As a horticulturist, it’s only natural to form attachments with some plant species over others. You get to develop a deep understanding for which plants and flowers work well in specific applications and in combination with other varieties to achieve striking affects.
Here are some of my favourites.
“Lilly Pillys can be mixed in all their varieties and colours creating rich, textured hedging.”
Lilly Pillys have a spectacular thick foliage and glossy sheen that makes them ideal for hedging. They can be mixed in all their varieties and colours creating a rich, textured affect – or as a standout ornamental feature.
Waterhousia Floribunda, known as ‘Weeping Lilly Pilly’, is a particular favourite of mine. It offers a softer aesthetic than your average Lilly Pilly, with trusses of white fluffy flowers in summer followed by pale pink to pale green fruit. Waterhousia doesn’t need to be clipped too tightly because of its natural weeping nature.
“Conifers look fantastic within both formal and informal gardens.”
Conifers offer incredible diversity because they can be pruned to complement a particular design. Depending on how they are clipped, they look fantastic in both formal and informal gardens; a tighter clip for a formal look or a relaxed clip for a more natural aesthetic. They’re also ideal as hedging around swimming pools because they don’t drop leaves.
“The art with succulents is to find the balance within the garden bed so they pop out to become a defining feature.”
In all their different colours and textures, succulents are easy to propagate by snapping off the branches and replanting them, extending the planting.
The art with succulents is to find the balance within the garden bed so they pop out and become a defining feature. Getting the right balance ensures one species doesn’t override the other, rather they all work together to create harmony and division. All you have to do is stand back and look at the wave of succulents that sweep through a well-designed garden bed to see how striking they can look.
“Nothing beats watching the leaves of a maple tree change colour through the seasons.”
Trees have so many benefits within a garden. They play a vital role in eco-systems, in the planet’s atmosphere, in our water systems and weather patterns. They also provide form, structure and feature within a garden design.
One of my favourite trees, is the deciduous maple. Nothing beats watching the leaves of a maple tree change colour through the seasons.
Forest pansy is another favourite. It has this gorgeous vivid pink flower in spring and sits as a small to medium size tree within your garden without over dominating. Forest pansies look particularly striking when planted amongst taller trees and lower planting.
“Topiary is an artform. It’s one of the skills that separates a high-end garden maintenance company like Botanic to a standard service.”
Topiary (pruning a tree or plant into a shape such as a ball, dome or cone) is popular in landscape design. It’s become an art in the way landscape designers use it. Twenty years ago, the trend leaned towards formal, predictable patterns, now people often want a more disrupted form of pruning. When topiary is pruned as natural formations that blend into each other they can almost give the appearance of clouds.
Topiary is an artform. It’s one of the skills that separates a high-end garden maintenance company like Botanic to a standard service. Trimming the joins between topiary balls is intricate, requiring experienced hands and the right equipment.
In modern landscape design, we also often see plantings, such as ligularia, planted amongst the topiary for a striking, glossy contrast.
“I love perennials like Salvias that can be clipped during the growing season to encourage full flower and a beautiful dense foliage.”
Perennials such as salvias and lavender can be the finishing touch for a garden, adding colour and diversity. We often clip them two to three times during the growing season to give them a second flush and to keep the bush dense.