Designing a Landscape Garden for Canberra’s Climate
When designing a garden one of the first considerations is the local climate – Canberra’s climate is dry oceanic. This climate affects how you landscape for Canberra gardens and especially what plants to grow. Here are our Canberra Landscaping Ideas and Tips.

Canberra has a relatively dry oceanic climate with warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters.Canberra experiences warm, quite dry summers, and chilly winters with heavy fog and frequent frosts. Snow is rare in the CBD but the surrounding areas get annual snowfall through winter and often the snow capped mountains can be seen from the CBD.The highest recorded maximum temperature was 42.2 °C on 1 February 1968.

The lowest recorded minimum temperature was −10 °C on 11 July 1971.Light snow often falls only once or twice per year but is usually not widespread and quickly dissipates.Canberra is protected from the west by the Brindabellas which create a slight rain shadow in Canberra’s valleys.

Annual rainfall is the third lowest of the capital cities (after Adelaide and Hobart) but is spread fairly evenly over the seasons, with late spring bringing the highest rainfall. Thunderstorms occur mostly between October and April, owing to the effect of summer and the mountains. The area is not very windy and the breeze is at its strongest from August to November. Canberra is less humid than the nearby coastal areas.

Australian Native Garden Mosman

Canberra Landscape Garden Design Ideas

Canberra gardens are heavily focused on outdoor living. There is generally a large outdoor area dedicated to entertaining and generally hanging out and enjoying the sun and outdoors. Pergolas and paved areas are common place in the Canberra landscape garden. Adding to the outdoor appeal is the strong use of water features. Water has a soothing effect both visually and aurally. The sound of a gently trickling water feature is most relaxing.

Canberra Landscaping also often involves an informal relaxed layout with the use of curves and rounded garden beds and structures. Plantings are also often relaxed groupings rather than straight hedges.

Australian gardens have a certain feel, a sense of place, there are several elements that help evoke this sense of place; Natural plant groupings, your plants should be clumped as they would be in nature, use random groupings, numbers and arrangements. The use of timber helps give a sense of Australiana, timber sleepers, timber steps, timber decking all help achieve an natural feel. Crushed granite, or sandstone is another lovely garden element to include in a garden, it gives a soft appearance to garden pathways. All these elements can be easily achieved by a DIY gardener.

Modern Native Garden DesignNatural stone is often used in a Canberra landscape. Sandstone can be used in a number of ways, stepping stones, stone walls or simply as feature boulders in the garden to add strength to the layout and design.

Canberra Landscape Design

Ensure that your Canberra landscape design is an open, free form style. Avoid rigid straight lines and formal hedges. Try and add contrasting clumps of foliage to create interest and excitement to the planting design. Native grasses planted in clumps is a lovely effect. Water is often used in a Canberra garden design, a simple pond of water feature can transform a garden space. Winding, flowing pathways and garden rooms add a sense of intrigue to any garden. Pathways are often made up of natural stepping stones, or recycled sleepers to give an added rustic feel. A dry river bed or creek is another interesting element that can add some interest to your garden layout. River pebbles laid out to mimic a river bed is a simple and effect landscape feature.

Dry River Bed Native Garden Architecture Design

Common Canberra Garden Plants

Selecting native plants is generally wise for an Australian garden, however there are many exotic plant species that will grow well in Canberra . Here is a list of some common Canberra plants – including native trees, shrubs, grasses, under story plants and ground covers;

Eucalyptus
Grevillea
Wattle
Lilly Pilly
Bottlebrush
Kangaroo Paw
Gymea Lilly
Carex Grass
Lomandra
Native Violets
Blue Fescue Grass
Westringia
Austromyrtus
Angophora
Grass Trees

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