Native Habitat Gardening

Get back to nature with this wildlife friendly native landscaping and gardening guide for living in the Adelaide Hills.

Download the Native Habitat Landscaping and Gardening Guide
Download the NEW Native Habitat Gardening Guide for low-flammability gardens.

Adelaide Hills Region
By helping the environment, we are actually helping ourselves – both now and into the future.

The local native plants and animals of the Adelaide Hills form part of a 'biodiversity hotspot'; biologically rich and unique, yet under threat due to human activity. Only about 15% of the original native vegetation of the Adelaide Hills remains. This reduction in food and shelter for native animals has resulted in a trend of species decline. We can help reverse this decline by replacing the lost habitat in our gardens and urbanised areas, thereby supporting the plants and animals that make the Adelaide Hills so unique, who in turn, support human life by the ecosystems services they provide.

Ecosystem services are the result of the complex relationships between plants, animals and the climate interacting and working together. These services are:

  • provisioning; such as the production of food and water
  • regulating; such as the control of climate and disease
  • supporting; such as nutrient cycles and crop pollination
  • cultural; such as spiritual and recreational benefits.

Native habitat gardening: the benefits
This guide is designed to help you create a healthy, attractive garden using native plants that thrive in the local conditions of the Adelaide Hills Council district.

Native plants are attractive, with a range of forms, colours and densities, and with the right species you can have a flowering garden all year round. They are easy to grow and are naturally adapted to suit local conditions, making them low maintenance, drought and frost tolerant, requiring minimal water and no fertilisers or pesticides. They also provide valuable habitat for native birds, butterflies, mammals and lizards. For these reasons, native gardens can benefit the natural environment.

How to use this guide
The aim of this book is to inspire you to select local native plants when deciding what to use in your garden or landscaping project.

Native plants can provide all the form, function and aesthetics of non-native plants traditionally used for landscaping and gardening. This book outlines how to approach your project to provide maximum habitat for the animals you wish to attract.

The plants featured in this guide have been specifically selected for the Adelaide Hills Council district and can be found growing naturally throughout most of the region.

The guide is divided into categories based on species growth form to assist with landscaping, but there is a special section for wet and damp places for watercourses, bogs, ponds and areas that receive a lot of runoff from either a sealed surface or a hill face.

Each species profile has accompanying notes regarding their optimal growing conditions and what size they normally grow to. A simple code also indicates flower season and the types of animals they attract and may provide habitat to.

Council's Biodiversity Team annually arranges the giveaway of a number of plant kits designed to attract butterflies. Interested residents should follow Council's Facebook page to see when these are being offered.

Butterfly Kit Giveaway Competition T&Cs 2021

Council acknowledges that we conduct our business on the traditional lands and waters of the Peramangk and Kaurna people. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging as the Custodians of this ancient and beautiful land.
© Copyright Adelaide Hills Council 2020