With the nursery full and everything looking lush as we settle into summer, we thought it’s time to share some of our picks for plants that do well in our area and to consider as you tackle refreshing your patio or patio view for summer entertaining. From colourful perennials to stand out hardy plants there’s something exciting about growing something you may not know or have forgotten about.
As a perennial for a mostly shady spot Plectranthus are really cool to grow and flower though summer and well into autumn. The hybrids of Mona Lavender and Magic mona are often regarded as lavender for the shade because of the look but the are not lavender at all. Most Plectranthus are forrest plants growing under trees so by giving them those conditions they do really well. They don’t always survive a very cold and frosty winter but are so well worth replanting. Look out for varieties that flower in purple tomes as well as white and pink varieties.
The Golden Euonymous are slow growing compact shrubs that really stands out in a mostly sunny spot. They can be clipped to shape and are extremely cold hardy and water wise. We think they make for an interesting focal point but do look as good planted close in a row to create a contrasting border to the greens beyond.
Everyone loves Plumbago but often forget about it when they are not in flower. They flower on new growth and so respond incredibly well to being clipped to shape as a hedge or even as a free-standing shrub. The best show is in spring and again mid and late summer. Water wise, tough, yet when in flower they look so dainty and best of all – the pollinators love them, so they are really great for your garden's ecosystem.
Potato Bushes also known as the Solanum, are extremely popular in our local area but are often constantly hedged. For a tropical garden allow them to grow naturally, you will be surprised as to how they simply cover in flowers.
Waterwise and tough they will grow in some shade but flower best if given maximum sun. They are also available in white but it is the blue that is simply the best performer. There are two blues on the market so try the dark purple blue for a more intense colour or just love the royal blue as we do.
With more varieties available continuously and the variety of colours adding to their fame, it’s no secret that we think Agapanthus should be declared a national treasure. These #WaterWise indigenous gems grow in full sun to light shade. There are many new repeat flowering available in so many shades of blue to purple it will be hard to choose your favourite. Feed them with BioOcean fertiliser to stimulate flowering and to keep them lush and to intensify the colours. Agapanthus flower all summer and the rest of the year add a lush foliage to the garden with their shiny strappy leaves.
The New Zealand Rock Lily is a perfect shade plant and is extremely water wise but will perform even better if well watered. They form a clump of long strappy leaves and in spring cover in sprays of white flowers that look like lace. Plant them in a combination border between agapanthus and other perennials as space fillers to add interest and texture. Look out for them at Eckards where we also call them by their full name - Arthropodium.