April 2, 2019

Cold days, hot colour

Graham Hicks of State Flora has some suggestions for brightening up your garden in winter.

Goodenia ovata

Winter colour can be yours when you plant a winter flowering native, and there is a colour and foliage style that will suit most applications. So, just because it’s cold and dark outside, your garden can still be a native flowering wonderland in the cooler months. Here are a few suggestions of our favourites.


Grevillea varieties include “Ellendale Dragon”, “Red Sunset” and “Red Wings”. All offer a spread of three metres and have pink to red tooth-style flowers and contrasting foliage from grey to green. Extremely hardy in all areas.

Gevillea Ellendale Dragon

Hardenbergia varieties, violacea, alba and rosea produce highly showy sprays of pea-shaped flowers in purple, white, or pink. With growth up to two metres tall and spreading up to three metres, this is a very hardy plant and a great show plant.

Hardenbergia Violecea

Leptospermum varieties such as “Winter Cheer” and “Tea Tree” grow to two metres and have a full red flowering appearance. Excellent contrast from foliage to flower.

Leptospermum winter cheer

Westringia fruiticosa, also known as native rosemary is a very hardy plant for all areas. With growth to three metres, grey/blue foliage and purple flowers, this makes a great hedging plant.

Westringia brevifolia raleighii

Correa pulchella, is a fantastic, hardy bell-shaped flowering plant with growth to one metre making it ideal for rockeries. If you like fuchsias this is the one for you.

Correa pulchella orange nana

Thryptomene saxicola “F.C. Payne” grows to one metre. This plant is a stunner, with white to dark pink flowers that will always provide a show in the garden.

Thryptomene FC Payne

Philotheca, or native Daphne, grows to two metres of excellent dark green foliage and a mass of white flowers, with a distinct perfume all year round.

Philotheca Little Star


Goodenia ovata (pictured in the feature image at the top of the page) is a strong ground cover spreading to three metres, with buttercup yellow flowers on green foliage.

Kennedia is a vigorous climber that can grow to three metres and have orange to black flowers depending on the variety. The flowers are the jewel in the crown with this plant.

Pandorea jasminoides is another hardy climber with tubular pink to dark pink centres that are massed on dark green foliage. Can spread to four metres and provides a real show in the garden.

This article was first published in the winter 2018 issue of SA Gardens & Outdoor Living.

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