Category: Shade tolerant

  • To clip or not to clip …

    To clip or not to clip …

    Sometimes I find native gardens lack a little….structure. Its lovely to have a bush style garden with lots of flowing foliage and a naturalistic feel, however I am a big fan of breaking that up with some stronger forms which can often brighten up the planting and give an extra eye catching edge. In the…

  • Portfolio: Bundeena Tree House

    Portfolio: Bundeena Tree House

    This an amazing house which spills over a sandstone outcrop and is placed underneath a giant fig tree. It is sheltered by a stand of Casuarinas and hidden from the street by its rapidly growing native garden. The garden has been in for a couple of years and benefitted greatly from our recent wet Summer.…

  • World Bee Day: Plant Three for the Bees!

    World Bee Day: Plant Three for the Bees!

    Today is World Bee Day and the slogan of ‘Plant Three for the Bees’ is like a call to action! Anyone with an outdoor space can plant three bee friendly plants, even if they are in pots or containers. Calling all gardeners, please think of our important pollinators when selecting plants for your outdoor space.…

  • The little purple pea that could: Indigofera australis

    The little purple pea that could: Indigofera australis

    This is a common medium sized shrub that really can do anything…..it can fill a dark boring corner, it can flower profusely, it can provide lots pf nectar rich flowers for bees and butterflies, it can grow extremely quickly and it can look amazing! Indigofera australis or Native Indigo is a common 2 metre shrub…

  • Finger Limes loving the shade – Citrus australasica

    Finger Limes loving the shade – Citrus australasica

    My friend has the magic touch when it comes to growing all things edible and so of course her fingers limes are abundant in the Autumn 🤩. She has two varieties one is Citrus australasica ‘Rainforest Pearl’, a grafted form. Which in my humble opinion is the sweetest and juiciest of them all and the…

  • A flower within a flower within a flower … Hoya australis

    A flower within a flower within a flower … Hoya australis

    I find this one of the most curious flowers from our native vine species, it is a large highly perfumed umbel of tiny wax like flowers which is almost fractal like, I could look at it for hours. The leaves are thick and fleshy and a little like a succulent leaf and the vines stem…

  • Growing Natives Indoors

    Growing Natives Indoors

    I love indoor plants, which are known to improve our sense of wellbeing, the quality of the air inside, and give us a connection to nature. Most of us aren’t aware of the array of Australian natives that could be used indoors and replace the bucketloads of exotics commonly marketed at nurseries. Inside, plants generally…

  • The very versatile Lomatia myricoides

    The very versatile Lomatia myricoides

    I have been wanting to tell you all about the River Lomatia for some time but have been waiting to find some fully grown shrubs to photograph and I finally found them on my recent Summer trip to  Mount Kosciuszko. And here it is! Lomatia myricoides is a large shrub which grows naturally on a…

  • Portfolio: Jamberoo Consults

    Portfolio: Jamberoo Consults

    I have been visiting this rural property on and off for the last 3 years, each time providing the client with onsite sketch designs for different areas of the expansive garden. Working on this garden has been an absolute pleasure and I look forward to each new stage. The client has a knack for collecting…

  • Back from a Bird Language Retreat

    Back from a Bird Language Retreat

    The mantra of the weekend, a quote shared by JA Baker: “The hardest thing of all is to see what is really there.” The next Bird Language Retreat is Apr. 13th–16th 2023 _____________________________________ By Hannah Preston Two weeks ago I mentored at a bird language and nature connection retreat hosted by Wangat Lodge and run…

  • The pretty prickly Grevillea acanthifolia

    The pretty prickly Grevillea acanthifolia

    There aren’t really enough spikey Grevilleas in my opinion, when it comes to planting for birds and to create habitat especially for small birds Grevilleas are a wonderful lure, if they are spikey they can also provide shelter as well as food. This is Grevillea acanthifolia a large shrub reaching upto to 3 metres high…

  • Try something exotic! Tecomanthe hillii

    Try something exotic! Tecomanthe hillii

    How non native does this spectacular flower look?! It is the flower of the Fraser Island Vine or Tecomanthe hillii a gentle climber which is endemic to North Eastern Queensland. Tecomanthe hillii enjoys fun sun to part shade in a warm sheltered position. The specimen in these photos is growing on a post underneath a…

  • The Partying Pea: Chorizema cordatum

    The Partying Pea: Chorizema cordatum

    This outrageous little pea flower is growing in my daughters primary school, it thinks it is unassuming and doing its own thing, little does it realise what a show off it is! Chorizema cordatum is a wonderful South West Australian species which grows in moist gravelly well drained soil. It will grow in full sun…

  • Dainty and Delightful Fringe Myrtle: Micromyrtus ciliata

    Dainty and Delightful Fringe Myrtle: Micromyrtus ciliata

    This sweet little native shrub is in full bloom at the moment, it started in late Winter and can continue until Summer in some cases. Micromyrtus ciliata is one of those species which gets so covered in flowers that you can barely see the leaves! The shrub only reaches half a metre high by upto…

  • Front garden makeovers

    Front garden makeovers

    One of my ‘dreams’ is to walk down a suburban street and be able to admire one native front garden after another. I am always on the look out, when walking or driving, and the well-loved gardens (especially the native ones) always pop out at me. Gardens where people have made an effort and show…

  • Screening with Hardenbergia violacea

    Screening with Hardenbergia violacea

    This climber always surprises me every year with how aptly it lives up to its common name of Happy Wanderer. The little pea flower spikes really do have tiny smiling faces with bright green eyes. Hardenbergia violacea is a local native climber or scrambler to most of the east coast of Australia, growing naturally on…

  • An oldie but a goodie: Thryptomene saxicola ‘FC Payne’

    An oldie but a goodie: Thryptomene saxicola ‘FC Payne’

    This is a classic 70’s native garden plant, a WA species which doesn’t need to be grafted to grow elsewhere in Australia and for good reason it has stood the test of time. Thryptomene saxicola ‘FC Payne’ is hardy and tough, growing and flowering through shade, frost, drought and a harsh prune. It enjoys a…

  • Trialling Banksia ‘Sentinel’

    Trialling Banksia ‘Sentinel’

    This is a favourite coastal hedging plant of mine which I have been including in my planting designs for the past 7 years or so….sorry, I’m finding it difficult to keep track of time 😉 I say it is on trial or has been on trial for a while as it does have a couple…

  • A Favourite Coastal Heathland Plant: Leucopogon parviflorus

    A Favourite Coastal Heathland Plant: Leucopogon parviflorus

    This is a tough medium sized shrub which grows all along the NSW coastline and interstate to Victoria and South Australia. I love this plant for its dense habit, tasty fruit and grey green leaves. I occasionally use it in Designs where the soil is very sandy and the wind howling and have just spent…

  • Portfolio: Summer Hill Garden Design

    Portfolio: Summer Hill Garden Design

    This tiny garden in Sydney’s inner west is very shady to say the least, there were three existing native trees in the garden competing for space. However, they are all relatively small and although they took up most of the direct sun they also manage to create a relaxed ‘bushy’ feel to a high density…

  • Silver in the Shade: Plectranthus argentatus

    Silver in the Shade: Plectranthus argentatus

    If you are looking for a native understory plant to grow where no plant has succeeded before give Plectranthus argentatus a try. It will grow in the dry soil under large trees and ramble about filling in bare patches and creating a dense silver layer to a dark forgotten corner. Plectranthus argentatus has a lightly…

  • Level 2 Water Restriction friendly plants: Calothamnus quadrifidus

    Level 2 Water Restriction friendly plants: Calothamnus quadrifidus

    Yesterday NSW moved into level 2 water restrictions, it has been a long time coming, with bushfires still burning up and down the east coast and dam levels at an all time low. The hardest hit are out west where they have been buying in drinking water for most of the year, smoke and dust…

  • The Greatest Geebung: Persoonia pinifolia

    The Greatest Geebung: Persoonia pinifolia

    Geebungs are a wonderful Genus of native plant, they below in the Proteaceae family like Banksias and possess a variety of flowers, leaves and habits. In fact I have already written about Persoonia pinifolia a couple of years ago, see here.  However since then I have seen them growing outside of their native locality of Sydney…

  • I need to remember this fern: Blechnum cartilagineum

    I need to remember this fern: Blechnum cartilagineum

    I am not very good with my native ground cover ferns, I have a handful which I use over and over again which I know to be hardy and pretty. I was walking in the Blue Mountains this weekend and exploring the rainforest and waterfall walks, these plants are not my favourites, I usually am…