Spring 2019 had it's challenges across many parts of our country - the ongoing devastation of drought; the start of the worst bushfires we have experienced; soaring temperatures; and our town was on the brink of running out of water. Spring 2020 has a very different feel. The ground has moisture in it, and the plants which have survived the drought followed by heavy rain are standing proud in the garden. Surely this Spring and Summer will be easy for them having survived last year. Here are a range of grasses and perennials which we have just put on our website for Spring - there will be many more over the next few weeks as soil temperatures rise.
Cistus x 'Silver Pink'
This hybrid Cistus originates from the dry, rocky parts of the Mediterranean. Drought and frost tolerant, this low maintenance shrubs forms a natural regular ball shape 60cm tall x 80cm wide. Spring flowering with masses of papery, silvery pale pink flowers fading to white. Requires full sun and good drainage. View
Rosmarinus officinalis 'Chef's Choice'
Grown for its form, flower and culinary value, 'Chef's Choice' has a high oil content with a spicy flower making it perfect for use in the kitchen. In the landscape it has a compact habit (80cm x 1m) and beautiful mid blue flowers in Winter. 'Chef's Choice' lends itself to clipping and can be kept neat and tidy if desired. Requires good drainage and a sunny position. Low water requirement once established. View.
Echinacea purpurea 'Pow Wow' White
This Coneflower is a high impact perennial. As the name may suggest it has been bred to produce upright well branched stems that result in more flowers per plant. Flowers have luminous golden yellow centres surrounded by a skirt of wide pure white petals. The compact habit lends itself to planting en masse as well as container culture. 60cm tall x 40cm wide. Prefers well drained average soils in full sun. View.
Being fortunate enough to observe this plant on a trip to Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens in Cape Town, South Africa, we decided to investigate further. Olivier Filippi sings its praises in his drought tolerant gravel garden in the south of France. He reports it to be drought tolerant and beautiful in form. African Boxwood grows slowly to 2m x 75cm, has dark green oval shaped leaves and deep red new growth. We have planted it in our own dry garden to compliment greys and silvers of Mediterranean plants including Phlomis, Rosemary and Dwarf Olives. Clips very well, is long lived and very adaptable. View.
We are a huge fan of this plant for numerous reasons: First, it's ability to handle extreme hot and dry conditions plus it handles frost no problem; Second, it's slender, arching evergreen blue-green foliage that forms a dense clump; Third, this plant is stunning when in flower during the Summer months with an elegant panicle of reddish pink flowers. An architecturally intriguing plant that makes an impact en masse or as a potted specimen. Full sun. Approx. 1 x 1m. View.
Soft feathery luminous plumes are the feature of this "Diamond Grass'. It is shade tolerant but prefers full sun. Does well on a range of soils with sufficient moisture. Completely dormant in winter. 1.2m. View
A handsome, ornamental grass forming a fountain-like mound of rich khaki green foliage. Endemic to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, often referred to as Giant Fescue. Drought and heat tolerant once established. An evergreen grass that never needs cutting back. An architectural grass of great beauty and longevity. Used extensively in naturalistic plantings. Tolerant of frost, snow, drought and heat. Excessive humidity can lead to rust issues. Approximately 60cm x 60cm. View.