“Only about 10% of plants sold in florist shops are native plants, and yet 90% of plants exported are Australian native. That gives an indication of the enthusiasm overseas for our flora, and how we in Australia tend to have a lack of appreciation for our own plants. “
(Gardening Australia Fact Sheet – Australian Cut Flower).
Australia has a diverse and unique native flora that has evolved on our island continent in a wide range of environments from tropical rainforest, inland deserts, temperate forests, sandy heaths and alpine meadows. It has been estimated that there are up to 25,000 different plant species in Australia. With this wealth of amazing plant material at our disposal it is difficult to understand why we do not use more natives in floral displays.
The east coast of Australia has many plant species that are suitable for floral arrangements and are easy to grow. If you wish to be successful in growing naïve plants for floral displays ensure the plants you chose are selected for your climate and environment.
Native plants have their main flowering period over winter and spring. However with careful selection you can manage to have bountiful or exquisite floral displays all year round.
At the beginning of winter the flowers of Banksias and Wattles make welcome additions in our homes providing colour and fragrance.
With the arrival of spring a bounty full of native flowers is at our disposal for creative use in the home. The fragrance of boronias, wax flowers and scented paperbark fill the air whilst the bold and colourful displays of some of our iconic native plants take centre stage. Our waratah Bottlebrush and tea trees flower with such abundance that they cannot be ignored when selecting material for displays. The beauty of our local flannel flower inspires all who see.
As Christmas approaches my mind immediately has visions of past floral displays created for the festive day. My favourite plant species for this family oriented occasion are Kangaroo paws, NSW Christmas Bush, our local mint bush (commonly called Victorian Christmas Bush and baeckias.
Foliage and other produce from our gardens are welcome additions to floral displays. A rich choice of foliage, fruit, nuts, and barks is available from our native plants to complement or enhance any creative endeavour.
In todays modern home, the surrounding outdoors environment is utilised as part of the indoor environs through the use of glass and or moving screens. Having our homes surrounded by native plants not only adds colour and vibrancy, a bounty of birds and their songs will also enrich your soul.