I live on a property of about 3 acres in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia where we have a Mediterranean climate and about 800 ml of Winter rain per year.
About half of the property has been maintained by mowing to reduce weeds and comply with council bushfire prevention regulations. Part of this area has some patches of remnant native vegetation and large sections of kangaroo, wallaby and spear grass. These areas I would like to preserve and try to reduce the weeds. Another part has an old patch of Zantedeschia but the bulbs are thinning out leaving large patches of bare soil which needs to be mulched regularly. I have planted some spring bulbs amongst the lily bulbs, hoping that their dying foliage will act as a mulch. I have also planted some ground cover natives like brachyscome, goodenia and scaevola and some Thymus longicaulis. These are all doing well so far with minimal watering.
I am a big fan of Oudolf’s naturalistic meadow gardens and the long lived perennials that he uses that flower in Summer and Autumn. I have planted a small section in this style to see how they fared in my climate with only minimal watering. As I only planted one plant of each type this section suffers from one-of-each-it is at the moment but I have been very pleased with the results as plants like Geranium “rambling robin”, some Oregano, Agastache, Persicaria, Echinacea, Echinops, Verbena, Anthemis, Baptisia, Eupatorium, Salvias, Sanguisorba, Helenium, Gaillardia, Gaura have thrived after a very hot start to our Summer (many days over 40 degrees), but we did have a 3 inch rainfall in early February. (See photo).
How do I mix the plants that I love with the native areas that I already have to produce a cohesive garden?