June 3, 2020
Gardens

In the garden: Winter wonderland

When many other plants are lying dormant in the cooler months, native shrubs can provide a welcome burst of colour for the garden.

Eremophila maculata “Thundercloud” is a colourful native shrub that also attracts birds to the garden.

Winter is normally associated with trees with no leaves and shrubs and ground cover plants lying dormant, waiting for the warmth of spring to return before they show their best.

Fortunately, that is not always the case, particularly with native shrubs such as Eremophila, or emu bush, as it is commonly known. Their colourful fuchsia-like flowers are a real eye-catcher and will attract a range of birds to your garden with their mass flowering during winter. Eremophila are generally low-growing plants around one to two metres in height. They prefer a drier soil situation, as they have small root zones that can rot or perform poorly in wet conditions. This is one plant that will give winter seasonal burst that will complement many other shrubs with its colourful flowers and foliage.

However, what if you want to plant a climber that will give winter flowers? It’s hard to go past Hardenbergia “Happy Wanderer” with its distinctive purple pea-style flowers. This is one of the hardiest plants for climbing or ground cover applications that performs beautifully in South Australian gardens. There are also white or pink flowering alternatives if purple is not in your colour palette.

Leptospermum “Winter Cheer” offers a burst of colour in the cooler months.

Finally, there’s Leptospermum “Winter Cheer”. The name says it all! This reliable shrub will brighten up your garden with vibrant red flowers and wonderful contrasting dark green-red foliage. A great addition to any garden, Leptospermum “Winter Cheer” will grow approximately two metres tall.

 

This story first appeared in the winter 2019 issue of SALIFE Gardens & Outdoor Living magazine. 

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