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  • Pelargonium
  • Arctotis
    • Terracotta   CAG02731
      Height20cm
      Width5m
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      WaterL
      LightSun
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      At the forefront of groundcover technology with 15m² of coverage per annum in unirrigated water repellent sand. The plush, weed suppressing, carpet of crinkled silver foliage is overshadowed throughout spring by 10cm diameter, muted, burnt sienna, daisy-like blooms, offset with glossy black centres.

      For when maximum coverage is desired or more lurid varieties are too much. The cost effective alternative to paving for median strips, roundabouts and verges.

      Indestructible in any well drained sunny soil. Immune to reflected heat. Irrigation unnecessary.

      An annual whipper snip at the end of the bloom season, to remove spent flowerheads, keeps it looking tidy over the summer rest.

  • Austrostipa
    • mollis   CAG02517

      (Soft spear grass)
      Height1.2m
      Width40cm
      Flowering SeasonSp - Au
      WaterL
      LightSun
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      A southern Australian grass that would lend itself to creative planting. Stiffly vertical stalks are topped with tapered plumes, dark tinted and feathery in seed then fading to pale straw, luminous in low angle light, and lasting for many months above an unobtrusive, low, sparse clump of downy, sage green, linear leaves.

      Stunning in mass, as sometimes still seen in the wild, or scattered through low plantings to add barely there height. Likely to be long lived and naturalise on lean, bare soil. A native verge/median strip of grass waving in the breeze would seem plausible but perhaps unpalatable to sanitised gardeners/municipalities.

      Easily grown in any well drained soil, especially low nutrient sands, where after a short establishment period summer water will be optional. Annual removal of tired plumes is the only investment of time required.

  • Eriogonum
    • arborescens   CAG02925

      (Santa Cruz Island buckwheat)
      Height80cm
      Width1m
      Flowering SeasonSu - Wi
      WaterL
      LightFull Sun
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      A dome of fine silvery grey rosettes bearing flattish heads of palest pink flowers that darken to burnt sienna and last until stripped by winter rain. From the Channel Islands off California and revelling in coastal conditions and hot dry summers.

      Offers great potential for avant-garde designs with earth toned pottery or paving, or brightly coloured glass forms and background walls for more modernity.

      For any well drained soil though the leaner the better. Tolerant of some irrigation but less so with increasing temps.

      Questionable in eastern states and definitely not for the tropics.

  • Hakea
    • victoria   CAG02506

      (Royal Hakea)
      Height3m
      Width1.5m
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      WaterL
      LightFull Sun
      Hakea victoria
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      One of the worlds most unique and amazing plants, fittingly named to honour a queen and native to sandplains on our own southern coast.

      Broad, leathery, prickly edged leaves (scratchy rather than dangerous) hug the vertical branches and borne among them during spring are creamy white pincushion like flowers, followed by woody fruit. The true spectacle however is that upon flowering all the leaves flush with amazing shades of red, yellow and orange with the whole plant appearing like a gaudy artists impression of some long lost prehistoric life form.

      Low summer humidity and poor sandy soil are likely to bring out the best colouration and most likely chance of survival. Not suitable for the east coast but a possibility perhaps in drier, less humid, inland areas.

      It does have a reputation for being challenging to grow. I suspect largely due, as is so often the case, to overwatering and too rich a soil. As young plants they have been vigorous and perfectly heat tolerant in the nursery and would appear to have the utmost chance of success.

      Offered here so that you may experiment too. Report back with results.

  • Lavandula
    • pinnata   CAG02853
      Height50cm
      Width50cm
      Flowering SeasonSp - Au
      WaterL
      LightSun
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      A most heat and drought loving member of a heat and drought loving race. A dome like shrub with feather shaped, unaromatic, silver leaves and short spikes of clear lavender flowers on long, fine stems throughout the warmer months.
      Very distinct and perhaps more visually intriguing than types found in cooler gardens.

      From the Canary Islands and at its best in exposed, gutless, barren, preferably alkaline, soil. It would be very lovely on a limestone cliff where it should self sow, otherwise anywhere properly hot, dry and well drained. Expect leggy growth and a short life span in regions with high summer humidity or well watered, overly rich, gardens. Sensitive to heavy frost.

      An occasional trim to remove spent flowers should be all the input required. If you find it needs pruning (you've created a sumo with over indulgence), wait until vigorous basal growth can be seen.

  • Leonotis
  • Pancratium
    • maritimum   CAG01666

      (Sea daffodil)
      Height60cm
      Width30cm
      Flowering SeasonAutumn
      WaterL
      LightFull Sun
      Pancratium maritimum
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      A dramatic bulb, the umbels of pure white, perfumed, daffodil-like flowers appear as if by magic after the first autumn rain, on naked, very glaucous 60cm stems. Such delicate and exuberant beauty seemingly incongruous in the exposed and baking environ it prefers.

      The strappy, glaucous winter leaves die down with the onset of summer drought, if they remain evergreen you are providing too much water and any chance of flowering is likely to be non-existent. In a warm autumn repeat blooms are not uncommon.

      Found on coastal dunes in hotter parts of the Mediterranean it is ideally suited to growing in hot barren sand, though mine do fine in clay, and should be indifferent to salt spray. Self seeds if your lucky, though it will be at least several years before the seedlings are large enough to flower. Newly planted bulbs will usually need a year or two to settle in as well before they will resume flowering.

      Mass plant for best effect, either densely or as scattered individuals.

  • Poa
    • poiformis East coast   CAG01968

      (Blue tussock grass)
      Height75cm
      Width50cm
      Flowering SeasonSp - Su
      WaterL
      LightFull Sun
      Poa poiformis East coast
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      Found all along the south east coast and Tasmania. A stiffish, semi-erect, tussock forming grass with fine blue-green foliage. Very naturalistic and also makes an excellent counterpoint to hard surfaces. Dense, slender, tawny panicles add a little height and further interest in spring and are preferably left all summer long for extra naturalism.

      Remove spent flowerheads and leaves as you see fit, cutting back entirely may leave unsightly stubble highly visible unless foreground plants are used to disguise it. Better to replace tired plants with self sown seedlings.

      For any poor, sunny, well drained, preferably sandy soil. Volunteer seedlings are easily removed.

  • Teucrium
    • dunense   CAG02493

      (Dune germander)
      Height25cm
      Width40cm
      Flowering SeasonSp - Su
      WaterL
      LightFull Sun
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      A truly xerophytic species from coasts in the western Mediterranean demanding excellent drainage and dry summer conditions, so perfect for the Swan Coastal Plain and probably hopeless in areas with higher summer humidity.

      Forms a small shrublet with white felted stems clad in in greenish white felted, narrow, 1cm long, toothed, lance shaped leaves with their edges tightly rolled to conserve moisture and emitting a pleasing camphor-mint scent when brushed. Furry heads of small white two lipped, tubular flowers terminate the branches in late spring but are of little consequence compared to the sublime foliar effect.

      An excellent edging plant for exposed, barren and windswept coastal conditions or for contrast with other small hardy foliage plants like the closely related T. marum (Cat thyme) with dense pewter coloured leaves and spikes of bright pink flowers or Santolina of any variety.

      Tolerates at least light frost but is probably not terribly cold hardy.
      Intolerant of summer irrigation, water at your own risk.

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