Caring for the Bay from your backyard

Our backyards are valuable oases for native species of birds, butterflies, bees, lizards and marsupials. What we choose to plant can provide food and shelter as they survive and thrive in urban environments.

Some native plant species, like the casuarina, are essential to coastal habitats – but must increasingly compete for valuable real estate on our beaches. Choosing natives for our planting projects instead of introduced species helps ensure they don’t smother valuable native habitat, even beyond our fences.

MoretoN Bay natives

Bird attracting banksias

These brilliant Proteaceae are low maintenance, evergreen shrubs that are sure to bring winged visitors to your backyard in their flowering months (most bloom in autumn).

You can expect wattlebirds, friarbirds, parrots and a whole chorus of honeyeaters.

There is something to suit any sized garden, from the coastal banksia, as small as 0.5m, to the hulking wallum banksia at 5m.

Dwarf banksia, Banksia oblongifolia. John Tann, Flickr, CC BY 2.0.
Dwarf banksia, Banksia oblongifolia.
Swamp banksia, Banksia robur. Tatters, Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0.
Swamp banksia, Banksia robur.
Coastal banksia, Banksia integrifolia. John Tann, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.
Coastal banksia, Banksia integrifolia.
Wallum banksia, Banksia aemula. Tatiana Gerus, Flickr, CC BY 2.0.
Wallum banksia, Banksia aemula.
Waterbush or Mangrove boobialla, Myoporum acuminatum.
Waterbush or Mangrove boobialla, Myoporum acuminatum.
Midyim berries, Austromyrtus dulcis. Arthur Chapman, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
Midyim berries, Austromyrtus dulcis.
Pigface, Carpobrotus glaucescens.
Pigface, Carpobrotus glaucescens.
Blue flax-lily, Dianella caerula.
Blue flax-lily, Dianella caerula.

Bush tucker

These fruiting natives are edible and have been routinely used by First Nations people in the Moreton Bay region. Follow the links for best care tips for growing in your backyard.

Midyim berries appear in summer and autumn in the sandy soils of QLD and NSW’s coasts. The white, speckled berries, likened to a tangy blueberry, are a popular bush food in Moreton Bay.

Pigface is an all-rounder. It’s salty, fleshy leaves can be eaten raw or cooked; applied like aloe vera to stings, burns and cuts; and have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

The flax lily produces small, sweet, blue berries that can be eaten raw or cooked. The roots were roasted, or used with the leaves to produce remedy tea for headaches and colds.

Fragrant florals

Community Action

Get involved in the Point Lookout BushCare Group

Volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome to join in Point Lookout Bushcare working bees and nursery activities. Develop your knowledge of native plants while socialising with like-minded locals.

Island Invasives

Weed Watch

Many hardy garden plants that grow well in island conditions can easily become weeds. They invade the bush and muscle out native species. We’ve all seen the suffocating asparagus fern, which probably arrived in someone’s hanging basket in the 70s.

The colourful autumnal display of yellow and red behind Frenchman’s Beach is actually easter cassia and umbrella trees – both weeds that spread by feeding rainbow lorikeets. This lush scene, which certainly appeals to the eye, should be transformed to the silvery-greys of the banksia, pandanus and casuarina – the aesthetic of the native bush.

Grass clippings and garden rubbish, often including those rampant but fashionable succulents, should not be dumped in bushland. Native bushland thrives in low-nutrient sandy soils and doesn’t need this extra mulch.

Weed seeds can travel far further than your backyard as they are blown in the wind or carried by hungry birds. Dispose of weeds in your rubbish bin instead. While you’re at it, order a Council green bin to rid your garden of weeds responsibly!

Umbrella Tree, Schefflera actinophylla. Rusty Clark, Flickr, CC BY 2.0.
Umbrella Tree, Schefflera actinophylla.
Broad leaf pepper, Schinus terebinthifolia. Rusty Clark, Flickr, CC BY 2.0.
Broad leaf pepper, Schinus terebinthifolia.
Glory lily, Gloriosa superba. Renjusplace, Flickr, CC SA 4.0,
Glory lily, Gloriosa superba.
Asparagus fern, Asparagus aethiopicus. Arthur Chapman, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
Asparagus fern, Asparagus aethiopicus.
Easter cassia, Senna pendula. Mauricio Mercadante, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
Easter cassia, Senna pendula.
Mother of Millions, Kalanchoe delagoensis.
Mother of Millions, Kalanchoe delagoensis.
Purple succulent, Callisia fragrans. Scott Zona, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0.
Purple succulent, Callisia fragrans.
Indian Hawthorn, Rhaphiolepis indica. Arthur Chapman, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
Indian Hawthorn, Rhaphiolepis indica.
Ochna, Ochna serrulata. Forest and Kim Starr, Flickr, CC BY 2.0.
Ochna, Ochna serrulata.
Brazilian cherry, Eugenia uniflora. Tatters, Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0.
Brazilian cherry, Eugenia uniflora.
Sisal, Agave sisalana.
Sisal, Agave sisalana.
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