First impressions last and the entrance to your home is no exception. With a few simple changes, a tired, boring front area can be transformed into a spectacular and welcoming garden in a weekend.
To replace birdbath
Acer palmatum var.dissectum I’Sojo-shidare’ - Japanese maple
This is a small feature tree with weeping, deep burgundy foliage reaching 1.5m high by 2m wide. It performs best in a protected site with moist soil.
Amongst existing bed
Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum 'Burgundy' - Chinese fringe flower
This bears pretty fringed, hot-pink flowers from late winter through to spring set against year-round burgundy foliage. This is a sprawling shrub, reaching 1.5m in height and width if not pruned.
Limonium perezii - Statice
Statice is a rosette-forming, leathery perennial from a genus of plants native to Southern Europe and North Africa. The flowers are prized by florists and last for a long time after being cut. Having a paper-like resemblance, they are a deep blue/purple and should be removed before the plant sets seed, as this may shorten its life.
Convolvulus cneorum - Silver bush
Often found growing amongst the rocky seaside outcrops of Europe, this striking plant is drought hardy and salt tolerant. The silvery foliage is covered in fine hairs that make it look shimmery and the masses of white flowers in spring and summer are crisp against the grey.
Scaevola albida ’Mauve Clusters’ - Fan flower
This ground-hugging native bears flowers nearly all year round and its dense growth pattern makes an effective weed suppressant. It does best in sun to part shade and looks great in rockeries or hanging baskets.
Lavandula stoechas x viridis ’Avonview’ - Spanish /Italian lavender
This compact form of lavender grows to around 80cm high and flowering from spring through to winter. It was bred in NZ and introduced to Australia by Larkmans nursery in 1994. As with all lavenders, it requires good drainage, a good cut back once a year and performs best in a sunny, airy position.
Brachyscome multifida - Cut-leafed daisy/ Swan river daisy
This a free-flowering Aussie native found up and down the east coast. It is tolerant of many soil types and although it prefers full sun, it will tolerate part shade. Give them a haircut after flowering and replace them after 5 years or so if they start to brown out too much in the centre. New varieties are now available in shades of pink, white and yellow.
Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Monlo’ - Diabolo ninebark
With its dark leaves, this large shrub from the rosaceae family makes an excellent foliage contrast plant. It forms a rounded shrub to 3m high and wide. It won’t become as dark in warmer more humid regions of Australia. It prefers a moist soil but is tolerant of neglect and hard prunes in winter. The spring display of pretty balls of white flowers contrast beautifully against the deep purple foliage. Using Urbanlite pots by Northcote in stark-white is also a great contrast.
Sambucus nigra ’Black Lace’ - ‘Black Lace’ Elder
This reasonably new form of S.nigra has deeply lobed dark fern-like foliage. Reaching 3m x 3m it’s a larger shrub but can be pruned hard in smaller gardens. It has pretty umbels of pink flowers in late spring and suits moist soils in a full sun to partly shaded position. The lightly coloured pot from the Terrafirma ‘Kennedy’ range by Northcote accentuates these soft-pink blooms.
If the driveway or access looks worn, consider revamping using Decorative granite. It is much cheaper than paving, is long-wearing and quick to lay. Deco granite comes in 3 colours, brown, pink and gold, and should be stabilised with cement at 5%, or 1 bag of off-white cement per tonne of Deco Granite for pedestrian use, or 10%, or 2 bags of cement per tonne for driveways. Alternatively Deco Granite can be stabilised with builders lime at 5%, instead of cement. Once the granite has been spread and watered, a plate compactor, that can be hired for the day needs to be used.
• Always lay deco-granite on a hard compacted base and it should be at least 100mm deep if using for driveways
• Make sure not to cover inspection points such as drains and termite pits when you lay your deco-granite
www.anlscape.com.au - (Deco-granite)
www.flemings.com.au - (Plants)
www.kennards.com.au - (Tools and Equipment)
www.northcotepottery.com.au - (Urbanlite Pots)
www.scottsaustralia.com.au - (Potting Mix)