04 Sep

Best Flowering Shrub to Grow in Your Garden

Flowering shrubs make excellent ornaments in a garden or landscape design. They come in all sizes and shapes and offer a wide variety of foliage, flowers, colors, texture and structure. Besides their ornamental value, flowering shrubs are utility plants that can be used to make hedges, privacy screens, wind breakers, and interesting espalier or topiary designs.

Most flowering shrubs require little maintenance and make excellent choice for designing low-maintenance landscapes.

Following is a list of best flowering shrubs you can grow in your garden or landscape.

Best Evergreen Flowering Shrub

Tibouchina urvilleana

Tibouchina is a genus of excellent bloomers from tropical and sub-tropical climates, majorly from Brazil and Mexico. Most species are evergreen and produce attractive flowers of pink and purple colors. Tibouchina urvilleana is a nice evergreen flowering shrub that can grow up to 10 feet in its native climate. It is known for its silvery-green foliage and beautiful purple flowers that attract bees and butterflies.

  • Foliage: Evergreen
  • Flowers: Purple (summer)
  • Water: Regular; do not over water
  • Light: Full to partial sun
  • Size: Up to 12 feet
  • Propagation: Cuttings
  • Soil pH: Neutral to Slightly acidic
  • USDA Zone: 9a to 11
  • Special Care: Protect from frost and extreme cold
  • Other Names: Princess Flower, Glory Flower

Tibouchina urvilleana makes an excellent evergreen flowering shrub. It does not require much maintenance and blooms profusely in mid-summer. If you are looking for other options, I would recommend the following evergreen flowering shrubs:

Polygala myrtifolia 

  • Foliage: Evergreen
  • Flowers: Purple (all year)
  • Water: Drought tolerant; water when the soil is dry
  • Light: Full to partial sun
  • Size: Up to 6 feet
  • Propagation: Cuttings
  • Soil pH: Neutral
  • USDA Zone: 9a to 11
  • Special Care: Do not over water
  • Other Names: September Bush

Loropetalum chinense (Buy online)

  • Foliage: Evergreen; Colorful in winter
  • Flowers: Pink (early spring)
  • Water: Regular
  • Light: Full to partial sun; also grows in shaded spots
  • Size: Up to 6 feet
  • Propagation: Cuttings
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic
  • USDA Zone: 7 to 10
  • Special Care: Do not over water
  • Other Names: Chinese fringe-flower

Streptosolen jamesonii (Buy online)

  • Foliage: Evergreen; Colorful in winter
  • Flowers: Orange (spring/summer)
  • Water: Regular
  • Light: Full to partial sun
  • Size: Up to 6 feet
  • Propagation: Cuttings
  • Soil pH: Neutral
  • USDA Zone: 9a to 11
  • Special Care: Do not over water
  • Other Names: Marmalade Bush

Best Flowering Shrub for Colorful Foliage

Breynia disticha (Buy online)

Breynia disticha is a nice flowering shrub better known for its colorful foliage. Originally from the tropical climates, Breynia disticha can be grown in colder climates when protected from frost and freeze. This attractive flowering shrub is characterized by wavy, red stem and variegated foliage of white and pink hues. Breynia disticha makes an excellent plant for containers, garden borders as well as a ground cover in landscape designs.

Best flowering shrub for colorful foliage: Breynia disticha

Breynia disticha/ Image by Forest & Kim Starr

  • Foliage: Evergreen colorful foliage
  • Flowers: Inconspicuous
  • Water: Regular; do not over water
  • Light: Full to partial sun
  • Size: Up to 6 feet
  • Propagation: Cuttings
  • Soil pH: Slightly alkaline
  • USDA Zone: 9a to 11
  • Special Care: Protect from frost and extreme cold
  • Other Names: Snow Bush

Other flowering shrubs for colorful foliage include:

Coprosma repens

Coprosma 'Tequila Sunburst'

Coprosma ‘Tequila Sunburst’/ Image by Leonora Enking

  • Foliage: Evergreen colorful foliage
  • Flowers: Inconspicuous
  • Water: Regular; do not over water
  • Light: Full to partial sun
  • Size: Up to 5 feet
  • Propagation: Cuttings
  • USDA Zone: 9a to 10b
  • Special Care: Protect from frost and extreme cold
  • Other Names: Mirror Bush

Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’

Aucuba Japonica, The Gold Dust Plant

Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’, Image by Kaustav Bhattacharya

  • Foliage: Evergreen colorful foliage
  • Flowers: Inconspicuous late winter flowers
  • Water: Regular; do not over water
  • Light: Full to partial sun
  • Size: Up to 10 feet
  • Propagation: Cuttings
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic
  • USDA Zone: 6a to 10b
  • Special Care: Protect from frost and extreme cold
  • Other Names: Gold Dust

Iresine herbstii

Iresine Herbstii, The Bloodleaf Plant

Iresine Herbstii, The Bloodleaf Plant, Image by Leonora Enking (flickr)

  • Foliage: Evergreen colorful foliage
  • Flowers: Inconspicuous
  • Water: Regular; do not over water
  • Light: Full to partial sun
  • Size: Up to 6 feet
  • Propagation: Cuttings
  • Soil pH: Slightly alkaline
  • USDA Zone: 9a to 11
  • Special Care: Protect from frost and extreme cold
  • Other Names: Snow Bush

Euonymus japonica

Euonymus Japonica, Evergreen Shrub

Euonymus Japonica, Spindle Tree, Image by John (Puzzler4879@flickr)

  • Foliage: Evergreen colorful foliage
  • Flowers: Inconspicuous
  • Water: Regular; do not over water
  • Light: Full to partial sun
  • Size: Up to 6 feet
  • Propagation: Cuttings
  • Soil pH: Slightly alkaline
  • USDA Zone: 9a to 11
  • Special Care: Protect from frost and extreme cold
  • Other Names: Snow Bush

Dodonaea Viscosa ‘Purpurea’

Dodonaea Viscosa Purpurea

Dodonaea Viscosa ‘Purpurea’, Image by Suzette Hosken

  • Foliage: Evergreen colorful foliage
  • Flowers: Inconspicuous
  • Water: Regular; do not over water
  • Light: Full to partial sun
  • Size: Up to 6 feet
  • Propagation: Cuttings
  • Soil pH: Slightly alkaline
  • USDA Zone: 9a to 11
  • Special Care: Protect from frost and extreme cold
  • Other Names: Snow Bush

Best Low-maintenance Flowering Shrub

Bougainvillea

Bougainville is a widely grown flowering shrub in many parts of the world. It is known for its attractive and colorful bracts. It is a hardy shrub that survives a range of climatic conditions and growing environment. A large number of varieties of Bougainville are commercially offered and are liked because of their colorful bracts and variegated foliage. Most varieties originate from four major species. Bougainville spectabilis (purple or rose-purple bracts), Bougainville glabra (magenta bracts and oblong, bright green leaves), Bougainville peruviana (smaller, mauve-pink bracts, yellowish flowers and large, smooth leaves), and Bougainville formosa (large clusters of pale magenta-pink flowers, usually bears variegated leaves).

Best low maintenance flowering shrub, Bougainvillea

Image by Tushar Pokle

  • Foliage: Evergreen colorful foliage
  • Flowers: Bracts of Red, Orange, Purple, Pink, Magenta, Apricot (Spring/ Summer)
  • Water: Regular; do not over water
  • Light: Full to partial sun
  • Size: Up to 6 feet
  • Propagation: Hardwood cuttings
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic
  • USDA Zone: 9a to 11

Other low-maintenance flowering shrubs you should consider include:

Weigela florida

Weigela florida

Weigela florida

  • Foliage: Deciduous
  • Flowers:  Pink, Mauve (Spring / Summer)
  • Water: Regular; do not over water
  • Light: Full to partial sun
  • Size: Up to 12 feet
  • Propagation: Hardwood cuttings
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic
  • USDA Zone: 5a to 8b

Pimelea ferruginea

Pimelea Ferruginea, Flowering Shrub

Pimelea Ferruginea, Image by Barry Michael

  • Foliage: Evergreen
  • Flowers: White (Spring / Early Summer)
  • Water: Regular; do not over water
  • Light: Partial Sun
  • Size: Up to 15 cm
  • Propagation: Hardwood cuttings
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic
  • USDA Zone: 9a to 11

Tecoma capensis

Tecomaria capensis

Tecomaria capensis/ Image by James Gaither

  • Foliage: Evergreen
  • Flowers: Red, Orange (Late Summer / Early Fall)
  • Water: Regular; do not over water
  • Light: Full to partial Sun
  • Size: Up to 8 feet
  • Propagation: Cuttings, Layering
  • Soil pH: Neutral
  • USDA Zone: 9a to 11

Lagerstroemia indica

Lagerstroemia Speciosa

  • Foliage: Deciduous
  • Flowers: Pink, Magenta, Purple (Spring/ Summer)
  • Water: Regular; do not over water
  • Light: Full to partial Sun
  • Size: Up to 12 feet
  • Propagation: Cuttings,
  • Soil pH: Neutral
  • USDA Zone: 9a to 11

03 Jul

Growing Herbs and Vegetables in Containers

Every day I hear something from the news or on social media talking about the benefits of fresh herbs and vegetables – even if it’s just that using them makes food taste better. But what if you don’t have the space for a big garden, or a convenient farmer’s market? Container gardens are becoming more and more popular, allowing you to grow fresh herbs and veggies on your porch or deck, so that the freshest produce is right outside your door!

Benefits of Container Gardening

The benefits of container gardening are many and varied, including convenience, soil to kitchen control over the produce you serve your family, enhancing your outdoor space and the cost-effectiveness of growing your own produce compared with buying it at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. In addition, growing your garden in containers allows you the ultimate flexibility in positioning for the best sunlight for any given time of year and creates an environment where any potential problems, like fungi and other plant diseases will not spread to the rest of your garden.

Aloe Test Garden

Challenges of Container Gardening

Container gardens can be a bit of a challenge because they rely on the gardener for all nutrients – meaning you’re responsible for making sure each container is getting the proper amount of nutrients, water and sunlight that the plant inside it requires, which can vary significantly. You may need to water certain plants twice a day in the hotter summer months, but that much water could kill the plant in a different container. But as long as you understand the differences in what the plants in your garden need, this is a challenge easily overcome. There are several great resources that can tell you about the care your specific herbs and vegetables will need. My favorites are the Garden Guides and AZ Master Gardener Manual pages.

Do Your Research

Since there are some significant differences in how you care for in-ground plants compared to container plants, it’s important to do your research when looking to grow any particular vegetable or herb in a container. For example, one of the most significant differences is root temperature – in-ground roots will never warm up as much as roots in containers can, so to grow plants that need cooler roots you may need to use a larger, light-colored container to minimize the effect of the sun. Mother Earth News has a great article for the beginner container gardener, including container-friendly plants and information on everything from the best buckets, soil and fertilizer to use to using your containers as design elements on your deck.

For added benefit from your container garden, choose acceptable pots and decorate them to fit your personal style, or keep track of your potted garden with this great idea from Martha Stewart.

17 Jun

Top Tips on Growing Tomatoes in Your Garden

Growing your own vegetables and fruits is an exciting experience and it is not difficult to grow them in your own backyard or kitchen garden. Today, we are sharing expert tips from the folks at Carpenter’s Nursery on growing tomatoes in your own garden.

Growing Tomatoes at Home

First Crop / Image via Flickr

Growing Tomatoes

Tomatoes can be grown effectively in grow bags, hanging baskets (variety – Tumbler), pots, greenhouses or the ground. Despite being subtropical plants they are surprisingly resilient and versatile. For best results though the greenhouse provides the best crop – but if you don’t have one don’t let that discourage you.

If growing from seed, sow in early Spring indoors in seed trays. Seed sowing compost is the ideal germination nutrient. Once the seeds reach an inch in height transplant them into individual pots. Once they reach 6-8 inches transplant them into larger pots, grow bags or tubs etc.

Fertilizing Your Tomatoes

For best results add some long lasting feed or organic fertiliser to a good compost. You can buy it or use your compost heap – dark rich compost will give you the very best results. If you start with nice healthy plants and great compost you are 95% of the way there to getting the perfect results and a huge crop.

Once you have planted the tomatoes water only sparingly initially – then as the flowers come up you can water more. This will mean your tomato plants have a stronger root system.

Taking Care of Your Tomatoes

Tomatoes like warm and moist conditions and you should not let them outside until the weather has significantly warmed and the nights a frost-free unless you are putting them into a greenhouse. At night you can wrap tomato plants in fleece if they are staying outside or just bring them in each night until the weather warms.

Once established tomatoes are fairly easy to maintain. They require regular water (in evenings to avoid evaporation) and should be checked regularly for pests and diseases. Feed every one to two weeks once the plants are producing fruit. The most important issue to look for is Blight – which appears as a brown black fungus that quickly destroys plants. The only real way to protect from this is to grow in a greenhouse or buy disease resistant variety. Other common issues are viruses which will destroy leafs and eventually plants. If your tomatoes start to mottle or leafs die trip them off carefully.

Best Growing Tomato Plants

Carpenter’s Nursery recommends these varieties:

Sungold (Buy seeds online– A popular sweet tomato variety bursting with flavors. Yellow and orange and easy to grow.

Gardener’s Delight (Buy seeds online) – Large cherry tomatoes full of juice and incredibly succulent.

Alicante (Buy seeds online) – A classic variety of tomato and ever popular this is an English classic and always produces exceptional crop yields.

Shirley F1 (Buy seeds online) – Remains one of the most popular varieties for cultivating in cold or slightly heated greenhouses. This early maturing tomato has become an exhibitor’s favorite for its heavy crops of excellent quality fruit.

16 Jun

Weekly Magazine: Garden Dispatch # 9

Welcome to the latest issue of Garden Dispatch.

The Garden Dispatch is a weekly compilation of landscape and garden design resources. In this issue, explore:

5 Tips: How to Make Most of Small Garden Spaces

Small Space Garden Design Tips

Growing all of your favorite plants in a small space is challenging but with a little planning and creativity, you can turn your small space garden into a dream garden. Brook Klausing shares his five tips for making most of small spaces.

  1. Pick the spot with the best view, where you’d want to sit, and build your garden retreat from there.
  2. Wall off the outside world with vine-covered trellises or thin, sculpted trees such as hornbeams.
  3. Use a fountain or firebowl to create a focal point—and offer distraction.
  4. Plant scented flowers or herbs such as lavender or thyme for added distraction.
  5. Keep furniture to a minimum—try a picnic benches, for example, instead of multiple chairs.

Also See: 9 Examples of Beautiful, Small Space Gardens

Plant of the Week: Stipa ichru

Stipa ichru

I am a big fan of ornamental grasses. They are versatile and come in all sizes, colors and textures. Most ornamental grasses are hardy and can grow under tough conditions. You can also put them to many uses. They are good ground covers, they can fill empty landscape spaces, some of them make nice accent plants, and some can be mixed with other plants to add a unique texture and color. The ornamental grass featured today is Stipa ichur. See details here.

Also See: 9 Ornamental Grasses for Your Garden Landscape Design

How To: Get High Yield from Your Kitchen Garden

High Yield Vegetable Garden

If you grow your own vegetables, this is a must read. Stephanie Rose shares her secret of getting high yield from a small vegetable garden. See details here.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas: Gifts for Green Thumb Dads

Father's Day Gift Idea

It is time of the year. If your dad is into gardening, here is a nice selection of plants you can buy him on this Father’s Day.

Home & Garden Decor: How to Decorate Your Home with Container Gardens

Decorating with Container Garden

Another great article by Stephanie Rose on decorating your home with container garden. You will love these wonderful ideas.

Garden Visits: Highlights from Chelsea Flower Show 2016

Chelsea Flower Show 2016

One of my favorite garden shows. If you have not been there, here are highlights from this year’s show.

27 May

How to Use Large Planters in Landscape Design

I have several hundred plants in my rooftop succulent garden – grown in planters of all sizes, shapes and materials. I am very choosy about form and function of planters. I select planters that not only provide sufficient room and the right growing conditions to the plant but also complement the shape and size of the plant.

I have planters made from plastic, stone, terracotta, porcelain, wood, and concrete. The size varies from 2 inches (for seedlings in my rooftop succulent garden) to 150 gallons (for palms and other large plants in my landscape garden).

I like large planters (Buy planters online) because of their utility and versatility. They can be used for multiple purposes. I have used large planters to grow large plants (like palms and some large specimens of Euphorbia and Dracaena), to grow mixed plants in a planter, or some times just to add interesting forms in the landscape design. In fact, large planters are excellent for creating a center of attention in your garden. I have also used large planters with (narrow base) in tight spots. They do not take much space on the ground and give you a nice pedestal to grow your favorite plants.

There are numerous ways to use large planters in your landscape design. Browse the following examples and see you can use these creative ideas and spice up your landscape design.

How to Use Large Planters in Landscape Design

Large planters can be used in tight spaces.House By The Pond

Large terracotta planters are very versatile. They come in many shapes, sizes and colors and can be used to create focal points in your garden.
Mediterranean Patio
Large planters with annuals and evergreens placed at the front door create a nice welcoming effect and enhance the curb appeal.
My Houzz: Iris Dankner
You can group large planters with ornamental plants in both indoor and outdoor settings.
My Houzz: McGeachy Residence
There are so many ways you can use large planters to create dramatic effects. Be creative.
Contemporary Landscape
A beautiful example of mixed plants in a large planter.
Huniford Design Studio, Getaway to the 2013 Holiday House Hamptons
Convincing?
50s remodel
Big planters create big effects.
Cottage Perennial
Another example of large planters being used in tight spaces.
Large Planters in Tight Spaces
Can you reproduce this effect in your landscape design?
Large Planters
22 May

Medinilla magnifica, the Philippines Orchid

Medinilla magnifica (Buy seeds online) is a tropical evergreen shrub known for its attractive and unusual flowers. The pendulous flowers grow in clusters surrounded by beautiful pink bracts making it a nice outdoor as well as indoor plant. Broad, shiny green leaves retain ornamental value of the plant when it is not blooming.

Medinilla magnifica

How to Grow Medinilla magnifica

Medinilla magnifica (Buy seeds online) comes from tropical regions of the Philippine where it prefers warm and humid climate. The same conditions should be provided to this lovely bloomer when growing in your garden. As a general rules, grow it in a well-drained and rich soil. You can use any orchid mix to grow your plant. Water it regularly during spring and summer and reduce it to minimum during winter. If you are growing it in colder climates, move your plant indoors where it receives bright sunlight. Mist leaves occasionally.
Philippines Orchid

Flowers appear in spring and last throughout the summer season. Flowers of Medinilla magnifica are small are grow in drooping clusters covered with large pink bracts.

Medinilla magnifica can grow up to 3 or 4 meters however you can contain its growth by keeping it in smaller pots, if required. You can also prune it back after each flowering season. Propagation is usually done from cuttings.

The plant is also known as Pink Lantern, Chandelier Tree or the Philippine Orchid.

18 May

Top Tips: Landscaping a Small Backyard Garden

Landscaping a small backyard garden should not prevent you from growing your favorite plants, building a nice deck, or using it for outdoor living. With careful selection of plants (compact shrubs, low-maintenance succulents, hardy ground covers, and nice border plants), and a minimal design scheme you easily turn your small backyard space into an enjoyable retreat.

 

Browse the following examples and see how easy it is to create a nice landscape design in a small backyard.

Use Vertical Space

You cannot change size of your small backyard but by using vertical space effectively you can make your small backyard look roomy. You can use small trees and slender bushes that grow in columnar fashion. You can also use tall objects like over-sized planters and vertical lighting effects as in the following picture. Also notice a Mandevilla growing horizontally to give an impression of expansion.
Small Backyard Design

Add Multiple Levels

By adding multiple levels, as in the following picture, you can maximize the use of vertical space. Terraced levels can also be used to create multiple focus levels. You can incorporate plants of different sizes (taller at the back and smaller on front terraces) with landscaping objects like rocks to create an overall impression of a small terraced garden.
Small Space Backyard

Divide Your Backyard into Functional Areas

To make maximum usage of real estate, you can divide your backyard garden into small functional areas. The backyard garden in the following picture is divided in multiple functional areas: outdoor living, vegetable beds, a BBQ pit and a small lawn bordered with ornamental plants. Each functional area integrates with others to form a useful backyard garden.
Small Backyard Garden

Create a Useful Central Area

Create a central area and then border it with minimal plantation. The small backyard garden in the following picture uses a functional central area that can be used for outdoor living bordered with compact and low-growing plants.

Small Backyard Design

Create a Single Focal Point

The small backyard garden in the following example uses a garden pathway as the only focal point. It is bordered with a mix of annuals and perennials grown in a country garden style.
Small Space Landscape
Create an Outdoor Living Area
The best usage of a small backyard garden in to turn it into a functional outdoor living area. The backyard in the following example uses most of the available space for day-to-day usage – plantation is minimal, furniture takes most of the space.
Deck in Small Landscape

Incorporate Indoors and Outdoors

By incorporating indoor and outdoor space, you can effectively maximize the use of limited real estate. The small backyard garden in this example is integrated with the living room.
Indoor and Outdoor Space Integration

Pave Your Small Backyard Garden

You with pave your small backyard garden with stone or interlocking bricks. A paved backyard gives you a plenty of space to use for outdoor living as well as container gardening.
Small Landscape Backyard

Use Garden Border

If you do not have enough depth in your small backyard garden, as in the following example, plant along the border. Mix and match plants of different sizes, colors and texture to create an attractive landscape.
Garden Border in a Small Backyard Garden
14 May

Lovely Flowering Shrub: Potentilla fruticosa

Potentilla is a genus of lovely flowering shrubs and small perennials from the family of Rose. These summer flowering shrubs make excellent plants for beginners. Most species, such as Potentilla fruticosa,  grow in almost any soil and are resistant to pests.

Potentilla fruticosa (Buy online) grows from 1 to 3 feet in height and produces attractive yellow flowers in late spring. Flowering continues till early days of fall. Potentilla fruticosa can be used to border plants, cover the ground in mass plantation schemes or as an outdoor ornamental plant. The ornamental value of the plant is because of its compact silvery-green leaves and attractive yellow flowers.

Potentilla fruticosa 'Lovely Pink'

How to Grow Potentilla fruticosa

Potentilla fruticosa like other plants in its genus prefers bright sunlight, regular watering and a well-drained soil. To keep the plant in shape, it is advised to prune annually at the end of the flowering season. When grown in colder climates, reduce or stop watering during the freezing period. Most Potentillas can be grown from softwood cuttings or divisions. Popular varieties include:

P. fruticosa ‘Abbotswood’ is grown as a hardy flowering shrub that produces abundance of white flowers.

P. parvifolia ‘Goldfinger’ is known for its large and prominent yellow flowers.

P. fruticosa ‘Goldstar’ grows as a compact and low-growing flowering shrub. It is suitable for growing as a ground cover. Flowers are yellow.

P. fruticosa ‘McKay’s White’ produces very nice white flowers.

Potentilla fruticosa 'McKay's White'

P. fruticosa ‘Pink Beauty’ is the most beautiful flowering shrub in this genus. It is known for its lovely pink flowers.

P. fruticosa ‘Red Robin’ produces yellow flowers that gradually change their color to yellow-orange.

28 Apr

5 Beautiful Australian Natives You Need on Your Shopping List

Growing Australian natives in your garden can be beneficial to the environment and make gardening an easier task for you! Native plants attract wildlife to your garden and provide shelter for them. But that’s not all, they’ll also add a lovely touch of colour and interest to any garden.

To help you start your native garden here are some Australian natives that suit a variety of Australian gardens.

Donkey Orchids for Shade

Donkey Orchid, Diuris

Donkey Orchid, Diuris / Image by Morgan’s List

Diuris orchids are commonly called donkey orchids because their two upper petals stick up like donkey ears. The donkey orchid is a breath-taking plant that has a distinctive bright yellow flower which blooms from winter to the start of summer. They grow in regions with wet winters and well-drained soils, woodlands or grasslands.

Lechenaultia for Pot Plants

Native Blue Lechenaultia

Native Blue Lechenaultia / Image by Gardening with Angus

The Lechenaultia is a vibrant plant that comes in a rainbow of shades you can enjoy over many seasons. Although they can carpet the ground of your garden, they are suited to growing in hanging baskets or pots too. This is especially the case if your soil is very wet. They grow best in humid climates and are most commonly found in Western Australia.

Tea Tree for Cold Climates

Lemon Scented Tea Tree

Lemon Scented Tea Tree / Image by Melbourne Daily

This Australian shrub (or small tree) has stunning, thin green leaves and white flowers. It grows to a maximum of five metres and is adaptable to most types of soil. Although it can be grown for purely ornamental reasons it’s also a source for essential oil that’s used in beauty products and to repel annoying mosquitoes.

Banksia for Small Gardens

The Native Sentinel Banksia

The Native Sentinel Banksia / Image by Austra Flora

The Sentinel is a variety of Banksia that is perfect for those awkward corners of the garden that need to be filled. While the flowering shrub will grow to about two metres high, it only has a spread of a metre, which makes it perfect for small gardens.

The Sentinel Banksia prefers full sun or partial shade. It flowers from late summer to winter and loves to be pruned which means it’s easy to keep it at a controllable size. Sentinel’s flowers are loved by honeyeaters who will visit your garden to enjoy them from summer through to mid-winter.

Wattle for Easy Growing

Australian Native Wattle Plant

Australian Native Wattle Plant

The wattle is one of Australia’s favourite plants! There are over 1000 species of acacia and they make fantastic garden plants. Varieties of Acacia range from small shrubs to larger trees so they will suit most garden sizes.

The wattle responds well to pruning right after flowering and regular pruning will extend its life. You can enjoy the beautiful yellow throughout the year but they typically flower in spring, with a third of the species flowering in winter. The plant attracts a variety of native birds that come to feast on its nectar.

If you are interested in discovering more varieties of plants for your garden, this list of Australian native plants gives you a personalised list of plants that are suited to your garden.

24 Apr

Lagurus ovatus, Bunny Tails Ornamental Grass

Lagurus ovatus or Bunny Tails Grass is a lovely ornamental grass known for its puffy white flowers that resemble a bunny’s tail. This beautiful annual grass can be grown along garden borders or pathways, as an accent plant in the garden or an ornamental grass in xeriscapes.

Lagurus ovatus

Lagurus ovatus / Image via faroutflora.wordpress.com

Bunny Tails grows as a compact ornamental grass growing up to 20 inches high and about 1 foot wide. The blades are soft and about 1.5 foot in length. The ornamental value of this lovely grass is because of its fluffy, white oval flowers that start appearing in early summer. Bunny tails flowers assume tan color as they enter the fall season arrives. The flowers start to dry out at this time. You can keep them on the grass for winter interest. Stalks with dried fluffy flowers can also be removed and used in dry flower arrangement.

How to Grow Bunny Tails Ornamental Grass

Bunny Tails Grass

Bunny Tails Grass / Image by Mollivan Jon (flickr)

Bunny Tails can be propagated from seeds (Buy Seeds Online) collected from dried flowers. Seeds can be sown in spring. Plants grown from seeds take 1 to 2 year to attain the maximum size.

Bunny Tails grass comes from Mediterranean climates where it thrives in a rather dry climate. When grown in gardens or landscapes, provide it sunny exposure and water moderately. Bunny Tails prefers sandy soil that does not retain water. It is a drought-tolerant grass. Water it thoroughly in summer and then allow the soil to completely dry before watering next. When temperature falls, water sparsely.