Australian Native Garden Design Ideas for your New Front Yard

First Home Buyers

An Australian native garden in front of a modern town house

Native gardens have a lot going for them. In previous decades, the native garden was for the lazy gardener who let their yard run a little wild.

Now a native garden can look like a well designed, much-loved garden that complements your new house perfectly.

What are the Benefits of a Native Garden?

While a cottage garden is beautiful, in our harsh Perth climate a cottage garden requires significant water and maintenance, and might not look fresh as a daisy throughout the summer months. In the heat of summer, you’ll find you spend your life watering to keep it alive.


Some of the reasons people choose a native garden are:

Low commitment to spending time in the garden

  • Water-wise plants, saving money and the environment

  • Low cost to establish and maintain

  • Low fertiliser and mulch requirement

  • Bee and bird attracting

  • Respect for our indigenous plants

  • Kid safe  


Native Garden Design Ideas

While native is a theme, you can be even more specific and choose a region style of native plants including coastal, desert, bushland, tropical and grasses.

Borrow some of these design ideas for a native garden that sings:  


A coastal native garden usually contains hardy plants that can cope with a windy, sunny and sandy location. Use large trees and shrubs around the perimeter of the front yard to protect smaller or more vulnerable plants from the wind.  



An informal style that requires little maintenance and water to survive. A mix of tall trees and undergrowth amongst bush rocks looks excellent. An edible theme also works if you add some bush tucker plants into the mix. Throw in a rusty or corrugated iron sculpture, and you have yourself an authentic bush garden.


Another relaxed and unplanned style, the native tropical garden has higher water requirements than other themes but doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. Lush foliage, stand-out flowering plants and climbing vines will help you achieve a sense of depth.


The desert or rock garden theme pays homage to native succulents and cacti amongst rock or gravel mulch. On the odd occasion that these plants flower, the blooms are spectacular.


Top Australian Native Plant Picks

There is no question that we have a wide range of Australian native plants suitable for WA’s climate. Here are some of our top picks:

Kangaroo Paw

In the right sunny spot kangaroo paws will put on a display from late winter through to summer. The colours vary from deep red to green, pink, yellow and black. Plant en masse for the best effect. Full and dwarf sizes available in local nurseries.

Spotted Emu Bush

An ideal plant if you are looking for a dense shrub that stays under 2.4m tall. The bird attracting flowers appear from winter through to spring with colours including pink, red, mauve, orange, or yellow with a pale spotted throat. Perfect to use as a screening or hedge plant.


There’s a wide variety of bottlebrushes to choose. Some grow as bushes to 3m tall while one tree can get to 12m. They can be kept more compact with regular pruning and spent flower removal. Colours of the flowers include red, pink and lemon.


You could easily fill your garden with grevilleas. They can be ground covers, shrubs, hedges and tall trees. Beautiful bird attracting flowers can be orange, red, pink, cream or yellow and will do well in full sun or part shade positions.  


The addition of some easy-care grasses compliments many natural garden designs, particularly coastal. There are 51 varieties of lomandra with leaves of different shapes and sizes.    


The Bird of Paradise has a stunning show of flowers, making this a perfect addition to a feature in a native tropical garden.  

Spend some time planning your native Australian garden, and it will reward you with a magnificent show year round with minimal effort.

If you would like more information about establishing the front yard of your new home, ask an experienced Start Right Homes consultant by calling (08) 6189 8795 or contact us online.