During our last blazing summer, one thing became clear – nothing held up as well as the Australian plants. Leafy plants burned to a crisp and even the succulents wilted, but the natives just sat there happily and put out a few more flowers to prove the point.
I still have lots of ‘exotics’ – pretty and tough plants from California, South Africa and the Mediterranean – but increasingly Australian shrubs are forming the backbone of the garden. They’re mostly long-flowering named varieties, because I figure I might as well be choosy when I don’t have much space to play with.
Here are some of the Australian stars of my front garden…
Westringia ‘Wynyabbie Gem’ has pale purple flowers and can be closely trimmed and shaped – this one needs a bit of a haircut.
This grevillea was labelled ‘Robyn Gordon’, but with its orange and yellow flowers, I suspect it’s actually Grevillea ‘Superb’. Its neighbour is another native with small pink flowers, whose name I’ve forgotten…
…here they are trying to escape the confines of the front fence.
I’ve recently planted a clump of tall red kangaroo paws – this one has put up its first flower stem against the backdrop of a self-seeded daisy.
As gaps open up in my garden, I expect more Australian plants will find their way in.