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 images above you can see Leptospermum ‘Fore Shore’, which already has a very compact mounding habit, but when it is clipped it creates a wonderful sculptural shape.

Another of my favourites for clipping into a tight sphere or ball is Casuarina ‘Green Wave’ seen above as a young shrub and below on the left as a more mature specimen.

Landscape designer Fiona Brockhoff maintains many of her shrubs in a clipped form, below you can see how successfully Correa alba performs with regular tip running.

And below Correa baeuerlenii also shapes up beautifully into a sphere, in fact most Correa species will be happy to be maintained in this way.

Other native species which also will give you that tight mounded shape are:

Eremophila ‘Nivea’ Grafted
Westringia species
Baeckera virgata Dwarf
Prostanthera species
Leucophyta brownii
Grevillea arenaria
Acacia fimbriata Dwarf
Callistemon ‘Great Balls of Fire’
Rhagodia spinescens
Phebalium squamulosum
Austromyrtus dulcis

If you have any other special native plants which you think clip well into a dense shape please let me know, happy pruning!


2 responses to “To clip or not to clip …”

  1. We are looking to do a hedge of melaleuca mini quini. However we live in Molong central west NSW and can get quite heavy frosts and most years geta few of -2 to -3C mornings during winter. Can these hadndle that? if not what is a low growing to max 1.5m tall shrub that will work as a hedge. We can also get droughts and they would be in full sun.

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Stephen,

      Mini Quini should cope with light frosts but probably not the heavier ones it sounds like you have. For a low hedge you could use Correas (e.g. Ivory Bells), low-growing frost hardy Grevilleas (e.g. Murray River Queens), or
      tea trees like Leptospermum rotundifolium or one of it’s cultivars like ‘Lavender Queen.


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