Australian gardens have changed with improved availability of water. Hardy, drought-tolerant plants were a feature of inland gardens in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Before water was piped around the garden and distributed with hoses and sprinklers, water-loving plants were kept close to the house or water sources. Mint grew under the tank stand and ferns and begonias were grown on verandas and in shade houses where they could be watered easily. Today, with increasing awareness of the importance of water conservation, many gardeners are switching to drought-tolerant plants and water-wise gardening.
Vegetables need a lot of water. Commercial vegetable gardens were often planted in rich soil on creek and river flats. Chinese market gardeners kept many towns and properties supplied with fresh vegetables in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The good health of communities depended on their work and produce. They carried water in buckets on yokes and improvised ways of irrigating before engines made pumping water easier and less laborious. District Chinese market gardens were located at Frost Street in Orange, Cheeseman's Creek (on Escort Way), Gallymont (between Mandurama and Neville), Brown's Creek near Blayney and the Belubula River Flats just east of Blayney.