As we approach summer’s end, the urgency to upgrade the garden suddenly hits! The timing is great though because this is the best time to add plants, trim overgrown ones and get down on our hands and knees and start weeding.
Words by Brenda Gilbert, Horticulturalist and Interior Designer
Here in Queensland, we have a propensity to routinely add mainstream native plants. When correctly selected and designated they can be quite visually pleasing however it is does not usually result in a striking unforgettable display. Does your garden bear a resemblance to memories of our Grandparents era? We all remember a certain plant or tree from our childhood years that brings back pleasant thoughts.
However, the common reaction to the suggestion of adding floral choices is the frightening visualization of maintenance. However, adding colorful cut-flower choices to your garden doesn’t have to result in a big chore.
Most often the choices in plant selection are not the most difficult task but rather the numbers to buy and placement thereof. It is common to select a number of feature flowering plants, plant them all in a line with a row of another complementary plant to the front. Not to say that such a display would result negatively however, when adding a floral section it is sometimes more visually pleasing to group and stagger the plantings. Also, in small groupings, plant an odd number of each plant.
The Geranium ‘Geraniaceae’ is a regal looking choice that adds luxury and history to any garden. Geranium Calliope ‘Big Red’ is so vibrant in color and pairs perfectly to Dusty Miller ‘Centaurea cineraria’. With the intensity of the Geranium’s deep red flower, Dusty Millar and it’s silvery white, fine textured foliage creates a juxtapose that is utterly breathtaking. Both can be found at most local nurseries and Bunnings.
Dusty Miller can be visually pleasing planted in amongst many flowering varieties in a garden. For a balcony or terrace, try alternating one and then the other along in a rectangle shaped planter box. For a round pot, place the Geranium in the center and Dusty Miller on either side. Note that pink or white varieties of Geraniums look equally as luxurious with Dusty Miller as the ‘Big Red’.
Another old time plant that shouldn’t be overlooked is the lilac and in particular the white lilac. You’ll never want to buy cut flowers again as these mesmerizing exquisite flowers are stunning in amongst any green foliage or just on their own.
Although there are many different varieties, Syringa x hyacinthiflora ‘Mount Baker’ is a favorite for butterflies and they can be purchased at Masters in Robina.
If you have a fence, wall or area that needs a pick me up; by all means plant a Sally Holmes Climbing Rose ‘Rosa ‘Sally Holmes’. These trusses of rich looking ivory-white single flowers draped over any structure are awe-inspiring and require very little maintenance. It makes one think of sipping tea on a sun-drenched day, in the shade of a verandah. The golden centers of this delicious looking bush make it one of the most superior and elegant climbers in the world.
They can be purchased online at Treloar Roses.
Here, in Queensland we are overindulged with endless flowering plant choices. It’s invigorating to see some of these yesteryear classics start to come back in to view.