Last month I had the pleasure of hanging out with my fellow designers and visiting some inspirational gardens in Ojai. We also went to Jo O’Connell’s Australian Plant Nursery. We designers and plant lovers were like “fish in a barrel” as my dad would say. We were beyond tempted with all of the beautiful Australian natives for sale. These amazing, tough and somehow delicate-looking plants stole all of our hearts. I for one was looking for some specimens that would be smaller in stature as many Aussie natives get quite large. I was in luck…the four plants featured in the photo can all fit easily in containers or in a border. Notice how all of them have small needle like leaves, a definate water-saving feature shared by many Aussie natives. Another common feature is aromatic foliage. I also find Aussie natives to be very pest/disease resistant and minimal in their pruning needs. You honestly can’t beat these plants for their toughness, low maintenance or beauty. We saw them growing in the Taft Gardens surviving only on rainwater.