Bush Gardening

Recently we were happy to invite a garden club to visit Moggill Haven so we could share the way that we have planted natives extensively and also how we have been co-operating with nature so that native plants are regenerating all over the property. There are lots of non-native flowering plants as well as introduced trees around the actual main house but in the front paddock, the side paddock and the riverbanks we have planted natives exclusively.Our style of encouraging and creating native habitat can best be described as bush gardening.


garden club touring side paddock

The most common native plants that occur in our bush/ bush gardens are: Silky Oaks, Paperbarks, Lilly Pillies, Bottlebrushes, Tuckeroos, Wattles, Lomandras, Fig Trees (both glossy and sandpaper figs), Eu. tereticornis (Forest Red Gum or Queensland Blue Gum), Moreton Bay Ashes, She-oaks, Brachychitons, Dianellas,Kangaroo Apples, Axe-handle Wood, Whalebone Trees, Black Bean Trees, Red Kamalas, Macadamias, Hoop Pines, Scrambling Lily, Native Wandering Jew.

We have created completely new bushland by

  • selecting plants that are native to this catchment and most likely to survive (we are indebted to Moggill Creek Catchment Group for supplying us with most of the plants in addition to Land For Wildlife)
  • re-planting more densely where bush thins out (e.g. as wattle trees reach the end of their life or storms topple plants, when goats break in from next door and eat the plants!)
  • potting up some of the native seedlings that are found in garden beds or the grass and planting them later in other areas where we are establishing  bush

our northern slope was once grass and weeds but now there is a small forest of young trees


amazing growth of young natives mingling with older vegetation along river edge


revegetation of gully sides becoming more dense and shaded


the young trees getting above the all-pervading guinea grass down in pontoon area

Over the years the bush has been regenerating itself more and more.

On one hand nature has provided us with rich alluvial soil and of course the river supplies water to plants along the bank and its fringe. After a while the plants themselves begin to create their own leaf litter and mulch, more birds are attracted which in turn drop an abundance of seeds resulting in many native seedlings springing up.

On the other hand we play our part by creating the ideal conditions for regeneration by

  • vigilance in pulling out weeds
  • continual mulching of the soil                                                                                                        (with bark, twigs, branches, leaves, horse manure, slashed grass, degraded hay, sugar cane mulch, old household fabrics, paper, cardboard)
  • watering newly-planted natives until they are established                                                   (either by hand or by using hoses connected to our dam or town water)

11 years growth of completely new bush


new bush down by the riverside which Ian watered by extending pipes way down the riverbank but this became unnecessary once the roots were established so close to the river


the area down the track used to be an impenetrable wilderness of guinea grass, lantana, guavas, glycine and other weeds with a few old whalebone trees, sandpaper figs and axe-handle wood trees.

In the following 2 columns there are lists of the type of plants that spring up in the garden beds or the grass. It is exciting to see native plants regenerating that were not present in this place until we planted them!

For the purpose of this table an * indicates that we have also propagated these plants from seed or cuttings or transplanted seedlings growing on the property.

Regeneration of Native Plants that were either already present or were not introduced by us Regeneration of Native Plants that we planted
*Kangaroo Apple *Native Frangipani
*Silky Oak *Black Bean Tree
*Sandpaper fig – Ficus opposita *Lomandra
*Axe-handle Wood *Elkhorn
*Whalebone Tree *Grevillea (only by cuttings)
*Dianella *Peanut Tree
*Hoop Pine *Flame Tree
*Tuckeroo *Barbed-wire Grass
*Lacebark *Native Ginger
Cockspur (Thorn) Zig-zag Wattle
Red Kamala Cunjevoi
River Lily Macaranga
Macadamia Cordyline
Gums (round dam) Swamp Rice Grass (round dam)
Bunya Pine Tulipwood – Harpulia pendula
Firewheel Poison Peach
Emu Foot Celery Wood
Glossy Figs –

*F. rubiginosa, *F. virens

Native Hibiscus (Hibiscus heterophyllus also known as Native Rosella)
Whisker Grass Common Rushes (Juncus usititas)(dam)
Monkey Rope Vine  Breynia
Scrambling Lily
Maidenhair Fern
Native Wandering Jew
White Cedar
Native Swamp Lily
Creeping Beard Grass

Propagation by birds

when they drop seeds as they sit in overhanging branches of older trees.

It’s been a privilege to have this amount of land so that we could help bushland be restored and to witness the wildlife returning. It’s also been wonderful to become stewards of very large trees and to be able in turn to plant these types of trees which we hope will become landmarks for future generations.

This entry was posted in Diary: Rain and Planting and Observations of Wildlife and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Bush Gardening

  1. Kristina says:

    Janet, you and Ian are an absolute inspiration! It’s fantastic to see what you have been doing and how much growth there has been over the last 13 years. Well done :-).

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