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Hello, we have a small lifestyle block in south Auckland. We have effluent lines running over a big section round the back of the house where we would like to plant up some natives. We’ve been told to only plant shallow rooted plants. Ideally, in the future, I would like this part of land to provide shelter and food for birds and bees, privacy from the neighbor and a nice place to sit and listen to nature – so different heights, shapes, sizes and smells. I’m a bit overwhelmed and wondered if you could provide some guidance? Thank you, I really appreciate any help you can give.

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Hi Sonia, There are many different natives that may suit your situation:

Groundcovers such as coprosma hawera, acerosa or black cloud are great for banks or large areas you may wish to cover

Grasses such as dianella nigra or carex species are well suited for borders or grouped plantings and provide a low growing plant. Arthropodium (Renga Renga) are ideal for shady areas under trees and are a good source of nectar for bees. Astelia can be good for adding colour and contrast.

Good medium sized plants you may like to consider are Phormium (flax),Austroderia (toetoe), Corokia, Clianthus (kaka beak) and hebe. These plants are a great source of food for the birds and look lovely too.

You should try and plant trees at least 3 or more meters away from any effluent lines. Some good options are:

Leptospermum (manuka)
Kunzea(kanuka)
Plagianthus regius ( ribbonwood)
Pittosporum tenuifolium

I hope this helps, or at least gets you started on your grand plans 🙂

Thanks the Palmers Team

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