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Biomes and Gardens

Designing a garden by biome is a creative task that can be a lot of fun. What does this mean and what might it look like?

What are biomes?

A biome is a distinct community of native plants and animals adapted to the specific features of the area where they live, such as temperature, climate patterns, geology and soils. Similar biome characteristics allow regions to be grouped globally. 

How many biomes are there?

LOTS! In fact, there are many ways to classify biomes. Find out more below.

Why create gardens based on different biomes?

Our natural world shows huge variation. Temperature, soil, rainfall and topography all vary, and plants are adapted to these different conditions. Even small gardens have different microclimates - shady, windy or sunny areas, as well as different soils and climates. Gardeners can use a knowledge of biomes to select suitable plants for different locations in the garden. People also love to create gardens with many styles, themes and plant collections such as the crazy shapes, spikes and textures of cacti and succulents, or the lush greens of palms, ferns and vines from the tropics.  

Biome Gardens with the Greater Sydney Botanic Gardens

Botanic gardens are living collections of many types of plants from different climates, altitudes and latitudes from all over the world. How many gardens based on different biomes can you identify in the following film clips? 

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah 

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan

Activities - Biomes and Gardens

1. Matching Game

Can you match the plant to the biome it would be found in?

2. Propagating plants

One inexpensive way of creating a garden is by propagating your own plants. Watch this video on Propagating a Plant then try it yourself.


3. Create a map

Create a world biome map with the help of this activity sheet. Decide on a key for the different biomes, such as colours or symbols. See if you can name and label the seven continents too.