Lavendual dentata or ‘French Lavender’ is a spreading shrub to 1m tall and 1.5m wide. Its leaves are dark green, straight, and about 4cm long. Its flowers are fragranced, purple in colour, and are borne on spikes which are produced in mid and late summer. So if you plant it now you should have flowers in February/March.
I ‘visited the interior’ recently and was reminded of a very useful, underutilised and pretty plant genus, the Eremophilas. These are extraordinary Australian shrubs able to withstand months without rain, nutrient deficient soils, frost and a wide range of soil types. Their natural distribution is almost all of Australia with the exception of the tropics and southern Victoria and Tasmania. They favour low rainfall areas so along the coast they should be in the drier, sunny and well drained parts of the garden.
This is a terrific plant species botanically known as Alyogyne huegelii. It is a native shrub of Western and South Australia and grows across southern Australia. It does well in poor conditions, full sun, and semi shade and best of all flowers in July to Summer.
The recent cold blast of wintery weather has put me in mind of southern climes, warm furry pajamas and this plant. Lambs Ear is a perennial ground cover with white furry leaves that are a silky smooth to touch and, for those of us who havent handled lambs, are quite true to their common name.
The word Agave comes from the Greek for ‘noble’ and Agave attenuata has a striking and much loved form of large green rosettes with pointed tips. Some people adore succulents, let me say this is certainly a good one even if you are not a fan. Originating in Mexico and seriously drought tolerant it grows across most of Australia, is salt and wind tolerant and looks particularly good as a feature plant with stone, gravel or sand.
The Dianella caerulea or Paroo Lilly is an attractive, robust strappy grass. The ‘Goddess’ variety has a neater form with lush emerald green straps, light green mid-stem and new growth, starry blue flowers and purple berries. The Goddess also has long lasting cut foliage for indoor decoration. Growing up to 1 metre high and up to 60 centimeters wide the Goddess forms an excellent mid height screening plant, luxuriant bed filler or an attractive feature container plant.
This plant can be quite hardy but has a lovely lush damp look about it. It’s a nice example of a number of good things about gardening. Firstly it’s a climber, so you can explore some vertical spaces in your garden.