited to shadier courtyards or balconies.