Australia is a haven for natural life – particularly when it comes to plants. In fact, there are 24,000 plants native to Australia, whereas there are only 1700 native plants in England. For keen gardeners, this is great news. You don't have to look abroad for any of the flora in your garden as there is so much variety right on your doorstep.
Because of the warm Australian summers, many local residents like to have a patio space with a pergola in their back garden – a great compromise between indoor and outdoor living. To make a patio really blend into the rest of the garden, it's a great idea to invest in climbing plants that will cover a pergola completely. Here are some climbers that are native to this country.
Kennedia nigrican. This plant, native to south-west Australia, is an evergreen, and so it can provide colour to your patio space throughout the year. But it's not the evergreen vines that are the star of the show. When the plant comes into bloom in the summer months, it produces black flowers with yellow accents – something very out of the ordinary and that is sure to become a talking point at summer barbecues. They can even thrive in poor soil and tough clay, so this is also an ideal climber for inexperienced gardeners.
Hoya macgillivrayi. This is another climber with a spectacular bloom. The flowers are star shaped, they can be up to 6cm in width, and they have a rich burgundy colour while blooming together in clusters. The thick, oval shaped leaves that come to a point are a dark green colour and no less spectacular. The vines can be trained to grow up a trellis or pergola but it will grow most successfully in a shaded position.
Clematis aristata. There are six kinds of clematis that are native to Australia and this is one of the most popular varieties, most commonly known as Traveller's Joy or Goat's Beard. If you want to make the most of your patio as soon as spring hits, this climber is ideal because it blooms in springtime with long, thin white petals in a creamy white colour that form a star shape. There will be blooms all over the vines, and their scent is sweet and appealing.
Head over to a local garden centre like Simon The Plantman and enquire about these incredible native plants that are sure to transform your patio space.