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Plant Collections

  • Melbourne

Water Conservation Garden

An attractive display of Australian and exotic plants with low water requirements for use in the home garden.

The Water Conservation Garden is designed to demonstrate water saving techniques. Signs at the garden explain ways to save water, such as plant selection and mulching. The design and planting of the garden give ideas and inspiration to the home gardener. The plants grown come from countries with a climate similar to Melbourne’s and show a range of form and colour. Most of the plants are available in general nurseries, some are found only in specialist nurseries.

Best Viewed

  • Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn


Eucalyptus caesia 'Silver Princess'Gunguru

Phlomis fruticosa Jerusalem Sage

Armeria pungens Thrift

Plant Census

Find out what plants grow at Melbourne Gardens.

Key Plants

Eucalyptus caesia 'Silver Princess' Gunguru - Small evergreen tree with decorative bark and large pink flowers in spring.

Echium candicans Pride of Madeira - Evergreen shrub with large spikes of blue flowers in spring.

Armeria pungens Thrift - Clump forming perennial with pink flowers in spring.

Artemisia frigida Prairie sagewort - Low growing silver leaved shrub

Ajania pacifica - Low growing perennial with yellow flowers.

Phlomis fruticosa Jerusalem Sage - Small shrub with yellow flowers in spring.Hairs on leaves may cause nasal irritation if inhaled.

Protea 'Pink Ice' - Large shrub with grey leaves. Large pink flowers in spring.

Curator Notes

  • Ornamental grasses are a feature of the garden; these are cut to the ground at the end of each winter.
  • Yuccas are handsome plants but are almost impossible to remove and have sharp spines, use with caution.
  • Controlling weeds reduces competition for water.


  • 1992 - Xeriscape established with funding from Melbourne water.
  • The site was chosen for ease of access to B and C gates and providing an open aspect.
  • Work commenced with the removal of three Pinus radiata. Extensive root removal was required in preparing the site.
  • Mounds were created using imported soil.
  • A drip irrigation system was installed including water meters and sensors; this was later connected to the automatic irrigation system.
  • Plants were chosen from Australian and exotic origins most of which were readily available in the nursery trade.
  • Three turf types were demonstrated, buffalo, tall fescue and wintergreen couch.
  • The garden is a success and has been the focus of many talks and garden visits.
  • 1999 - Xeriscape becomes Water Conservation Garden.
  • In 1999 South East Water provided funds to rejuvenate the xeriscape.
  • Name changed to Water Conservation Garden.
  • Landscape planning and interpretive signage planning began. 
  • Goal was to blend the area into the surrounding landscape.
  • Gravel path removed and reshaping of garden beds.
  • The irrigation system was re-installed using new efficient sprinklers.
  • Existing turf was replaced with kikuyu and 'Legend' couch.
  • The new garden was launched on 8 February 2000.
  • It remains a focus for visitors, talks and presentations.