The Outback Out Back: How To Incorporate A Bit Of The Bush Into Your Backyard

13 October 2023

“I love a sunburnt country”, wrote Dorothea Mackellar in 1906. And what’s not to love about the great Australian outback? The gorgeous reds and yellows of native flowers and the greens of the eucalypt trees. The waterholes, waterfalls, glimmering rivers and shimmering lakes. Anthills, bush tucker, and Uluru. The Australian outback is gorgeous and worth a few trips in your lifetime. 

But how can you bring the outback to your own backyard? Lucky for you, this helpful article will share the top tips to achieve this. So, continue reading to learn how you can make this a reality.

Invest in some Australian fencing

First, you’ll want to make sure that your home and garden is perfectly prepared for that quintessential harsh outback weather conditions. At a foundational level, we recommend investing in some true blue Australian home building and fencing supplies. If you purchase your property fencing at an Australian retailer like Outback Fencing, you can effectively be rest-assured that your fencing materials are perfectly capable of withstanding Australia’s harsh seasonal extremes, be it sweltering summer days or blustery winter nights. 

And what if you’re looking to recreate the parched atmosphere of ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’? In that case, you could invest in some rustic-style fencing to effortlessly bring a timeless touch of the bush to your own backyard. A slat or wire-style fence can bring some of that country feeling into your backyard. 

Plant a eucalyptus tree (or tw0)

Nothing is as synonymous with the Australian bush as the noble eucalyptus tree. Planting these gorgeous trees in your backyard is an excellent way to inject a touch of country Australia into your urban or suburban backyard. 

If you’ve never planted a gum tree sapling before, however, then be sure to follow this tiny guide. You should plant your new tree in spring to ensure that it’s not pelted by rain during the colder winter months. Be sure to till your soil before planting to ensure that your gum tree sapling has plenty of space to grow out its roots.

Keep in mind too, that gum trees have a faster growth rate when compared to other evergreen tree varieties, and they can become big quite quickly. And being evergreen too, this does make gum trees an easy, low-maintenance landscaping solution for homeowners who want a little canopy shelter for their garden space. 

As gum trees do grow surprisingly quickly and fairly wide, however, you may want to plant them at the back of the yard so the root system doesn’t cause havoc for your home’s piping and plumbing down the line. It’s also worth mentioning that eucalyptus is toxic to humans and dogs, so this is worth considering if you have inquisitive kids or pets. 

When choosing a site for your new eucalyptus tree, ensure you pick a site with lots of sun and soil with sharp drainage. You may need to prepare the site first. Ensure no nearby trees will block the sunlight, and ensure there is enough physical space and nutrients in your garden soil for your gum trees to enjoy full growth and spread. 

Plant native grasses and flowers

Another excellent way to bring a dash of the outback into your backyard is to plant some native Australian grasses and flowers. These will make your backyard seem a natural paradise and should also attract pollinators and native birds like wattle birds or native mynahs. 

Kangaroo grass is a fast-growing native grass that is worth planting. Not only is this tussock grass incredibly attractive and dynamic in its growth patterns, but it’s also known for being sturdy and drought-tolerant. Simply put, adding some native grasses and sedges to your Australian backyard can help to drastically reduce your garden’s water consumption.

And what about native blooms? Well, any fans of grevillea, wattle, and other classic Australian flowers know that the bush delivers when it comes to floral colours too. Some gorgeous native flowers you can plant include the following:

  • Australian honeysuckle (Banksia)

  • Canberra bells

  • Bottlebrushes

  • Aussie box

  • Billy buttons

  • Desert flame

  • Chorizema

All these will be sure to provide your garden with an excellent splash of colour and vibrancy.

Be mindful of your water usage

A key benefit of an outback-inspired garden is that you can take advantage of our native flora’s natural hardiness and ability to thrive in harsh conditions. Consider clustering plants with similar water consumption needs to make watering your garden efficient. For instance, put the drought-tolerant plants in the same area and the thirstier ones in another.

Another tip is to place a thick layer of organic mulch around your new plants to help them retain moisture whilst also reducing the risks of your garden becoming boggy or waterlogged. Adding absorbent mulch or even peat moss to your garden space will also help to suppress any weeds alongside also helping to regulate your soil temperature. Some other good options that should be mentioned here include wood chips or eucalyptus bark.

Finally, no Australian backyard is complete without its very own rainwater tank. These innovative garden amenities won’t just allow you to conserve water, but will also ensure that you’re watering your garden using nutrient-rich rainwater rather than city water.

Make sure your backyard caters to native wildlife

By attracting some native fauna, you can make your backyard seem like an outback paradise. With a diverse range of plants, water sources, shelter and biodiversity, you can create a haven for native birds and beneficial insects. And hey, you’ve already got the native flowers covered, which the bees, butterflies, dragonflies and other insects will love – so why not go the whole hog? 

Attracting insects is easy enough, but how do you get some native birds to flit past your windows? Our top recommendation is to provide them with both food and water sources, as well as shelter. You can provide water sources for birds with a native-themed birdbath, some dishes around your yard or even a small pond. Just ensure that you clean these features and change the water regularly. 

Finally, you can create some habitat features for birds who are looking to nest. This can include garden features like rocks, logs, twigs and sticks, and perhaps even tailor-made nesting boxes. All of these design features will mimic natural habitats and encourage birds to flock to your yard. 

Reduce Fire Risk

This tip is particularly for those living in bushfire-prone areas. While it’s fantastic to have an outback-themed garden, some Australian flora, such as eucalypts and some flowers, are actually highly flammable – thanks in part to their reduced water content. 

If you are concerned that your garden plants could be set alight in the event of a bushfire, then our top recommendation would be to plant them away from your property or other structures like garages or sheds to reduce this risk. On top of this, ensure you regularly remove any dry, fallen plant material, clean your gutters and create firebreaks if needed. A roof sprinkler system could also be a great investment for those living in areas with a moderate to high fire risk during Australia’s summer months. 

An Outback Conclusion

This informative article has covered how to bring the outback out back and how you can incorporate the Aussie bush into your backyard. Follow these tips to create a gorgeous native garden that is a haven for all creatures, such as birds and insects.