Working to conserve and restore water quality and wildlife habitat in Perth inner city catchments

Grow Local Plants

Catchment groups often try to encourage people to grow local plants in their gardens and use local plants for landscaping. Local plants are the plants which are indigenous to the area. The reason catchment groups promote local plants is because they are suited to the local soil and climate, and therefore need less additives like water, fertiliser, manure and chemicals. This means the landscaping is less likely to pollute ground or surface water with chemicals and nutrients and less likely to result in garden plants escaping to become weeds. This all leads to a healthier catchment.

Several catchment groups together with the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council sought funding from the State Government to develop strategies to help Local Government Authorities and their communities promote the use of local plants. Many of these strategies had already been developed by catchment groups.

The Claise Brook Catchment Group was part of this initiative, helped to develop the strategy which is available on CD, and tried out some of the ideas within the City of Vincent. The City of Vincent also put funding into this along with considerable staff time and willing support.

When growing local plants, it is important to choose plants that are suitable for your soil type, so if you live outside the City of Vincent, visit the South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare website to determine your soil type and find out what plants are best suited for your garden.

Grow Local Plants in the City of Vincent

Strategies to encourage more people to grow local plants can be undertaken by local communities, catchment groups, schools and gardening clubs. However Local Government Authorities can take a lead role in providing information to their community and demonstrating the benefits of landscaping with local plants in local parks, reserves and streetscape landscaping.

The City of Vincent in partnership with the Claise Brook Catchment Group has undertaken the following activities to encourage a greater use of local plants by residents. Also see the related Catchment Friendly Garden competition.

Our members also assist with the annual local plant sales. New helpers are always welcome and there are jobs even for people who don't know anything about local plants.  

Local Plant Sales

Demonstration landscaping

Great Gardens workshops, sponsored by the Swan River Trust, are held throughout the Perth Metro area. Visit the Great Gardens website to find a workshop near you.

"There is a strong gardening culture in Perth. The blocks are large and with plenty of sunshine people love the outdoors, but everyday gardening practices are combining to create larger problems.

Hundreds of thousands of Perth homes lie within the Swan-Canning catchment, and whatever is put onto these gardens eventually makes its way into the river systems via stormwater and groundwater. The dead bodies of fish in waterways are scenes that are becoming too common. The iconic Swan River is struggling to remain a dynamic ecosystem largely due to the way we garden, and one of the main culprits is excess nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorous from fertilisers and garden wastes. Once they are in the river these nutrients can lead to toxic algal blooms, which spells disaster for aquatic life."

  Gardening Australia July 2004

City of Vincent residents can download a Grow Local Plants brochure here (pdf) or contact us and we'll post you one.

If you live outside the City of Vincent, visit the SERCUL website to download the correct brochure for your soil type.

Click here for a list of nurseries that sell local plants, useful books and websites to visit to learn more about growing local plants and encouraging wildlife into your garden.