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Welcome to Aqwest's Waterwise Garden!

Front of Aqwest's Water services centre

Welcome to Aqwest's waterwise garden - it's free and open to the community! Although Aqwest's Water Services Centre is now located at 2 Hayes Street Bunbury, you can still visit the waterwise garden at 5 Mackinnon Way, Bunbury. 

The garden features native plants and shrubs from the South West, with the type of plant, flowering times, watering, size, soil and habitat explained on QR codes and information sheets.

Local Noongar bush tucker, bush medicine plants and seasonal vegetables in raised garden beds have also been planted.

There are three types of lawns on display, with information on growing and sprinkler run times. A range of mulches have been used throughout the garden to illustrate the correct use.

A sprinkler demonstration station has been set up in one part of the garden and visitors can press each button to see sprinkler flow rates and the suggested run times.

By developing a Waterwise Garden, which shows an amazing array of native plants and how to grow and look after them, Aqwest hopes to assist people to develop their own waterwise garden. 

Where is the garden?

The garden is located at 5 MacKinnon Way, Bunbury and can be viewed at any time.

Please note -  Aqwest's Water Services Centre is now located at 2 Hayes Street, Bunbury. 

The team behind the garden

Thank you to Vivienne Hansen and John Horsfall, authors of "Noongar Bush Medicine" and "Noongar Bush Tucker" and UWA Publishing, who kindly gave permission to use information about the plants from their books on the Aqwest website. 

The garden has been designed and installed by Bunbury landscaping company Verve Landscapes, which has been endorsed by Irrigation Australia as a Waterwise Garden Irrigator. For more information visit the Waterwise Program website.

The fantastic team at Activ in Bunbury maintains all of Aqwest's water treatment plant and office gardens. They have helped install the mulch and will maintain the new garden.

All new plants have been sourced from the Leschenault Community Nursery in Bunbury which is not-for-profit and run by volunteers who look after more than 300 varieties of native species. 

Submerge - "Mangrove Man"

Submerge is an artwork designed and constructed by artist Simon Gilby and is affectionately known as "Mangrove Man".

It was installed on 14 April 2004, following the footings being installed by former Aqwest Board Director Steve Prosser on 1 April 2004. It has been relocated a few feet away from its original site to a more promient position to take pride of place in the new waterwise garden.

Submerge is an emblem of society's dependence on water and its essential role in the ecosystem. The sculpture takes the form of a surfacing figure interposed with images of water and growth. The stainless steel silhouette is etched with a stream of consciousness relating to water.

The mangroves radiating above the waterline in a garland from the head and shoulders of the figure represents water's essential role in sustaining life in the local ecosystem.

The filigree waveform or vessel across the shoulders of the figure indicates the spiritual symbolic place water occupies in the local culture.


Irrigation has been installed in the lawns and gardens. These are a good example of what can be used in any garden to get the best results.

Aqwest recommends you use an endorsed waterwise garden irrigator to ensure correct run times and water use.

Lawn: The lawn areas are irrigated with Gear Drive sprinklers. These sprinklers are durable, versatile and can be fully adjusted and fine tuned to get the water exactly where you need it to go.

Garden: All garden beds have a surface installed dripper system hiding beneath the mulch. Using this kind of system means no overspray or misting in windy conditions, no water loss through evaporation and perfectly even watering across the whole garden.

All system timers are set to apply 10mm of water twice a week during the heat of summer and are automatically set to use less water as we enter the wetter months.

All of our controllers are WIFI compatible and are able to read weather patterns, automatically adjusting run times when rainfall is imminent.

Lawn and turf varieties

Three different types of turf are in the garden, representing the three most common lawns found in Bunbury backyards:

Buffalo 'Sapphire' - a non-invasive soft leaf variety that grows well in shade.

Kikuyu 'Kenda' - a fast growing, tough variety for active families.

Couch - a versatile, inexpensive variety and a remnant from the old Aqwest garden.


Coarse wood mulch has been used throughout the garden, keeping the soil cool and preventing water loss through evaporation.

The coarse mulch also allows water to penetrate the surface and easily reach the plant root zone.

The larger pieces break down very slowly and feed the soil over a long period of time, removing the need for constant reapplication.

Three different types of mulch have been used in the garden:

Garden 1, 5: Pure Crushed Pine Bark.

Garden 2, 3, 4: Bushland Mulch (Pine bark, wood fines and screened black soil).

Garden 6, 7: Tree Mulch (Crushed bark and recycled sawmill wood waste).