Have you found yourself wanting for some more excitement in your small garden lately? Are you wondering what new Australian Native treasures might be available to add some spice to your garden this year? Well we have just the thing for you. Austraflora has a swagger of fantastic Australian Natives for Small Gardens. Bred for improved habit, longer flowering periods and superior hardiness these selections are sure to impress. Austraflora is responsible for developing the country’s most comprehensive range of Australian native plant selections available and these latest additions are some of the best yet. Check out these top varieties below! You wont be dissapointed!
Agonis Copper Wave™
Agonis flexuosa selection
Here’s a plant with style for first-line coastal positions. Copper Wave™ is low, spreading and mounding and will stand up to the strongest salt-laden winds. It’ll also protect the roots of nearby plants from drying winds.
When the gales are howling and the waves rolling in, Copper Wave™, with its beautiful new coppery growth, will crouch beside pathways and along driveways defying all the elements. It’s just as happy in inland gardens in areas of light frost, and is a designer’s dream for broadscale landscapes.
Karana & Misty (PBR eligible)
Alyogyne huegelii selections
These gorgeous creatures belong in the same family as Hibiscus, and for ease of memory are referred to as ‘Blue Hibiscus’, more to do with the foliage than the flower colours.
Though they are similar in size (1-1.5 m tall and wide), their flowers are different in hue. Karana has deep mauve, open trumpets while the flowers of Misty are pale soft mauve; both bloom from spring to autumn.
The choice for you is simply colour preference (or maybe choose both?) as they both grow as dense hedges for screening or could even be espaliered. They’ll thrive in well drained soils, in cool temperate to sub tropical regions, including coastal areas.
They’ll quickly re-shape after having their feathers ruffled with a cutting back, once flowering is over.
Banksia integrifolia selection (PBR eligible)
Have you ever bought plants for those hard to cover narrow areas on fencelines and walls that end up half way across your drive or pathway?
Well, worry no more. Austraflora has bred and trialled Banksia Sentinel just for those awkward spots.
While it will grow to around two metres high, it only has a spread of a metre or so, and if it does threaten to scratch the RR, it’s a simple matter of trimming back the offending leaves. This will produce an even denser habit.
Like so many Aussie plants, Sentinel’s flowers will be visited by honeyeaters; the large lemon brushes will keep the birds happy from summer through to mid winter, whether you have an inland garden or a first-line coastal plot. You can also grow it as a small windbreak or clip it as a neat hedge.
Moist but well drained clay loam or sandy soils are all good for Sentinel, and cold temperate to tropical climates will suit it.
Sentinel is the Designer Plant that landscapers have had on their wishlist for a long time.
Bauera Rose Carpet™
Bauera rubioides prostrate x sessiliflora
Here’s a plant with a real design edge ~ the pattern could be used for a carpet in the house as well as in the garden. Background foliage is mid green and slightly furry, with an overlay of bronze new growth. Dotted across throughout the year are magenta-pink, mini-rose-shaped flowers. With homes expanding and garden space squeezed, this colourful, tough plant should be high on every design list. With a spread of 50cm to a metre and almost prostrate, Rose Carpet™ will adapt to most climates, including semi arid if given an extra drink. It’s perfect beside the sea too. For landscapers looking for inspiration, think Rose Carpet™ for the next median strip or roundabout design, long banks and broadscale planting schedules.
Dianella Cherry Red (PBR symbol)
Dianella tasmanica selection
Some plants have a headstart over others: size, flowers, foliage texture, colour, perfume. But maybe the single most important character is ‘function’, with ‘reliability’ a close second. Cherry Red has most of these assets in spades and throws in another, beautiful blue fruit which any Satin Bowerbird would crave.
Handsome strap foliage reaches about 75cm high, forming a clump the same width. Striking cherry red leaf bases and graceful flower stems catch the eye, with deep blue flowers adding a zingy contrast in late spring and summer.
It’s a multi-purpose plant, eye-catching in containers or planted as borders along driveways or path edges, and mass planted in large beds for strong simple effect. Cool temperate to tropical climates and well drained soils will suit it, frost is of little concern, but some protection from salt wind is needed if planted by the coast.
Dianella Petite Marie (PBR symbol)
Dianella revoluta dwarf selection
Small is beautiful, and with Petite Marie, very functional. While ‘vertically challenged’ can be a putdown in some instances, it’s the perfect tag for such a great little plant. For a neat border there’s nothing better; nor for driveway and path edging, as a decorative trim around beds of annuals, and in tough spaces such as roadside roundabouts.
Strap foliage only reaches about 30cm and because it’s grown by tissue culture, uniformity is assured. It’s fine in cold temperate to sub tropical climates, in moist well drained soils, copes with moderate frost and coastal sites. Petite Marie packs a punch in a small parcel.
Here’s a bright small shrub to make you smile ~ pop it in amongst other small plants or use as a contrast to green or purple foliage. Or maybe just because silver foliage is your thing. Shape and colour both say ‘plant me into a pretty pot and give me plenty of sunshine’. Brightenup™ is the perfect specimen, or plant it in multiples for a truly stunning effect. Large pure white fan flowers run up the stems winter to summer, and attract butterflies. Whether in pot or garden, it loves a sunny well drained spot, and will do well in cool temperate to semi arid climates, will tolerate light frosts and even a distant view of the ocean.
Grevillea Charlie’s Angel (PBR symbol)
Grevillea Bonnie Prince Charlie F1
Drums are rolling for this one. Bred by Austraflora as an offspring of Bonnie Prince Charlie, eyes popped when the first flowers appeared ~ you could just about hear the bagpipes wailing and see the plaids waving through the glens. Bright orange, scarlet and gold clusters like cairngorm brooches weigh down the ends of the stems of dark green foliage. Spinebills especially love it and it’s a sight to see them hovering at the nectar-rich flowers.
Add to all that a small compact habit that is perfect for containers, mixed beds, borders and edging, and for real drama, mass planting ~ and the boxes are all ticked. Provide full sun or light shade and well drained friable soils, and Charlie’s Angel will grow in cool temperate to semi arid climates; light to moderate frost won’t be a problem, and coastal gardens will also suit. If you can bear to trim the flowers for posies indoors, that is the best form of pruning. Buds and more buds will follow.
Grevillea Cherry Pie (PBR eligible)
Grevillea longistyla x Elegans
You’ll be licking your lips over this one. Luscious ripe-cherry flowers sitting above the finely divided foliage for much of the year invite the honeyeaters in for a feast ~ there’s seldom a time when you won’t find birds ‘milking’ the flowers.
As a screen to around 2 metres high it’s a perfect choice, but it’s just as stunning when seen from a distance amongst other shrubs. The shiny red flowers have a huge appeal.
Bred in central mid-western Queensland, it does well in the sub tropical & semi arid regions; and as it’s been trialled in Victoria for many years we know it’s happy down south. Well drained clay or sandy loam is a must; full sun is best, there’s no problem with frost, and a good view of the ocean is acceptable.
Grevillea Coral Baby™
Grevillea lavandulacea x chrysophaea
No seahorses hiding in these coral flowers but here’s another winner from the Austraflora stable.
Small and compact (40cm H x 80cm W), it’s a lovely little shrub with fine dense foliage, and the flowers bloom from winter to spring, giving the honeyeaters a great lunch site.
In a container on a deck or patio, the subtle beauty of Coral Baby™ can be appreciated in detail, or plant it en masse to add its charm to small gardens. An occasional light trim will keep it neat and encourage even denser flowering; well drained soils in cool temperate to sub tropical and semi arid climates are suitable, frost is not a problem, and with a little protection from salt winds it will do well at the seaside.
Grevillea Jelly Baby (PBR protected)
Grevillea alpina x lavandulacea Tanunda
Jelly babies are very more-ish and this is one you’ll want to scatter throughout the landscape. Luscious deep pink flowers all but cover the grey foliage in a colour combination that always works. Honeyeaters love it too, darting in and out amongst the nectar-filled flowers.
Easily grown in sunny spots with well drained soils, it is frost hardy, suited to coastal gardens and does well in cool temperate to sub tropical and semi arid climates. Its dense mounding habit requires only minimal trimming to keep it tidy so it’s ideal for path edging, wide garden beds, large containers in courtyards, and for a dramatic landscape focus, try mass planting.
Leptospermum Lemon Lime ‘n Bitters (PBR eligible)
Leptospermum petersenii dwarf selection
Now here’s a dwarf plant you can drink a toast to because you’ll be seeing it in a lot of low borders, as hedging or softening the edge of a rockery. Cute, colourful and tough is a big ask of any plant, but not only does Ell Ell ‘n Bee have it all, but its leaves are full of citronella oil and it’s covered with white teatree flowers in spring, which the butterflies love.
Moist clay loam or sandy soils in cool temperate to sub tropical climates will suit just fine, and you decide its shape by how little or how much you prune it. As it only grows 50cm high and wide, this isn’t a great chore.
Emerald Grace(PBR symbol) Lomandra confertifolia selection
Fine ‘n Dandy™ Lomandra longifolia selection
Frosty Top (PBR protected) Lomandra confertifolia ssp rubiginosa
Lime Divine (PBR eligible) Lomandra confertifolia x cylindrica
The Rush Is On …..
Lomandras are a collection of multi-purpose mat rushes. Some are planted for foliage and habit, and others display special flowering attributes. Upright or weeping, purple-grey or green-leaved, they thrive in well drained clay loams or gravelly soils; cool moist to hot dry climates are all suitable, in inland or coastal sites. And yes, they are frost hardy.
Look no further. They’re hardy, versatile, low maintenance choices for compact borders, pathway edging or the ‘icing on the cake’ in rock work in bold landscapes.
And you can grow any of them in containers for balconies & patio display ~ a bonus to the busy person who will get a lot of pleasure with not much effort.