Brisbane's climate can present challenges to gardeners who live there. Although subtropical by nature, Brisbane, along with much of the rest of Queensland, has experienced significant drought in the past several years, which has increased water restrictions on gardens. However, there are many plants and trees that provide beauty without requiring frequent watering.
Brisbane's subtropical climate supports many hot-climate fruits such as pineapples, kiwis, avocados, mangoes and papayas. Including a few dwarf fruit trees as focal points in your garden also serves to provide shade to other less heat-tolerant plants. Kiwi vines can grow up trellises or fences at the back of the garden for vertical interest. Pineapple bushes can grow five feet tall and 6-feet wide and are often used as a hedge plant to demarcate the edges of gardens or transition between two gardens.
Native Plant Gardens
For an unusual garden that conserves maximum water, plant species that are native to the subtropical Brisbane climate. Some colorful ideas include blue daisies, blue flax lilies, sarsaparilla vine with purple flowers, dogwoods and Brisbane laurel. Native grasses such as barbed wire grass can be included in a more informal garden.
To honor the history of Queensland, plant an aboriginal garden and include traditional aboriginal plants and artwork. Suitable plants include Yam Daisy (Murnong), Potato Orchid, bullrushes (in wet areas) and riceflower. Aboriginal sculptures and outdoor painted art are available at many garden stores around Brisbane and offer an authentic touch.
If you have children, Brisbane is a great city for backyard adventures. Set aside some room to build a children's garden. Allow children to choose the flowers and vegetables they want to grow and help them plan the space. Buy a book on local birds and wildlife and plant flowers that will attract them to your garden. Place stepping stones in the garden and a chair on the edge to encourage children to get up close to nature and watch their garden grow.